The University of Arkansas softball team plays its home opener against Northern Colorado Thursday at 3 p.m. before hosting the Clarion Inn-Arkansas Invitational Friday through Saturday. Arkansas welcomes Northern Colorado, Alcorn State, Creighton and Saint. Louis.
The Lady Razorbacks went 5-1 at the University of Minnesota Metrodome Classic last weekend. Arkansas defeated Tennessee Tech, Drake, Western Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota and dropped its lone game against Northern Iowa.
Program’s best start
Arkansas is off to its best start in program history at 10-2. The 2002 version of the Lady’Backs began the year 8-2, but then lost its next two games to fall to 8-4.
Sophomore Jessica Bachkora and junior Kayla Johnson were named to the all-tournament team at the Metrodome Classic. Bachkora hit .350 with a .400 slugging percentage and a .409 on-base average. Johnson hit .318 with seven hits, a home run, two RBI and five runs.
Moncrief boasts best batting average
Junior Jocelyne Moncrief led the Lady’Backs hitting .364 this past weekend. She tallied four hits and one run in 11 at bats.
Henry in the circle
Senior Katy Henry is undefeated from the circle. At 7-0, Henry pitched four complete games, fanning 34 batters with a 1.88 ERA.
Home runs galore
The Lady’Backs lead the Southeastern Conference with 13 home runs this season. Sophomores Sandra Smith and Miranda Dixon lead the team and the SEC in homers with four apiece.
Lady’Backs earn vote
Arkansas received a vote in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Poll released Feb. 19.
Scouting Northern Colorado
Northern Colorado is 2-9, last losing a double header against Loyola Marymount on Monday. The Bears played Creighton this past weekend, losing 3-6. Hillarie Van Otterloo leads the team with a .417 batting average, a .750 slugging percentage and a .500 on-base average. Northern Colorado finished 12-34 lat year.
Scouting Alcorn State
Alcorn State returns three starters from a 2007 squad that finished 14-38. Eight newcomers join the Lady Braves and are coached by Kevin Montgomery who has a record of 34-67 at Alcorn.
Creighton is 6-2 overall, coming off a 4-0 weekend at the UC Riverside Tournament. The Bluejays lost to North Texas and Texas State in its first weekend of play. Creighton is led by Jessica Wakasugi with a .400 batting average. Tara Oltman was named the Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week on Monday. The right-hander is 4-1 on the season with a 0.86 earned run average in five appearances. The Bluejays were 40-14-1 last season, making it to the NCAA Regionals.
Scouting Saint Louis
Saint Louis’ record is 1-2 after having two games rained out last weekend. SLU lost 4-3 against UT Martin, but bounced back and won 9-1 against Jackson State. The Billikens fell 9-1 in the nightcap against host Southeastern Louisiana. Allison Hopke leads the Billikens batting .600 with three hits and an RBI. Saint Louis finished 29-33 in 2007.
It’s out of here!
Arkansas hit four home runs in its first game against Centenary, breaking the school record for most home runs in a game. The previous record was three home runs last set on April 18, 2007 against Louisiana Tech.
Johnson leads Lady’Backs
Johnson leads the Lady’Backs, hitting .375 with a team-high 15 hits and 10 runs
The 2008 Lady’Backs
Seniors Samantha Buckner, Katy Henry and Dayna Huckabee lead the 2008 Lady’Backs on the diamond. This season features the return of 15 letterwinners, including nine starters. Nine newcomers are a welcome addition and are ready to step to the plate and contribute immediately.
Returning offensive threat
Bachkora returns as one of the Lady’Backs’ top offensive threats. Bachkora led the Lady’Backs offensively the entire 2007 season and finished the year with a team-high .291 batting average, 30 runs, 58 hits, 10 doubles, five triples, and a .338 on-base percentage.
At the helm Head coach Jamie Pinkerton enters his fourth season at the helm of Arkansas softball. Last season, Pinkerton saw his team set 14 different game, season and career records. Arkansas’ batting average improved and Pinkerton guided two of his freshmen, Bachkora and Dixon to Southeastern Conference all-freshman honors