This Week: Arkansas (16-16, 5-7) takes a break from Southeastern Conference action, Wednesday, March 29, as the Lady’Backs travel to Tulsa, Okla., for the Border War. The team meets Oklahoma State at 3:00 p.m. and Tulsa at 5:00 p.m. The Lady’Backs return home to face Tennessee with a doubleheader, Saturday, April 1 at 1:00 p.m. and the series finale, Sunday, April 2, at 1:00 p.m.
In Review: The Lady’Backs spent spring break on a SEC road trip finishing 3-3. Arkansas defeated Ole Miss, 4-3 and 9-0 in five innings, after falling, 2-1. Against the Rebels, the Lady’Backs recorded their first series win and run-rule of the season. Arkansas then traveled to Florida and won, 5-1, but fell to the Gators, 9-8 and 3-2 in 10 innings.
Oklahoma State: The Cowgirls (14-14, 1-1) just opened Big 12 play and split a doubleheader with Iowa State. OSU and Arkansas are tied in the all-time series 2-2. Last year, the Cowgirls defeated the Lady’Backs, 4-3, in Fayetteville.
Tulsa: The Golden Hurricane (21-10, 8-1) are coming off a sweep of Memphis, March 25-26. In the series with Tulsa, Arkansas leads 8-4 after beating the Golden Hurricane last season in Fayetteville, 7-2.
Tennessee: The Lady’Backs trail the Lady Vols 10-15 in the series. Last year in Knoxville, Arkansas fell, 6-0 and 2-1. Tennessee (27-4, 2-4) has a midweek series with Kentucky, March 29-30, before traveling to Fayetteville.
Ole Miss Recap: After losing to the Rebels in the opening game of the series, Arkansas bounced back with a pair of victories to take the series. In the 4-3 win, senior Blaire Perry drove in two runs in the top of the seventh inning. In the first run-rule of the season, senior outfielder Mindy O’Malley had five RBIs.
Florida Recap: For the Lady’Backs, the offense surge at Ole Miss carried over to the series with Florida. Arkansas tied the season-high mark for hits with 11 in the first game of the series. In the win over the Gators, sophomore right-hander Katy Henry recorded 10 strikeouts while freshman catcher Whitney Cloer and junior outfielder Rachel LeMaster went 2-for-3.
Moving Up: With the win at Florida, the Lady’Backs have already surpassed their conference win total from 2005. Currently, the team is seventh-place in the SEC standings.
Conference Accolades: Katy Henry was selected as SEC pitcher of the week after collected a 3-1 record in a pair of series at Ole Miss and Florida. Henry recorded a 0.91 ERA and 31 strikeouts for the week with four starts and four complete games. She held opponents to a .213 average and four earned runs.
Mississippi State Recap: With a 4-2 win over the Bulldogs, the Lady’Backs tallied their first win against MSU since 2004. Freshman Sandra Smith, Perry and O’Malley each went 2-for-3 in the victory. Smith and Perry combine for three of the four team RBIs in the series. In the circle, Perry earned her fifth win while Henry collected her third save of the season.
Back in the Game: Smith paced the Lady’Back offense against Mississippi State with a .667 batting average, .833 slugging percentage, four hits and two RBIs in only her ninth game of the season. Smith missed the first two tournaments of the season.
Supportive Senior: O’Malley was a force at the plate as she led the team with two doubles while posting a .400 batting average. O’Malley also recorded her first stolen base of the season.
On a Roll: Senior catcher Shana Easley is the only Lady’Back to start all 32 games this season. Easley has started every game since her freshman season.
Sweet Surprise: The Lady’Backs have upset three ranked teams this season, which hasn’t happened since the 2000 season. Arkansas has recorded victories over No. 12 Georgia, No. 22 Mississippi State and No. 24 Iowa.
Oklahoma City Recap: Arkansas’ nine-game home win streak was snapped March 16 when Oklahoma City edged the Lady’Backs, 7-6. Sophomore Dayna Huckabee was solid at the plate with a two-RBI triple, which is her third of the season.
Georgia Recap: The Bulldogs snapped the Lady’Backs nine-game win streak in the Athens, Ga., March 11, with a 6-1 victory. After a 6-3 defeat, Arkansas closed the series with a 1-0 win, its first in Athens since 2000. Perry claimed the win for the Lady’Backs while only giving up three hits to the Bulldogs. Also, Henry earned her second save of the season.
Batter Up: Junior outfielder Rachel LeMaster led the Lady’Backs with four hits against Georgia, which improved her season batting average to a team-high .311.
Out of the Park: Huckabee recorded a team-high .429 batting average, .857 slugging percentage and two RBIs in the series with the Bulldogs. Huckabee also hit her first home run of the season.
Jacksonville State Recap: In the longest game of the season, Arkansas defeated the Gamecocks, 2-1 in 11 innings, in the tournament opener. Perry led the Lady’Backs with two hits including the game-winner. Henry took the win. In the second game, the Lady’Back offense was jump started as they won, 6-2. LeMaster was 3-for-4 at the plate.
Northwestern State Recap: In the sweep of the Demons, Arkansas opened the day with a 7-0 victory. Easley hit the first Lady’Backs home run in Fayetteville this season on her way to three hits in the game. In the second extra inning game of the invitational, Arkansas won, 3-1, in eight innings. Henry earned the win with 11 strikeouts in a complete game.
Centenary Recap: After a loss in the previous meeting this season, Arkansas returned the favor defeating Centenary, 3-0 and 1-0. In the final game of the tournament, Henry threw her first career no-hitter while tallying a season-high 13 strikeouts.
No No: Katy Henry’s no-hitter against Centenary was only the sixth in school history and the first since 2004. Henry finished with a 4-0 record in the tournament along with 41 strikeouts in 25.1 innings.
Third Time’s a Charm: In the Country Inn and Suites Arkansas Invitational, the Lady’Backs recorded five triples. Huckabee led the team with two.
Stolen Bases: The Lady’Backs were near perfect in stolen bases in the tournament as they finished 13-for-14. LeMaster paced the squad with six.
Double Trouble: Offensively, LeMaster led the Lady’Backs with 10 hits and a .435 batting average in the invitational.
It’s Out of Here: Easley went yard twice in the tournament. She is the only Lady’Back to hit a home run in Fayetteville so far this season.
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. Henry recorded her first win of the year with a season-high nine strikeouts in a complete game. 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. 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: 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: 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. Easley and sophomore infielder Samantha Buckner led the team. Easley was 1-for-2 and Buckner was 1-for-3 with an RBI. 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.
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.
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: Odle recorded seven strikeouts while Buckner and 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.