This week: Arkansas is preparing for its home opener as it hosts the Lady’Back Invitational, Feb. 24-26. On Friday, Feb. 24, Arkansas faces Drake at 1 p.m. and Penn State at 3 p.m. The Lady’Backs are scheduled to meet North Dakota State at 1 p.m. Saturday and Missouri-Kansas City at 3 p.m. and Missouri State at 5 p.m. Sunday.
In Review: Due to the weather conditions in Shreveport, La., the Lady’Backs only played two games in the Centenary College Classic. Arkansas fell to UAB, 9-1, and Centenary, 6-4, Feb. 17. The games against Alcorn State and Nicholls State were cancelled.
Versus Drake: The Lady’Backs have a 1-0 series lead over the Bulldogs with the only meeting in 2001 resulting in a 2-1 Arkansas victory.
Versus Penn State: Friday’s game marks the first meeting for the two programs in school history.
Versus North Dakota State: This is the first contest between the Lady’Backs and Bison.
Versus Missouri-Kansas City: Arkansas has a 2-0 advantage over the Kangaroos. Last season, the Lady’Backs defeated UMKC, 7-1.
Versus Missouri State: The Lady’Back trail 10-15 in the all-time series with Missouri State. In 2005, Arkansas split a doubleheader in Springfield, Mo.
UAB Recap: In the first-ever meeting with the Blazers, the Lady’Back bats were cold. UAB held Arkansas to a season-low two hits. Senior catcher Shana Easley and sophomore infielder Samantha Buckner led the team. Easley was 1-for-2 and Buckner was 1-for-3 with an RBI. Senior Blaire Perry recorded four strikeouts and in three innings pitched.
Centenary Recap: For the first time in six games, Arkansas lost to Centenary. Freshman catcher Whitney Cloer tallied her first career home run against the Ladies to give the Lady’Backs a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Cloer finished the game with all four of the Arkansas RBIs when she hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning. Senior outfielder Mindy O’Malley and Perry had a supporting role when they were 2-for-4 and 1-for-2, respectively, at the plate. In relief, junior Sarah Topham recorded four strikeouts while only allowing two hits in four and one-third innings.
Senior Day: In the Centenary College Classic, Easley and O’Malley guided the Arkansas offense as they both recorded a .400 batting average after going 2-for-5. Easley now leads the team with six hits this season.
Welcome Back: In the win against Iowa, 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, 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 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 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.