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Arkansas softball splits games at Lady’Back Yard

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Arkansas softball splits games at Lady’Back Yard

FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas softball team defeated Louisiana-Monroe 1-0 and fell to Northern Iowa 0-3 to go 1-1 on the first day of the Holiday Inn Express-Arkansas Invitational. The Lady Razorbacks managed just one run on 10 hits for the day, leaving 17 runners on base through the two games. “We still need to work on consistency and doing the little things to win ball games,” said head coach Jamie Pinkerton. “What’s exciting about this team is that they are young and when we find the right approach things will click.” In game one Arkansas took the lead in the bottom of the third inning behind a single by senior Rachel LeMaser. LeMaster bunted to the Warhawk third baseman and reached safely as the throw to first base sailed deep into the corner of right field allowing LeMaster to touch all four bases for the 1-0 Lady’Back lead. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning and the tying runner in scoring position for ULM, junior Dayna Huckabee snagged what appeared to be a line drive single in the 5-6 hole for the third out and the Arkansas victory. Arkansas collected four hits against ULM – a double off the left field fence by sophomore Kayla Johnson, a single through the left side by Huckabee and a single that dropped in the infield by freshman Jessica Bachkora. Bachkora also had a stolen base, marking her 10th of the year. Junior Katy Henry started in the circle and pitched a complete game for her fifth win of the season. Henry struck out seven and allowed just three hits. “We took charge of the game plan more today, calling more pitches from the bench to take pressure off of Katy and Whitney,” said Pinkerton. “Katy threw the ball down in the zone and mixed pitches, and was effective.” Louisiana-Monroe’s Lindsay Rittenhouse picked up the loss on the mound, despite eight strike outs. Against Northern Iowa, the Panthers took the 2-0 lead in the second inning behind four hits. Jen Larsen led off with a double to right center, followed by a sacrifice bunt that moved her to third base. Stephanie Aguero then doubled to left center scoring Larsen from third. Heather Tarter knocked in another run with a single into shallow centerfield. In the top of the fifth, Whitney Cloer singled into center field to lead off the inning and then Samantha Buckner doubled to right center putting two Lady’Backs in scoring position with no outs. The Panther pitching and defense remained tough, however, holding Arkansas scoreless in the inning. The next inning, Johnson got on base from a Panther fielding error to start the inning. Huckabee singled through the 5-6 hole, moving Johnson into scoring position at second base, but three consecutive put outs by the Panthers kept the Lady’Backs from advancing any further on the bases. The bottom of the sixth inning Larsen led off with her second double of the game for Northern Iowa and Aguero scored her with another double for the 3-0 Panther lead. Aguero recorded her third double of the day and fourth RBI on the hit. The Lady’Backs got their lead-off batter on base again in the top of the seventh inning and loaded the bases but were unable to push any runs across the plate leaving a total of 10 runners left on base in the game. “Softball is a seven inning game,” said Pinkerton “We have to play all seven innings and come around offensively earlier than the fifth inning to be effective.” Dixon was the Lady’Back starting pitcher going 5.1 innings before she was relieved by freshman Teighynne Hulsey. Dixon had five strikeouts and allowed three runs on seven hits. Hulsey retired one batter with a strikeout. UNI pitcher Ashley Lepley picked up her third win of the season while Larsen earned her first save. The Lady’Backs fell to 6-12 with the loss, while Northern Iowa improved to 6-4. Action continues tomorrow in the Holiday Inn Express-Lady’Back Invitational at Lady’Back Yard as Arkansas take on Northern Iowa at 11 a.m. and Louisiana-Monroe at 1 p.m. The Panthers then take on the Warhawks at approximately 3 p.m. For more information about Arkansas softball, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Softball