JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – Behind RBIs from five different players, the University of Arkansas softball team defeated Jacksonville State Tuesday evening at University Field, 6-2. The Razorbacks used a five-run fifth inning to open up what was a 1-0 lead at the time and snap a six-game losing streak.
Arkansas, standing at 14-17 overall and 0-6 SEC, returns home to Bogle Park March 27-29 when it hosts Ole Miss.
Sydney Wright (9-7) earned the win for the Razorbacks, pitching 5.1 innings and giving up only two earned runs.
Wright and the Arkansas defense found themselves in a major jam early in the game but found a way to work out of it unscathed. Jacksonville State led off the second inning with a double, single and a walk to load up the bases with no outs. Trailing in the count 3-1 to the next batter, Wright settled in and forced three consecutive groundouts to end the inning and keep the Gamecocks off the board.
Following the big defensive stand, Arkansas kept the momentum on its side in the top of third and established an early 1-0 lead. Freshman Tori Cooper led off the inning with a double to left and came around to score when senior Sierra Bronkey reached on a fielder’s choice. Cooper, accounting for three of Arkansas’ nine hits on the evening, set a new single-game career-high for hits.
Wright found a groove in innings two through four, retiring nine consecutive Gamecock batters.
Leading 1-0 entering the fifth inning, the Razorbacks plated five in the inning to break open the game. Senior Megan Pearson started up the rally singling to right. Cooper followed with a single to left before senior Devon Wallace brought in a run with her base hit to right. A fielding and throwing error by the Gamecock right fielder allowed a second run to score on the play and Wallace wound up all the way at third.
Junior Stephanie Canfield brought home Wallace with another base hit, the fourth consecutive in the inning, and gave Arkansas a 4-0 lead. With runners on second and third after a Nicole Schroeder sacrifice, another run came in on Jessica Harrison’s squeeze bunt. Loren Krzysko capped the inning for Arkansas with an RBI double down the right-field line.
Jacksonville State got on the board in the bottom half of the fifth with an RBI groundout and then used back-to-back doubles in the sixth to score another run. Haley Meinen entered in the sixth inning in relief and finished out the game, pitching 1.2 innings, giving up one hit and no runs.
• Freshman Tori Cooper led the team in hits Tuesday evening, pounding out a career-high three hits.
• Five different Razorbacks each recorded one RBI (Wallace, Canfield, Bronkey, Harrison, Krzysko).
• Sophomore Loren Krzysko has found a rhythm at the plate in the last three games, batting .429 and slugging .714 while leading the team in doubles (2) and RBIs (3) during that span. Krzysko recorded her first career multi-hit game Tuesday.
• Junior Stephanie Canfield tallied two base hits Tuesday, good for her ninth multi-hit game of the season.