TEMPE, ARIZ. – The University of Arkansas softball team launched four home runs for the third time this season in a 10-1 victory against Creighton on Saturday afternoon at the Wilson-DeMarini Invitational on the campus of Arizona State.
Senior Dayna Huckabee (3), senior Samantha Buckner (5), sophomore Miranda Dixon (7) and sophomore Sandra Smith (7) each homered in the contest, improving Arkansas to 18-2. Creighton dropped to 10-5, with two of their losses against the Lady Razorbacks. Arkansas also equaled the program’s best win streak with its 12th win in a row.
The Lady’Backs are just one home run away from matching the record-high 28 home runs that the 2007 squad hit. Dixon and Smith also equaled the season home-run record with seven home runs apiece.
“We had it going and played very well offensively,” said head coach Jamie Pinkerton. “The middle of the lineup is producing and we continue to hit (pitching) mistakes and hit them hard. Miranda kept the ball down and we fielded the ball and threw out their short game people. It was a very positive win against a regional team.”
Two doubles, by Bachkora and Dixon got the Lady’Backs off to a one-run lead in the top of the first. Bachkora’s double was a bounce away from the left-field wall while Dixon’s hit the top of the right-field wall and bounced back into the playing field to score Bachkora.
In the second inning with one out, Huckabee blasted her third home run of the weekend to left field and increased Arkansas’ lead to 2-0.
Creighton had a runner in scoring position with one out in the bottom of the second, but an infield putout and a strikeout ended the Bluejays’ hope of getting on the scoreboard.
After two and a half scoreless innings, Buckner laced a solo shot to left field in the fifth. With Buckner’s fifth home run of the season, Arkansas was in front of Creighton 3-0.
In the sixth inning, Dixon hit a solo shot to left field with one down. On two outs, Cloer singled and Huckabee doubled with a line drive that bounced off the right-center wall. Huckabee scored Cloer from first and put the Lady’Backs up by five runs.
Creighton threatened again in the bottom of the sixth, getting a runner to third base with two outs, but a ground ball was fielded cleanly by Johnson and fired over to Buckner at first to end the inning.
In the top of the seventh, Moncrief led off with a walk and Bachkora singled, but a wild throw attempting to put out Bachkora allowed Moncrief to score. Johnson followed with a single and Dixon plated Bachkora from second with a single to left field. Smith stepped to the plate with one out and launched a three-run home run to left field to put Arkansas up 10-0.
The Bluejays scored their lone run of the ball game after Renae Sinkler doubled, advanced to third on an infield putout and scored on a putout on Lau Emmsley-Chang.
Dixon (6-1) threw for her first complete-game win, giving up one run on six hits and striking out seven.
Emily Humpal (2-1) endured her first loss in the circle as Arkansas tallied 10 runs on 12 hits.
At the plate, Dixon was 3-for-4 with three RBI and Huckabee was 3-for-4 with two RBI.
Arkansas faces the tournament host and second-ranked Arizona State tonight at 8:30 p.m.
“We’re not going to be able to afford to fall behind against Arizona State, so breaking out early is a good habit for us to get into,” said Pinkerton. “We have a tough task ahead and we haveto play flawless ball, but this is the kind of team we’re going to play in the SEC, so it will be a good preparation.”
For more information about Arkansas softball, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.