The University of Arkansas softball team travels to Tempe, Ariz., for the Wilson-DeMarini Invitational. No. 2/3 Arizona State hosts the tournament. The Lady Razorbacks also face Creighton, Drake, Florida International and San Jose State in the three-day tournament.
The Lady’Backs went 5-0 at home this past weekend to win the Clarion Inn-Arkansas Invitational. Arkansas defeated Northern Colorado twice, Alcorn State, Creighton and Saint Louis.
Program’s best start
Arkansas continues the best start in program history at 15-2. The Lady’Backs are also on a nine-game winning streak. The longest streak in school history was 12 in the 1999 season. The previous best start was in 2002, when the Lady’Backs began the year 8-2.
Arkansas defeated Saint Louis by a record-setting 18 runs and 15 RBI. The Lady’Backs also tallied 16 hits, at least one by every starter, in an 18-3, five-inning win. 13 of Arkansas’ runs came in the fourth inning.
Dixon named SEC Player of the Week
Sophomore Miranda Dixon was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday. The Edmond, Okla., native started all five games, hit .733 and went 11-for-15 with seven runs and 10 RBI. She recorded a run and hit in all five games and posted multiple-RBI games in all but one. Dixon had a 1.467 slugging percentage and .765 on-base percentage. She went 3-for-3 with three RBI against Saint Louis. She hit a home run, a triple and a double. She also threw four innings with eight strikeouts, earning her fourth win from the circle. The last Lady’Back to earn SEC Player of the Week honors was Mindy O’Malley on April 25, 2005.
Dixon in the SEC
Dixon leads the SEC with six home runs, a 1.000 slugging percentage and 48 total bases. She is second in the conference with six doubles, 19 RBI and a .559 on-base percentage, and third with a .458 batting average and 22 hits.
Home runs galore
The Lady’Backs lead the SEC in home runs, hitting 19 this season. No. 5/7 Florida is second in the league with 15, while No. 1 Alabama is third with 14.
More program bests
The Lady’Backs have a batting average of .296 and a slugging percentage of .474. Both are the highest in program history.
Career home run record
Miranda Dixon hit the 13th home run of her career, matching the career home run record held by senior Dayna Huckabee. Junior Whitney Cloer is close behind with 10 career homers.
Season home run records
With 19 home runs, Arkansas is just 10 away from breaking the record of 28 set by last year’s squad. Dixon holds the individual season record with seven home runs and is already one away with six this season.
Henry in the circle
Senior Katy Henry is undefeated from the circle. At 9-0, Henry pitched six complete games, fanning 50 batters with a 1.65 ERA. She threw her first shut out against Northern Colorado.
Lady’Backs getting more votes
While Arkansas received one vote in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Poll on Feb. 19, the Lady’Backs tallied nine votes in the same poll this week and seven votes in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 Poll.
Junior Kayla Johnson started the year on a 12-game hitting streak which was the longest of her career. Cloer has gotten a hit in the last seven games, while senior Samantha Buckner and Dixon are on five-game hitting streaks.
Double digit runs, hits and RBI
The Lady’Backs had double digit runs and RBI in three games and double digit hits in five games.
Four homers in a game…twice!
Arkansas hit four home runs against Centenary, breaking the school record for most home runs in a game. The Lady’Backs matched their feat and broke the Lady’Back Yard record with four home runs against Northern Colorado. The previous record was three home runs last set on April 18, 2007 against Louisiana Tech.
Three tournaments, three wins
The Lady’Backs competed in three tournaments and have come home with three tournament titles. Arkansas won the Century Bank Classic, the Metrodome Classic and the Clarion Inn-Arkansas Invitational.
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.
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
How the SEC stacks up
The Lady’Backs were picked to finish 6th in the Western Division of the SEC, while Alabama was predicted to win the 2008 SEC softball title. The poll was released Jan. 31.