This WeekThe University of Arkansas softball team faces Western Illinois in a midweek doubleheader Wednesday before traveling to Lincoln, Neb., for the Big Red Tournament March 16-18. The Lady Razorbacks compete against Nebraska and North Dakota State with games at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, and 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday.
RecapThe Lady’Backs went 1-3 last week, defeating North Texas 7-3 and losing its first Southeastern Conference three-game series to South Carolina.
Win Number TwoFreshman Teighynne Hulsey earned her second win of the year in the circle against North Texas last Tuesday, and struck out a career-high eight batters against South Carolina, Saturday. She turned in a team-best 0.60 ERA for the week, allowing just one earned run. Hulsey also had a team-high .400 batting average going 2-for-5 with one walk.
It’s Out of HereJunior Dayna Huckabee tied the career home run record March 6 against North Texas with her 11th home run as a Lady’Back and her fourth of the 2007 season.
Huckabee’s HittingHuckabee leads the team with a .549 slugging percentage, 45 total bases, 17 RBIs and four home runs. She is third on the team with a .317 batting average.
Fanning the OpponentJunior Katy Henry is fourth in the conference in strikeouts with 118. Tennessee’s Monica Abbott leads the way with a commanding 264 K’s while Auburn’s Anna Thompson is second with 154. South Carolina’s Melissa Hendon sits third with 123.
Leading the WayFreshman Jessica Bachkora continues to lead the Lady’Backs with a .369 batting average. She also has team-highs 31 hits, a .398 on-base percentage, and 13 stolen bases.
Top ThievesBachkora and senior Rachel LeMaster lead the team in stolen bases. Bachkora is a perfect 13-for-13, and LeMaster is 11-for-14. The Lady’Backs have 32 stolen bases as a team.
About Western IllinoisWestern Illinois plays a doubleheader against Tulsa, Tuesday, March 13, before travleing to Fayetteville Wednesday. The Westerwinds fell 6-5 to Minnesota this past Sunday and have an overall record of 3-9. They are led by senior Jennifer Garcia who has started all 12 games for WIU and has a .359 batting average with 14 hits and five RBIs.
Versus the WesterwindsThis is the first meeting between Western Illinois and Arkansas.
About NebraskaThe Nebraska softball team is on a seven-game winning streak and wrapped up an unbeaten weekend at the Shocker Invitational in Wichita, Kan., with a 4-1 victory against Wichita State on Sunday. The Huskers are 15-7 overall and are led by sophomore outfielder Meghan Mullin with a .368 batting average. Mullin started all 22 games and has team-highs 25 hits and nine stolen bases.
Versus the CornhuskersThis is the first meeting between Nebraska and the Lady’Backs.
About North Dakota StateThe Bison play two doubleheaders this week before traveling to Lincoln, Neb., for the Big Red Tournament. NDSU begins the week Tuesday with two games at Missouri State and then takes on Missouri Wednesday. The Bison finished the KU Jayhawk Softball Invitational this past weekend with a 2-3 record and are 14-7 overall. They are led by freshman infielder Melissa Chmielewski who posts a .328 batting average, 19 runs, one triple, 22 RBIs, and a .534 slugging percentage.
Versus the BisonThis is the second meeting between NDSU and Arkansas. The Lady’Backs lead the series 1-0, defeating the Bison last year in Fayetteville, 3-0.
Dixon homers three timesFreshman Miranda Dixon hit three home runs and was 7-for-7, helping the Lady Razorbacks to two victories in the final day of the Holiday Inn Express-Arkansas Invitational at Lady’Back Yard. Dixon put Arkansas up 6-5 against Northern Iowa with a two-run shot on two outs in the fifth inning. Against ULM she hit a lead-off home run in the fourth inning to bring the Lady’Backs within one run of the Warhawks, and homered again in the seventh to put the Lady’Backs up 8-4. Dixon had seven hits, seven RBIs and four runs on the day. She also marked a new Lady’Back Yard record, hitting two home runs in a game.
Lady’Backs Break Home Run RecordAgainst Louisiana-Monroe March 4, Arkansas broke the record for most home runs in a single game with three. The previous record was two.
Run Rachel RunRachel LeMaster is approaching the career stolen bases record of 72 by Dana Gulick. LeMaster currently sits second with 64 stolen bases.
Bachkora breaks school recordFreshman Jessica Bachkora broke the school record for most triples in a single game on Feb. 25 against Missouri. Bachkora hit two triples, breaking the previous record of one. She is the only player in the SEC with two triples in a game.
Hitting StreaksRachel LeMaster and Bachkora both started the season with a six-game hitting streak. The streaks ended against third-ranked Texas A&M, Feb. 16. Kayla Johnson also had a six-game hitting streak this season.
Preseason PredictionsArkansas was selected to finish fourth in the SEC Western Division. The Lady’Backs received 37 points trailing LSU with 14 points, Alabama with 15 points and Auburn with 30 points. Tennessee was unanimously voted as the overall champion with 10 votes while Florida received one vote.
New Faces on the FieldThe returning letterwinners are joined this season by eight new faces. Freshmen Jessica Bachkora (Overland Park, Kan.), Hannah Cicioni (Rogers, Ark.), Miranda Dixon (Edmond, Okla.), Teighynne Hulsey (Edmond, Okla.), Jess Reed (Fayetteville, Ark.), Brittany Robison (Owasso, Okla), Jessica Waddle (Chickasha, Okla.) and sophomore-transfer Dara Clark (Farmington, Ark.) all compete for playing time in 2007.
2008 SigneesAmanda Caldwell of Victoria, Texas, Lauren Chisom a Bentonville, Ark. native, Leslie Dixon from Edmond, Okla., Lauren Iverson of Grove, Okla., Emily Jones a Joplin, Mo. native, Kim Jones from Lenexa, Kan., Jacey Juden of Arkansas City, Kan., and Wynne, Ark. native Layne McGuirt signed national letters of intent to play softball at Arkansas and officially become part of the Lady’Back program in the 2007-08 academic year.