FAYETTEVILLE – The Arkansas Razorbacks softball team closed the 2011 campaign with a 2-1 loss to Summit League power Missouri-Kansas City on Thursday afternoon at Bogle Park.
Senior pitcher Kim Jones wrapped up her Razorback career with six strikeouts in her seven complete innings. Jones has pitched at least six strikeouts in 10 games this season and leaves her senior campaign with a total of 109.
"I thought this was a classic fastpitch softball game," second year head coach Mike Larabee said. "Both pitchers threw very well today, but UMKC just got a few more than Kim Jones. That is one thing I have talked about and we’ll continue to work on for next season, is just putting the ball in play a little better."
The Kangaroos struck first with a walk to load the bases in the top of the first and a single RBI to score the first run of the day. Another base hit out to third base plated the ‘Roos second run of the day before Jones closed the inning with a strikeout and a putout at third.
"Courtney Breault had a great day. It was nice to see her back out at second base for us," Larbaee said. "I know for a lot of players, it’s a lot easier to hit when you are involved in the game on defense too. She has been our designated player and you don’t get to swing the bat or get involved very much that way. It was nice to see her come out and do a great job for us."
Sophomore Courtney Breault went 3-for-3 on the day with two doubles and an RBI single. The sophomore, getting her first start at second base since March 18, drove in the Razorbacks only run in the third inning after senior Becca Carden hit a shot up the left line for a double.
"Becca (Carden) had a great hustle play for us in the bottom of the second. She hit a great ball down the left field line and it was great for us. She has hustled really hard for us all year long," Larabee said.
Arkansas tallied five hits on the day with a single by freshman catcher Jayme Gee to lead off the home half of the fourth inning.
In the circle, Jones did not allow a single hit by the Kangaroos after the second inning. She held UMKC to four innings with three up and down with the help of the Razorback defense.
"This is the end of the season for us and the players that are coming back all had some positive moments for us and we just have to focus on those," Larabee said. "We’ll start thinking about the areas that we need to get stronger in and we’d like to have a better year next year, which I know we will."
Arkansas closes the 2011 season with a 13-39 overall record and 3-23 in Southeastern Conference play. Five seniors will graduate from the team and 16 are set to return for the 2012 season next spring.