This week: The Lady’Backs travel to Shreveport, La., for the Centenary College Classic, Feb. 17-10. Arkansas (1-5) opens the tournament with UAB, Friday, at 2:30 p.m. then plays Centenary at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, the Lady’Backs are scheduled to meet Alcorn State at 12:15 p.m. followed by Nicholls State at 2:30 p.m. Sunday’s championship round is based on the team’s records in round-robin play.
In review: The Lady’Backs opened their 10th season in Miami, Fla., in the Diamond Fun and Sun Classic. The highlight of the tournament came on Feb. 11 when Arkansas defeated No. 24 Iowa, 1-0. The upset marks the first for the Lady’Backs in head coach Jamie Pinkerton’s tenure. In the other games, No. 10 Georgia narrowly escaped a season-opening upset as the Bulldogs defeated the Lady’Backs, 7-6, in nine innings. Arkansas fell to North Carolina, 5-0, and tournament host, Florida International 8-3. In championship play, Arkansas lost to Iowa, 5-1, and North Carolina, 8-4.
Versus UAB: Friday’s meeting marks the first between the Blazers and the Lady’Backs in school history.
Versus Centenary: Arkansas owns a 5-0 all-time series lead against the Ladies. Last season, the Lady’Backs won a doubleheader in Shreveport, La., 3-1 and 6-5.
Versus Alcorn State: This is the first meeting for Arkansas and Alcorn State.
Versus Nicholls State: In the previous meeting, the Lady’Backs won the contest in 1998, 2-1.
Welcome Back: In the win against Iowa, senior Blaire Perry recorded her first victory of the year while throwing a no-hitter through five innings. Offensively, Perry led the team with five hits while posting a .250 batting average. With her performance over the weekend, Perry was named to the all-tournament team.
Happy Birthday: In her first at bat of the season, senior catcher Shana Easley hit a two-run home run against Georgia, which happened to be her birthday.
Georgia Recap: In addition to Easley’s two RBIs, freshman Carrie Egnor and senior outfielder Mindy O’Malley also recorded two RBIs apiece. O’Malley also recorded her first double of the season against the Bulldogs.
North Carolina Recap: In relief, junior pitcher Kayce Odle recorded seven strikeouts while sophomore infielder Samantha Buckner and junior outfielder Meagan Harney both came off the bench and went 1-for-1, which were doubles.
Iowa Recap: In the upset, Perry and sophomore Katy Henry combine for 16 strikeouts against the Hawkeyes while only allowing one hit. At the plate, Buckner and sophomore infielder Dayna Huckabee were 2-for-3.
Championship Recap: In the rematch with Iowa, Perry and O’Malley hit doubles with pinch-hitter freshman infielder Kayla Johnson was 1-for-1. Against North Carolina, Johnson and junior outfielder Meagan Harney both went 2-for-3. In relief, Henry dominated the Tar Heels from the circle as she struck out five of the six batters she faced.
Showtime: In their Lady’Back debuts, Odle led the team in strikeouts with 16. She also threw a team-high 15 innings. Offensively, Johnson hit .308 with four hits and two RBIs. Harney hit a team-high .600 with three hits including a pair of doubles.