FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas softball team opens the 2008 season Friday, Feb. 8 at the Century Bank Classic in Texarkana, Ark. In its inaugural year, the three-day tournament features the Lady Razorbacks, Alabama-Birmingham, Centenary and Oklahoma State.
Arkansas faces each opponent in a doubleheader with UAB scheduled for noon on Friday, Oklahoma State at 3 p.m. Saturday and Centenary at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
“I’m excited for the season to open in southwest Arkansas,” said head coach Jamie Pinkerton. “It will bring Division I softball to another portion of the state and give young kids in that area an opportunity to watch us play.”
In his fourth year at the helm, Pinkerton has a strong nucleus of upperclassmen and a number of talented underclassmen in his 2008 squad. The Lady’Backs return 15 letterwinners, including nine starters, and welcome nine newcomers to the team.
“This is the first year we really have good talent and depth at every position, and we have good balance of players,” Pinkerton said. “With seniors in key positions, we’ll be a more experienced and more successful team.”
Seniors Samantha Buckner and Dayna Huckabee will lead the infield, while Katy Henry will lead a pitching squad of five.
Sophomore Jessica Bachkora returns to guide the outfield. The Overland Park, Kan., native led the Lady’Backs offensively the entire 2007 season earning SEC all-freshman honors.
Against UAB, Arkansas is 0-1, losing its last game 1-9 in 2006. Oklahoma State also holds the series advantage over the Lady’Backs 3-2, winning the last three contests between the teams. In the all-time series against Centenary, Arkansas leads 7-1, winning a doubleheader in Fayetteville in 2006.
Arkansas competes at Lady Razorback field on the campus of Arkansas High School.
For more information about Arkansas softball, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.