FAYETTEVILLE – After a wet morning and a three hour delay to the start of the Clarion Inn-Lady Back Invitational the University of Arkansas softball team tossed its first pitch at 4:25 p.m. against Missouri.
The Tigers got off to an early lead in the top of the first inning with a two-run blast by Amanda Renth. Renth hit a three-run home run in her last at bat yesterday against Colorado State.
Kayla Johnson led off the third inning with a single that fell near the pitching mound between three Tiger infielders. Dayna Huckabee then hit an RBI double scoring Johnson, followed by a double down the left field line by Bachkora which scored Huckabee. Cloer struck out swinging, but made it to first base on the high pitch that got away from the catcher. Bachkora also slid across home plate on the wild pitch to move Arkansas into the lead 3-2. Missouri answered with a three-run inning of its own in the top of the sixth to take a 5-3 lead.
Three consecutive singles by the Tigers’ seven, eight and nine batters loaded the bases for Missouri when Leanne Bowers hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score one run. On two outs Andee Allen followed with a high blooper that landed just out of reach of Huckabee, Bachkora and Moncrief in left center. The double scored two more runs.
A lead-off single by Renth and an Arkansas error in the top of the seventh allowed another Missouri run to score for the 6-3 final.
“We played one inning offensively against Missouri and we didn’t play well defensively, but I give them credit,” said head coach Jamie Pinkerton. “They came through with big hits.”
Megan Dennis earned the win on the mound, improving to 4-1, while Jen Bruck got the save.
Katy Henry picked up the loss, pitching all seven innings for Arkansas. She gave up six runs on nine hits and struck out six.
In Arkansas’s night cap, the Lady’Backs got behind early again as Colorado State jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a two-run home run to left field by Jessica Strickland.
The Rams added a run in the fourth inning behind a double by pitcher Kim Klabough. Klabough’s hit scored Allison Majam who led-off the inning with a single to left center and was prolonged on the base path by an Arkansas error.
In the fifth inning, Colorado State tacked on three more runs behind three singles and a double for a 6-0 lead.
Arkansas managed one run in the sixth inning as Hulsey singled up the middle and LeMaster doubled to right center, placing both runners in scoring position. Hulsey scored on a wild pitch.
“I talked to them about being patient at the plate and swinging at balls in the zone,” said Pinkerton. “With a young team you have to keep getting better and that is something we still need to do.”
LeMaster was 2-for-3, Huckabee went 1-for-3 and Hulsey was 1-for-1 with a run scored.
Kim Klabough (3-4) struck out 12 batters and held the Arkansas offense to four hits.
Dixon (1-5) picked up the loss on the mound for the Lady’Backs.
Arkansas, now 5-9, is the No. 4 seed of the tournament and faces the winner of the Wichita State-Missouri game at 11:45 a.m. tomorrow morning. The winner of that game advances to the championship game scheduled for 2 p.m.
For more information about Arkansas softball, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.