FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas softball team goes on the road to Tempe, Ariz., for the Wilson-DeMarini Invitational hosted by No. 2/3 Arizona State. The tournament begins Friday as the Lady Razorbacks face San Jose State at 2 p.m. and Florida International at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Arkansas has a rematch with Creighton before taking on the Sun Devils at 8:30 p.m. On Sunday, the Lady’Backs play Drake for the second time this season at noon.
“I think it’s going to be a good tournament with good match-ups for us,” said head coach Jamie Pinkerton. “It will be great to get into 80 degree weather and really see where our ball club is before we head to Columbia the next week. The Arizona State game is going to be a great opportunity to play with a Saturday evening crowd against the No. 2 team in the nation. It will prepare us for road matches in the SEC.”
Arkansas (15-2) has the second-best record coming into this weekend’s invitational. Arizona State is 16-1 with 26 home runs and a .374 team batting average. San Jose State is 8-8, Florida International is 6-10, Creighton has a 9-3 record and Drake enters the tournament at 4-6.
Arkansas hopes to continue its nine-game winning streak and best start in school history this weekend. Sophomore Miranda Dixon earned Southeastern Conference Player of the Week honors, marking Arkansas’ first SEC Player of the Week award since 2005. Six Lady’Backs are hitting above .300 for a team batting average of .296. The Lady’Backs rank as one of the top teams in the nation with a league-high 19 home runs.
“They’re on a little bit of a role and have a good amount of confidence right now,” said Pinkerton. “We’re right where we want to be. I think we’re going to learn what kind of team we’re going to have this weekend. I expect them to come out and be fired up to play.”
The Wilson-DeMarini Invitational is the final weekend tournament that Arkansas competes in before SEC play begins March 8-9.
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