FAYETTEVILLE — The Arkansas softball team will host the first of two-non conference tournaments at Bogle Park beginning with the Razorback Invitational Friday through Sunday. The Razorbacks (8-6) will welcome teams from Eastern Illinois, Louisiana-Lafayette, Iowa State, Drake and Southern Mississippi. “This is going to be a great tournament this weekend,” Arkansas coach Mike Larabee said. “We are going to face a lot of quality teams. It is going to be a lot of fun. I am anxious to play in front of our home fans.”Arkansas is coming off a 3-2 weekend at the NFCA Lead-Off Classic in Columbus, Ga., picking up victories over Nebraska, Central Florida and Iowa. Senior first baseman Sandra Smith finished the weekend 7-for-16 (.438) with a double and team-high six RBIs. Shortstop Brittany Griffiths also batted over .300 for the weekend, going 4-for-13 with five runs scored, a home run and one RBI.“It was a pretty solid weekend for us,” Larabee said. “We still need to clean things up defensively. We communicate a lot to our team about giving teams what they deserve and we had a couple situations where we gave up four or five out innings. We need to reduce those chances.” In the opening game of the tournament, the Razorbacks will play Eastern Illinois (5-3) with first pitch scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Arkansas will then take on No. 20/19 Louisiana-Lafayette (10-5) at 7:30 p.m. On the second day of the event, Arkansas will play Iowa State (7-9) at 5:30 p.m., followed by Drake (6-3) at 7:30 p.m. The Razorbacks will close competition with a 1 p.m. matchup Sunday against Southern Mississippi (11-2).Arkansas will face both unfamiliar and familiar teams this weekend as they open up an eight-game home stand. The Razorbacks lead the all-time series against Iowa State 1-0 after defeating the Cyclones 2-1 in a matchup at the Metrodome Classic earlier this season. Arkansas also faced Drake at the Metrodome Classic, falling 2-1 in a tough matchup. The two teams were scheduled to play against at the North Texas/Sleep Inn Classic but the game was rained out. Arkansas still holds a 4-3 edge all time over the Bulldogs. Arkansas also holds a 4-3 lead all-time in its series with Southern Mississippi. The Golden Eagles were 26-28-2 last season. Arkansas last faced Southern Miss in 2009 when the teams split a pair of games at the Southern Miss Invitational in Hattiesburg, Miss. Eastern Illinois and Arkansas will play for the first time on Friday. The Panthers held a record of 25-29 last season and are 5-3 in 2010. Sunday’s game will be the first meet between Arkansas and No. 18 Louisiana-Lafayette. The Ragin’ Cajuns are 10-5 this season after going 34-23 last year.All Arkansas games will be broadcast on ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Rankings are based on the ESPN.com/USA Softball and USA Today/NFCA collegiate softball polls released Tuesday.
2010 Razorback Invitational
Friday, March 5, 20109:30 am Drake vs. Southern Mississippi 11:30 am Iowa State vs. Eastern Illinois 1:30 pm Iowa State vs. Southern Mississippi 3:30 pm Drake vs. Louisiana Lafayette 5:30 pm Eastern Illinois vs. Arkansas 7:30 pm Louisiana Lafayette vs. Arkansas
Saturday, March 6, 2010 9:30 am Southern Mississippi vs. Eastern Illinois 11:30 am Louisiana Lafayette vs. Eastern Illinois 1:30 pm Drake vs. Iowa State 3:30 pm Southern Mississippi vs. Louisiana Lafayette 5:30 pm Iowa State vs. Arkansas 7:30 pm Arkansas vs. Drake
Sunday, March 7, 2010 9:00 am Louisiana Lafayette vs. Iowa State 11:00 am Eastern Illinois vs. Drake 1:00 pm Southern Mississippi vs. Arkansas