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Baseball softball teams set for SEC

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Baseball softball teams set for SEC

FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas baseball and softball teams supplied their fans with dramatic finishes Sunday afternoon as both clubs turn their attention to Southeastern Conference play. At Baum Stadium, freshman Matt Vinson hit his first career home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to complete the Hogs’ 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Meanwhile, senior Jessica Bachkora was launching a ninth-inning home run at Bogle Park to send the Arkansas softball team to a 5-3 win over Louisiana Tech.

The Razorback baseball team tallied a 4-1 mark last week against South Dakota State and Wisc.-Milwaukee. Arkansas split with SDSU in a two-game midweek series before sweeping the Panthers in its weekend series at Baum Stadium. Overall, the Hogs are 12-3 through 15 games played this season, matching the club’s 2009 start.

Arkansas’ softball team, under the direction of first-year Razorback head coach Mike Larabee, enters conference play with a 15-8 record after going 4-0 this past weekend en route to the Arkansas Invitational team championship. Arkansas has played its last nine games at Bogle Park, winning seven of the nine on its home field. Arkansas opens SEC play on Wednesday as it travels to Columbia, S.C., to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks. After the midweek doubleheader, Arkansas travels to Kentucky for a three-game weekend series. The Razorbacks return to Bogle Park on Wednesday, March 24, to host regional foe Oklahoma.

The baseball team opens its 2010 SEC slate this weekend at defending national champion LSU. The three-game series will be played out at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. All three games will be aired by Cox Sports Television (CST). This weekend’s series will be a top-15 matchup as both teams are ranked among the nation’s best in the various rankings released Monday. The Razorbacks are ranked as high as No. 13 this week, while LSU is the third-ranked team in the coaches’ poll.

Zack Cox leads Arkansas’ offensive charge with a .410 batting average, the seventh-best mark in the SEC. The sophomore infielder has put together a 15-game hitting streak heading into the Hogs’ first taste of conference play. The Razorbacks lead the conference with 21 home runs. For his heroics this past week, Vinson was named the SEC Freshman of the Week by the league office Monday. On the mound, the Arkansas rotation has impressed with a 2.73 ERA, the second-lowest tally in the conference. Drew Smyly, on the heels of a seven-inning outing with 11 strikeouts, is tied for sixth in the SEC with a 1.80 ERA.

For the softball team, Bachkora finished Sunday’s play 5-for-7 with three home runs, two doubles, five RBI and four runs. She paced the team on the weekend with a .545 average (6-for-11), seven RBI and a 1.636 slugging percentage. On the season, she leads the team in batting average (.387), hits (29), runs (24), home runs (8), doubles (8) and slugging percentage (.813).

Arkansas freshman Hope McLemore has emerged as the Razorbacks’ No. 1 starting pitcher heading into conference play. McLemore leads the team with a 1.37 ERA, eight wins, six complete games, three shutouts and 71 strikeouts.

Fans of the Razorback baseball and softball teams can follow this weekend’s action by logging on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com for live stats, radio and television information.



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