FAYETTEVILLE – The Razorbacks fell on Wednesday evening to Missouri State 2-1 after each of the Razorback pitchers saw time in the circle in preparation for the weekend series against No. 10 Florida.
Each of the first five innings for Arkansas went without a hit, and Arkansas pitcher Hope McLemore went two complete innings without a hit against her. Senior Layne McGuirt came in to relieve the sophomore with two complete innings for her own in the circle. Combined, McGuirt and McLemore tallied five strikeouts and just one hit.
"We just thought that with the Florida series coming up, that we’d just throw all four pitchers today," Arkansas coach Mike Larabee said. "Hope and Layne threw well today and Chelsea obviously had a rough outing today, but I know she is going to bounce back. She’s going to have to bounce back because she is going to have to throw some innings in Florida."
McGuirt allowed a double to left center in the top of the third, but came back in the top of the fourth with a perfect inning. Sophomore Chelsea Cohen came in, in the fifth inning and struggled in the circle. She allowed four singles in a row to score the Bears two runs of the day. Two singles to center put runners in scoring position when a deep base hit to right center drove in the runner from second. The next base hit mimicked the previous play to drive in the second run before Cohen got the Razorbacks out of the inning.
"It’s the same as has been going on all year; we are struggling at the plate. But I think Amanda Geile really got us going and got that big hit to left center field and Courtney Breault came in and did a really nice job getting that run home on a sacrifice fly. I think overall, we just did not swing as well as we’d like to."
Freshman Amanda Geile answered back for the Razorbacks in the home half of the sixth with a double to left center. Junior Tori Mort came in as the pinch runner on second before freshman Chloe Oprzedek put the ball in play for the Razorbacks and reached on an error by the Missouri State short stop.
Sophomore Courtney Breault came up as the pinch hitter to bring in Mort from third on a sacrifice fly. The RBI brings Breault’s total to 13 and she now holds three sacrifices on the season.
Senior pitcher Kim Jones came in to close the game for the Razorbacks with just one hit in her single inning in the circle. Jones helped hold the Bears lead and secure the one-run game a 2-1.
The Razorbacks next head to Gainesville, Fla. for the three-game weekend series against the No. 10/11 Florida Gators. Arkansas goes into the series with a 10-29 record on the season and 1-15 in conference play. Florida is sitting on a six-game losing streak after being swept by Southeastern Conference opponents two weekends in a row.
The first pitch is set for 4 p.m. on Friday with a 3 p.m. start time on Saturday and 1 p.m. to close out the series on Sunday. Live stats, audio and a live blog are all available for the road series.