FAYETTEVILLE – After traveling to Auburn for a midweek Southeastern Conference doubleheader, the University of Arkansas softball team returns home to host the No. 8 Tennessee Lady Vols in a three-game series Friday and Saturday. Friday’s doubleheader is set to begin at 4 p.m. and Saturday’s game starts at 11 a.m.
“It’s going to be good to be back home,” said head coach Jamie Pinkeron. “It’s going to be a really nice weekend weather wise, so hopefully we’ll have some fan support. We’ve had a tough stretch here and the ladies are really battling and still believe in themselves. With the way the race is, all we have to do is start putting some wins together and we’ll be right back in the thick of things.”
After dropping its last five SEC contests, Arkansas (21-11, 1-7 SEC) looks to bounce back at home against Tennessee (26-4, 4-3 SEC), but has a tough task ahead of them. The Lady Vols are ranked eighth and hold the series advantage 21-10, winning the last 13 of 14 games between the two teams. The Lady’Backs’ last win came in 2004 at Lady’Back Yard when Tennessee was ranked 12th.
UT enters this weekend’s series winning its last three games, but has yet to sweep an SEC opponent. The Lady Vols took a 2-0 eight-inning win from South Carolina Wednesday, before game two was rained out. Tennessee dropped one game to Kentucky last weekend, while Alabama was victorious in two out of three contests in UT’s opening SEC series.
The Lady’Backs are led overall by sophomore Miranda Dixon with a .422 batting average, 10 doubles, one triple and 30 RBI. Sophomore Jessica Bachkora has shown the best bat in conference play with a .316 batting average. She has six hits, a double, five runs and a .409 on-base percentage. Junior Whitney Cloer is close behind with in league games with a .304 average, seven hits and three RBI. Arkansas has a team average of .280, a slugging percentage of .458, and a team ERA of 2.26. The Lady’Backs lead the SEC in home runs with 36.
The Lady Vols are hitting .317 with a .441 slugging percentage and a 1.67 ERA. They are led by Tonya Callahan with a .413 average, 33 hits, six home runs and a .713 slugging percentage. Seven UT players are batting over .300. Ashton Ward and Megan Rhodes split time in the circle and hold opponents to a .170 batting average.
Lady’Back fans can catch all the action with a live audio broadcast on KXUA 88.3 FM Fayetteville and on LADYBACKS.COM. Live stats are also available on the website.
For more information and tickets please call the Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK or log on to LADYBACKS.COM.