FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – With a berth in the SEC Tournament secured, the Arkansas softball team will take its final dip in non-conference play with a Wednesday doubleheader against the UMKC Kangaroos. First pitch of the twin billwas scheduledfor 5 p.m. at Bogle Park, but due to afternoon rain, play has been delayed. The Razorbacks will be looking to snap a seven-game skid, their longest of the season.This will be the fifth meeting between Arkansas and UMKC with the Hogs winning the four previous matchups. The two teams last met during the 2007 season, a 7-0 victory for the Razorbacks. In the series, Arkansas has outscored the Kangaroos, 18-1, and is 3-0 in games played in Fayetteville.The Razorbacks have struggled at the plate in their last seven contests, scoring three runs during that stretch of games, but face a UMKC pitching staff that is allowing just over four earned runs a game and a .304 batting average to its opponents.Offensively, Whitney Cloer continues to lead the club with her .324 batting average. The senior catcher has a career-high eight home runs this season and is tied with Miranda Dixon for the team lead in RBI with 33. Cloer is three RBI from totaling 100 during her Razorback career. Dixon has hit a team-high nine home runs. Jessica Bachkora and Kayla Johnson are tied for the team lead with 29 runs scored.Tori Mort has reached base in five consecutive games at the No. 2 spot in the Arkansas lineup. She turned in her first career three-hit effort last week against Missouri State. Fellow freshman Brittany Griffiths has been in a slump that has seen her batting average slip to .271, but her defensive abilities have remained strong with a six-assist, one-putout performance Sunday against No. 1 Florida.In the circle, Dixon is 16-10 with a 3.83 ERA in 34 appearances this season. In 164.1 innings pitched, she has struck out a career-high 124 batters. Kim Jones has appeared in 26 games this season and has totaled a 7-10 record with a 3.85 ERA. She has struck out 79 batters but walked 83 in 121.2 innings. All three figures are career highs for the sophomore pitcher.
The Kangaroos enter the midweek matchup with a 19-30 record and a 9-12 mark in the Summit League. In its last outing, UMKC completed a sweep of conference opponent IUPUI.
As a team, the Kangaroos are hitting .271 led by Betsy Hanley’s .345 clip. Kelly Fisher carries a .317 batting average with a team-high 53 hits. She also leads the team with 26 runs scored and 11 stolen bases. Chelsea Hartwig leads UMKC with seven home runs and has 23 RBI which is tied with Carli Slagle for the team lead.
In the circle, Samantha Hurst is 7-14 in 30 appearances and 21 starts. In 129 innings pitched, she has a 3.36 ERA with 127 strikeouts. Nicholle Ellis carries a 6-8 mark and 3.64 ERA in 90.1 innings of work. As a staff, the Kangaroos have a 4.05 ERA and opponents are hitting .304 against them.
Former Arkansas catcher Shana Easley (2003-06) will return to Fayetteville as an assistant coach for the UMKC club. Wednesday’s doubleheader will be broadcast on ArkansasRazorbacks.com, which will also carry live stats for both games.
Download: 2009 notes.pdf