This week: The Lady’Backs continued their home stand with the Country Inn and Suites Invitational, Friday, March 3-Sunday, March 5. Arkansas meets Jacksonville State at 2 p.m., Friday, Northwestern State at 2 p.m., Saturday, and Centenary at 2 p.m., Sunday. All games are doubleheaders.
In Review: In the home opener, the Lady’Back Invitational, Arkansas recorded a 4-1 record. The Lady’Backs split on Friday with a 1-0 win over Drake in eight innings before falling to Penn State, 3-2 in 10 innings. On Saturday, Arkansas defeated North Dakota State, 3-0. The Lady’Backs concluded the tournament with a 3-0 win over Missouri-Kansas City and a come from behind 3-2 victory over Missouri State.
Versus Jacksonville State: The Lady’Backs have a 2-0 all-time series lead against the Gamecocks after a 1998 meeting.
Versus Northwestern State: The Demons have a 2-6 advantage over Arkansas. Last season the teams split in the Arkansas Invitational.
Versus Centenary: Arkansas has a 5-1 lead in the series with the Ladies. The teams have already met the season when the Lady’Backs fell, 6-4, in the Centenary College Classic, Feb. 17.
Drake Recap: In the home opener, the Lady’Backs needed eight innings to defeat the Bulldogs, 1-0. Junior Meagan Harney came off the bench to pinch hit and she recorded the game-winning RBI with a double that scored freshman Brandy Baze. Junior pitcher Kayce Odle earned her first win at Arkansas with a seven strikeout, complete game performance.
Penn State Recap: The first ever meeting between the Lady’Backs and Nittany Lions was a good one. After a scoreless seven innings, both teams scored in the eighth but the Lady’Backs couldn’t make a comeback in the tenth and fell, 3-2. Freshman infielder Kayla Johnson had both the Lady’Back RBIs.
North Dakota State Recap: In Saturday’s game, Arkansas defeated the Bison, 3-0. Sophomore pitcher Katy Henry recorded her first win of the year with a season-high nine strikeouts in a complete game. Sophomore Dayna Huckabee finished with a pair of doubles are RBIs.
Missouri-Kansas City Recap: In Arkansas’ 3-0 win over UMKC, Odle recorded the win while only giving up one hit and setting a season-high strikeout mark with seven.
Missouri State Recap: Trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, the Lady’Backs scored two runs in their final at bat to take the win, 3-2. Huckabee was the spark as she recorded the game-winning RBI.
In Other News: North Dakota State pitcher Amber Garrett threw a perfect game in a 1-0 win over Drake. Garrett’s accomplishment is the first perfect game at Lady’Back Yard in recent memory.
Ring of Fire: The Lady’Back pitching staff had a very productive showing in the Lady’Back Invitational. Senior Blaire Perry, Henry and Odle combine for a 0.36 team ERA with 35 strikeouts. Both Odle and Henry finished the weekend with 2-0 records. Odle led the team in strikeouts with 16 in 15.2 innings.
Leading the Way: Senior Shana Easley paced the Lady’Backs with a .412 batting average and seven hits in the tournament. Arkansas had three others batting over .300.
Just Another Day: Sophomore Dayna Huckabee was a major factor in the Lady’Back offense with a .308 batting average and a team-high three doubles and four RBIs.
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, 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 Henry combine for 16 strikeouts against the Hawkeyes while only allowing one hit. At the plate, Buckner and Huckabee were 2-for-3.
Championship Recap: In the rematch with Iowa, Perry and O’Malley hit doubles with pinch-hitter Johnson going 1-for-1. Against North Carolina, Johnson and 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.