The Lady Razorbacks open the season in San Luis Obispo, Calif., at the Mustang Roundup, Feb. 4-6. Arkansas begins the tournament against Sacramento State at 11 a.m., Friday, Feb. 4. The Lady’Backs also meet Nevada, Colorado State and Cal Poly in the roundup.
The Nevada and Colorado State games mark the first meeting between the programs. Arkansas has met both Cal Poly and Sacramento State twice. The Lady’Backs last met Cal Poly March 3, 1998 with a 4-0 loss. Arkansas lost to Sacramento State 3-1 in their last meeting, March 21, 1997.
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Arkansas returns 11 players from the 2004 roster. The Lady’Backs have three seniors Ashley Carter, Zenobia Davison and Blaire Perry, who is third on the Arkansas career list for stolen bases and holds the school record for sacrifice hits in a season.
In the Box
Sophomore Rachel LeMaster led the Lady’Back offense last season with a .298 batting average. LeMaster also recorded a team high 45 hits and .333 on-base percentage.
Senior Blaire Perry returns for her final season after a productive junior campaign as she led the team in runs (19), triples (2) and slugging percentage (.329) last season.
Sophomore Kallie Foglesong was a vital piece of the offense for the Lady’Backs last year as she led the team in four offensive categories including doubles (7), home runs (4), RBIs (15) and slugging percentage (.329).
Juniors Mindy O’Malley and Shana Easley were consistent figure in the Arkansas lineup last season as they started and played all 58 games for the Lady’Backs.
In 2005, Arkansas will have a new look in the circle with the graduation of Heather Schlichtman. The Lady’Backs return junior Valanna Lyons, sophomores Sarah Topham and Cassy Long to replace Schlichtman. Newcomers include junior Linzee Roby, freshmen Kelly Ninemire and Katy Henry.
Woo Pig Sooie
Arkansas added seven newcomers to the roster this season with junior college transfer Roby, Henry, Ninemire, freshmen Samantha Buckner, Dayna Huckabee, Lindsay Perry and Heather Rankin.
The Next Chapter
First-year head coach Jamie Pinkerton begins his tenure with the Lady Razorbacks after four successful seasons as the head coach of the Tulsa Golden Hurricane softball team. Pinkerton was a two-time Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.
Pinkerton’s staff includes former TU assistant coach Tiffany Redding-Pitts and former Lady’Back Aly Sartini.
Redding-Pitts was a Golden Hurricane assistant from 2002-04 with Pinkerton and she assist with the infielders and serves as first base coach. Redding-Pitts directs the administrative duties while serving as the recruitment coordinator and managing the team’s camps and clinics.
Sartini returns as an assistant coach to the program she helped to build. Sartini oversees pitching, outfield, scouting, academics and assists with administrative responsibilities. In her four seasons as a Lady’Back, Sartini helped lead Arkansas to three Southeastern Conference tournament appearances, an NCAA Regional berth and she was a member of the 1999 SEC All-Tournament team.
Waiting in the Wings
Pinkerton’s first recruiting class included seven early signees six of which were from the Sooner State. Oklahoma natives Brandy Baze, Whitney Cloer, Carrie Egnor, Kayla Johnson, Sandra Smith and Krystina Watkins will sport Cardinal and White in the fall. Jocelyne Moncrief will join the Lady’Backs from Tennessee.
A Year Ago
Arkansas ended the 2004 season with an 18-40 record, finishing SEC playing at 6-24. Last season, the Lady’Backs recorded wins over No. 12 Tennessee and No. 17 Florida.