FAYETTEVILLE-The University of Arkansas softball team swept Northwestern State, 7-0 and 3-1 in eight innings, on the second day of the Country Inn and Suites Arkansas Invitational, Saturday, March 4.
The Lady Razorbacks (9-8) had solid pitching performances from senior Blaire Perry and sophomore Katy Henry. In game one, Perry (2-3) threw a complete-game, shutout with eight strikeouts, while Henry (5-2) tallied a season-high 11 strikeouts.
Arkansas softball head coach Jamie Pinkerton said he liked what he saw against the Demons especially in the circle.
“Overall, this team is getting better but we’re going to have growing pains with a young ball club,” he said. “Katy is mentally tougher. She buckled down and gave us a chance to win.”
In the first game of the doubleheader, the Lady’Back scored first with two runs on two hits and a Northwestern State error to take a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Freshman infielder Kayla Johnson and Perry recorded a pair of singles.
The Arkansas offense continued to produce in the third inning when the Lady’Backs took a 5-0 lead on four hits and an error.
Senior catcher Shana Easley leadoff the inning with a double while sophomore infielder Samantha Buckner and Perry singled before sophomore infielder Dayna Huckabee tripled.
Easley recorded her second home run of the season in the bottom of the fourth inning with two-outs. Easley is the first Lady’Back to hit a home run in Fayetteville this year. Offensively, Arkansas tallied 11 hits, which is a season-high mark.
The Lady’Backs broke a scoreless tie in the top of the seventh inning when freshman catcher Whitney Cloer hit a deep fly ball to right field that scored Perry from second. Perry recorded the lone hit of the inning.
After Northwestern State tied the game, 1-1, in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Lady’Backs went into its second extra inning game of the tournament.
Arkansas scored two runs in the eighth on two hits. The inning started with Huckabee on second base, due to the international tie-breaker rule.
Huckabee moved to third on a bunt before scoring on junior outfielder Rachel LeMaster’s single. Arkansas added a run when LeMaster scored on an Easley double.
The Lady’Backs conclude the tournament with a doubleheader with Centenary at 2:00 p.m. Sunday. For more information on Arkansas softball, log on to LADYBACKS.COM.