LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The University of Arkansas (4-5) could not hold off No.14 Oregon (9-1) or Long Beach State (6-1) in the second day of the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las Vegas, Nev.
UA struggled to hold a lead in the later innings of the first game after commanding each of the first four innings.
"We jumped out to a 5-0 lead and I expect to win those type of games," Arkansas coach Mike Larabee said, "but you have to give credit to Oregon. They battled back. They were a super Regional team last year."
The Hogs were able to get on the board first thanks to freshmen Chloe Oprzedek who drove in two runs off a single to left field in the home half of the second inning.
Arkansas added three more runs in the bottom of the third after Jayme Gee drew a walk with the bases loaded followed by a wild pitch from Oregon. Oprzedek brought home her third run of the day with a single to right field to give the Hogs their biggest lead at 5-0.
Oregon finally lit up the board with a three-run homer in the top of the fifth inning to tighten the gap to 5-3. The Ducks were not done however, as they plated seven runs in the next three at-bats to take over the lead going into the bottom of the seventh. Arkansas answered in its half of the inning by scoring a run off a wild pitch. Jayme Gee collected her second RBI of the game to force extra innings against the Ducks.
"To get behind by two runs and then to be able to come back and match is really good for our team this early in the year," said Larabee.
In the top of the eighth, the Ducks were able to bunt around their free runner at second and bring in the run. The Hogs were not able to do the same in the bottom of the eighth, giving Oregon its ninth win of the season.
Game TwoArkansas suffered its second loss of the day against Long Beach State (6-1) in five innings 11-0. The back-to-back games in the desert proved to be too much for the Hogs after picking up only four hits against the 49ers.
"It was a tough loss," coach Larabee said "We didn’t pitch very well, we didn’t hit very well and we didn’t play defense very well. When the three of those areas aren’t going well for you, it’s pretty difficult to win."
Senior Becca Carden was able to pick up two of the Razorbacks hits, while Brittany Griffiths and Stephanie Brewer were the only other two to connect. LBSU began the assault in their half of the second inning by plating four runs. The 49ers later brought another run to the board in the fourth before they picked up the next six runs in the bottom of the fifth to end the game with a walk-off grand slam.
"We just need to rebound and come back and play Razorback softball like we are capable of playing and finish out the tournament strong tomorrow morning," Larabee said.
The Razorbacks play their final game of the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. against the Utah Utes.