LINCOLN, NEB. – University of Arkansas junior Samantha Buckner hit an RBI single to right field in the top of the seventh inning, giving the Lady Razorbacks the 2-1 victory against North Dakota State Saturday at the Big Red Tournament in Lincoln, Neb.
Buckner scored freshman Teighynne Hulsey from second base for the game-winning RBI. Hulsey reached base on a hard hit ball to the short stop that was scored an error. Sophomore Whitney Cloer then moved Hulsey to second base on a sacrifice bunt before Buckner scored her with the single on two outs.
The Lady’Backs (11-22) broke an eight-game losing streak and evened the score with the Bison (17-14), who defeated Arkansas yesterday.
“If you look at our players, they’ve never been a part of a losing streak like that,” said head coach Jamie Pinkerton. “They come from programs that have never been on longer than maybe a two or three-game streak. We stressed to them this morning that there are going to be peaks and valleys in a season and you just have to try to cut down the valleys. Today they realized that they’re going to go through things like that and they have to make their own breaks and play hard all the time. They made up their minds that they were going to come out and play today.”
Freshman pitcher Miranda Dixon earned her second win of the year allowing just one run on three hits and striking out four. Two of Dixon’s strikeouts came in the bottom of the seventh inning, securing the Lady’Backs one-run lead.
“Miranda did a great job,” said Pinkerton. “We needed someone to step up today and she did.”
Arkansas jumped out to a 1-0 lead early in the game. Freshman Jessica Bachkora laced a lead-off triple to left center before senior Rachel LeMaster singled through the right side scoring Bachkora.
The Bison answered in the bottom of the first inning to even the score 1-1 behind two singles and an Arkansas error. Lynnae Foshag reached base on an infield error and was scored by Melissa Chmielewski on a single just out of reach of sophomore Kayla Johnson in the 3-4 hole.
The score remained tied through six innings of play before the Lady’Backs scored the winning run in the top of the seventh.
“Bachkora, Buckner and LeMaster got us the runs that we needed to win today,” said Pinkerton.
In the first game, Arkansas fell to Nebraska 5-0. The Lady’Backs had runners in scoring position in four innings, including the first three, but was held scoreless by the Husker defense.
Arkansas tallied six hits and also left nine runners on base.
Junior Katy Henry took the loss in the circle and fell to 7-10. Dixon entered the game in relief in the sixth inning, striking out the side. She allowed no runs, two hits and had four strikeouts in two innings of work.
Nebraska’s Molly Hill earned the win on the mound, improving to 8-4. After allowing two late runs on two hits in yesterday’s game, she gave up no runs, six hits and struck out five today.
The Lady’Backs return to Bowlin Stadium tomorrow for their final day in Lincoln, Neb. Arkansas plays North Dakota State at 1:30 p.m. and Nebraska at 4 p.m.
For more information about Arkansas softball, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.