FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas softball team beat the No. 22 Georgia Bulldogs, 5-2, on Friday at Bogle Park.
Arkansas (23-13) was led by three homeruns in the game. Devon Wallace and Chloe Oprzedek each hit two-run blasts and Jayme Gee had a solo-shot in the fourth inning. Wallace finished the game 3-for-3 and also scored a run. Oprzedek finished her day 2-for-3 at the plate. All together, the Razorbacks notched 10 hits to Georgia’s five. Head coach Mike Larabee was happy with the offensive production.
“It is great to be back at Bogle Park,” head coach Mike Larabee said. “I love the way our team came out and competed. A lot of teams in the past would have got down after giving up two in the first inning, but not this team. They battled back and won. It was a beautiful night at the ballpark.”
In the circle it was the senior captain, Chelsea Cohen, who picked up her 11th win of the season. She threw a complete game and gave up two runs on five hits. She also struck out four batters in the contest.
“Great performance by Chelsea Cohen,” Larabee said. “There is no doubt about it that she is our best pitcher right now. I believe that the changeup is the best pitch in fast-pitch softball. She really had her’s going tonight.”
Georgia jumped on the board in its third at-bat of the game. Geri Ann Glasco crushed her 13th homerun of the year over the centerfield fence. The two-run shot scored Paige Wilson and gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 advantage.
Cohen bounced back in the second, retiring Katie Browne to start the inning. After a single from Niaja Griffin, the senior pitcher struck out Anna Swafford for her first strikeout of the game. The next batter, Wilson, flew out to end the top of the second. Cohen also worked a scoreless third as she retired the Bulldogs in order.
Clarie Clark started the bottom of the third, legging out an infield single. She came around to score on the next pitch as Wallace hammered a two-run homer over the leftfield fence. Stephanie Canfield followed the bomb with a standup double to left-center. She scored three batters later when Oprzedek belted a two-run shot of her own. The junior’s eighth long ball of the season gave Arkansas a 4-2 lead after the third inning.
Cohen hit Tess Sito to start the top of the fourth. After back-to-back outs, Griffin grounded a ball to Clarisa Navarro at shortstop. Navarro made a diving stop, going to her left, and threw out the runner moving to second from her stomach. This sent the game to the bottom of fourth.
Arkansas used the defensive momentum in the bottom of the inning and plated another run. Jayme Gee was the second batter of the inning and she rocketed a solo-homerun into the leftfield grass. Her sixth homerun of the season gave Arkansas a 5-2 lead.
Arkansas’ senior pitcher used the three run lead to her full advantage. She retired six straight batters into the seventh inning. She closed the top of the sixth by hustling out of the circle and made a nice play to retire the speedy Sito.
Sierra Bronkey started the bottom of the sixth with an infield single. This was the junior’s second hit of the game and the tenth overall for the Razorbacks. However, the Hogs were unable to score her and the lead remained at three runs into the seventh inning.
Cohen came out for the seventh inning and finished her gem. She retired the side in order and took down her ninth straight batter to end the game and give the Razorbacks the win.
Next up, the homestand continues with games two and three of the Georgia series. The doubleheader will start on Saturday at 1 p.m. with game three following. You can watch the games on Razorvision or listen on 88.3 FM.
Download: Georgia game 1.pdf