FAYETTEVILLE— The Arkansas softball team split a pair of games Friday in the Razorback Invitational at Bogle Park.
The Razorbacks picked up a 9-1 win over Eastern Illinois in their home opener before falling 5-2 at the hands of No. 20/19 Louisiana-Lafayette.
In the first game of the day, Arkansas (9-7) captured the victory over EIU (6-4) behind solid starting pitching from junior Kim Jones (1-1) and seven runs in the first two innings.
A two-run home run by left fielder Brittany Robison highlighted a four-run bottom of the first as the Razorbacks jumped in front 4-0. Second baseman Courtney Breault also drove in a run with a single to center field.
Arkansas added three more in the second inning to take a 7-0 lead. The Hogs scored the first two runs of the inning without the benefit of an RBI. Left fielder Tori Mort advanced home on a passed ball, and center fielder Jessica Bachkora scored on an illegal pitch. Miranda Dixon drove in the final run of the inning with an RBI single to left, sending home first baseman Sandra Smith, who walked with one out.
Eastern Illinois tallied a run in the top of the third on an RBI groundout by first baseman Melinda Jackson.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Razorbacks stretched their lead to 8-1 on a sacrifice fly by pinch hitter Emily Jones. Robison scored after reaching base on a single. Robison finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
Jones worked a complete game, allowing one unearned run in six innings while striking out six. Bachkora also collected two hits for the Razorbacks.
In the second game of the day, Ragin’ Cajuns starting pitcher Donna Bourgeois (5-4) limited Arkansas to two runs on six hits while walking two and striking out seven.
Louisiana-Lafayette took an early lead with three runs in the top of the third inning. Third baseman Melissa Verde doubled to drive home center fielder Vallie Gaspard. A sacrifice fly by right fielder Christi Orgeron made the score 3-0 after pinch runner Courtney Trahan scored on a wild pitch.
The Ragin’ Cajuns added another run on a throwing error in the top of the fourth to make it 4-0.
Arkansas cut the lead in half in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single by Breault, followed by a run-scoring groundout by Robison.
ULL tacked on another run in the top of the seventh with an RBI double by Verde to go in front 5-2.
Razorbacks freshman Hope McLemore (4-3) took the loss after surrendering four runs (two earned) on eight hits in four innings. Fellow newcomer Chelsea Cohen worked the final three innings.
Arkansas returns to action Saturday beginning at 5:30 p.m. with a game against Iowa State, followed by a 7:30 matchup with Drake.