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Arkansas smashes its way to a split

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Arkansas smashes its way to a split

Lexington, Ky- The University of Arkansas softball team split a doubleheader Wednesday night moving its overall record to 20-19 and 4-15 in the Southeastern Conference. Kentucky moves to 19-22 and 6-8 in the SEC."I was proud of our team today," said head coach Mike Larabee. "After falling in the first game we came out so strong in the second and never gave up."Arkansas took the early 1-0 lead in the top of the first when freshman Devon Wallace recorded her seventh home run on the season over the right-center field wall. The Razorbacks came out just as strong on defense in the bottom of the first when Chelsea Cohen struck out the first batter. A double play was collected to end the inning with precise fielding from Clarisa Navarro to Sierra Bronkey to Andrea Sullivan at first base.The Wildcats recorded their first hit of the game in the bottom of the second when Lauren Cumbess dropped a ball between Navarro and Chloe Oprzedek. Another single by the Wildcats put Cumbess on second base with only one out. A double by Ginny Carroll brought home the tying run and advanced the runners placing one on third and Carroll on second. The Razorbacks got out of the inning forcing Kentucky to leave two runners in scoring position.Wallace recorded her second home run of the game in her second at bat in the top of third, giving Arkansas the 2-1 lead.Arkansas escaped a Wildcat surge in the bottom of the third when they loaded the bases off of two singles from Kentucky. A fly out catch by Jennifer Rambo ended the close call for the Razorbacks.Bronkey recorded her first hit of the game in the top of the fourth. Gee grabbed a walk off of Rachel Riley to put Maddie Reese who was pinch running for Bronkey in scoring position. Unfortunately, two runners were left on base. The Wildcats answered in the bottom of the fourth after two doubles coming from pinch hitter Alice O’Bryan and Brittany Cervantes. Cervantes brought in O’Bryan while Kara Dill singled to bring home Cervantes to give the Wildcats the 3-2 lead. Kentucky put another run on the board with a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth, moving the score to 4-2 in favor of the Wildcats. Arkansas responded in the top of the sixth after Jennifer Rambo got her second walk of the day. Bronkey advanced Rambo with a single and was safe at first. Oprzedek brought home Rambo off a fielder’s choice decision. Gee then blasted a home run over the right-center field wall bringing in three runs and giving Arkansas the 6-4 lead. With that hit Gee records her second home run of her career, the last being the previous game against Mississippi State.Cervantes answered with a solo home run in the bottom of the inning, her third hit of the day making the score 6-5 going into the seventh.Kentucky placed runners on first and third in the bottom of the seventh after two singles. Arkansas walked Cervantes to load the bases. With two outs and the bases loaded Kentucky hit a single bringing in one run to tie the game and force extra innings.Rambo led off in the top of the eighth inning with a solo home run, her fifth of the season, and giving the Razorbacks the 7-6 lead.Senior Erica Silence responded with her first at bat of the day collecting a walk-off home run to give the Wildcats the 9-7 victory in the first game of the doubleheader.The Razorbacks came back roaring in the second game when Navarro hit a home run over the left-center field wall for two RBI and giving Arkansas the 2-0 lead. Arkansas threatened the Wildcats in the top of the second loading the bases off of two walks and a single from Tori Mort. No runs were brought in keeping the score 2-0.The Wildcats answered bringing in two runs to tie the game in the bottom of the second.Arkansas continued swinging away when Rambo collected her second home run on the day bringing home two RBI and allowing Arkansas to regain the lead at 4-2.Riley hit the tenth home run of the day between the two teams, moving the score 4-3 in favor of the Razorbacks. Both teams were stagnant in the fourth through sixth innings with Arkansas only allowing one single and Kentucky allowing two singles.Wallace was walked for the fourth time of the game in the top of the seventh and was advanced to second off a sacrifice bunt from Navarro. Ashley Martindale was called in to pinch run for Wallace. Martindale was brought in off a double from Amanda Geile. Rambo recorded her third home run on the day, second of the game to put the Razorbacks up 7-3. Freshman Kimmy Beasley held strong in the circle throughout the game pitching all seven innings while recording six strikeouts and not allowing any walks."I was so proud of Kimmy tonight," said Larabee. "She showed so much heart and she never gave up."Kentucky could not respond in the bottom of the seventh giving Arkansas the 7-3 victory.There were 11 home runs hit in the doubleheader tonight between the two programs, seven from Arkansas and four from Kentucky. Rambo recorded three, Wallace two while Navarro and Gee both had one. With the seven homeruns tonight that gives the Razorbacks a total of 42 on the season almost tripling the amount from last year.

For more information regarding Razorback softball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.



Sports Category : Softball