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Hogs host No. 19 LSU on dedication weekend

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Hogs host No. 19 LSU on dedication weekend

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Razorback softball team opens a three-game set with No. 19 LSU on Friday at Bogle Park with a doubleheader. First pitch of the series opener is scheduled for 4 p.m. with game two to start approximately 20 minutes following the completion of the first. Saturday’s series finale between the divisional rivals will be coupled with the dedication of Bogle Park.Arkansas (23-15, 9-6) enters the Southeastern Conference showdown off the heels of an 11-9 upset of No. 11 Oklahoma on Wednesday. The Razorbacks used a five-run sixth to take control of the game and held off the Sooners for a two-run victory. It was Arkansas’ first-ever win in Norman.

Arkansas and LSU are separated by just .07 points in the SEC Western Division standings. The Tigers currently sit in second place with the Razorbacks in third through 15 conference games played. The two teams have played the same number of games, but LSU was credited with a tie in its series finale with Tennessee.Whitney Cloer has been the leader of the Razorback offensive charge all season and carries a .367 batting average. The senior catcher is enjoying a career campaign during her final season with eight home runs, 32 RBI and an SEC-leading 13 doubles. Cloer has moved into third place on the program’s all-time RBI list with 96.Kayla Johnson and Brittany Griffiths are hitting .309 and .300, respectively. Johnson is hitting .408 against SEC pitching and is tied with Jessica Bachkora for the team lead in runs scored with 26. Johnson is now one run behind former Arkansas softball player Dana Gulick on the career runs scored list.In her last seven games, Miranda Dixon has slammed six home runs including a two-homer performance against Oklahoma. She is tied with Cloer for the team lead with eight home runs and is now second with 28 RBI. In the circle, Dixon is 14-4 with a 2.88 ERA in 26 appearances this season. In 136 innings pitched, she has given up 147 hits and struck out 106 batters. Dixon picked up her fourth save of the season in the Razorbacks’ win over Oklahoma.Kim Jones has settled into the No. 2 position in the Arkansas rotation with 19 appearances, including 13 starts. The sophomore pitcher is 7-8 this season and in 95.2 innings pitched she carries a 3.15 ERA with 68 strikeouts. Jones was credited with the victory Wednesday against the Sooners. In 44 previous meetings, LSU (23-9-1, 8-5-1) holds the 37-7 advantage and has won six straight in the series. Arkansas’ last win against the Tigers come during the 2006 when the Razorbacks took two of three for their only series win against LSU. Arkansas has struggled with LSU at home, winning just four of 20 meetings in Fayetteville. Entering the conference season, the 44 matchups with the Tigers were the most for Arkansas against any other SEC team. LSU is led at the plate by Kirsten Shortridge who is hitting .410 with team highs of 50 hits, 63 total bases and 16 stolen bases. The Tiger junior is hitting .400 against SEC pitching to lead a quartet of LSU players—Shortridge, Jazz Jackson, Ashley Applegate and Rachel Mitchell—hitting better than .300 in league play. Anissa Young and Ashley Langoni are tied for the team lead with five home runs, while Mitchell has a team-best 24 RBI. The Tigers are hitting .281 as a team.In the circle, Brittany Mack leads LSU with a 10-1 record in 23 appearances. She carries a 2.60 ERA with 100 strikeouts in 86 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting just .191 against Mack. Cody Trahan is second on the team with 18 appearances and a 6-3 record. She leads the team with a 1.92 ERA and 91.1 innings pitched. As a collective staff, LSU has a 2.38 ERA this season.Saturday’s series finale will be televised by Cox Sports Television (CST) with first pitch scheduled for 12:07 p.m. The University of Arkansas will also officially ring in the Bogle Park era Saturday with the dedication of the Razorbacks’ new home field. An on-field ceremony in celebration of Bogle Park will begin at 11:15 a.m. For continued coverage and more information, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.



Sports Category : Softball