FAYETTEVILLE-Sophomore infielder Dayna Huckabee hit a two-RBI double in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the University of Arkansas softball team (5-8) a 3-2 win over Missouri State (6-4), Sunday, Feb. 26, in the final game of the Lady’Back Invitational. The team also defeated Missouri-Kansas City, 3-0.
Arkansas head coach Jamie Pinkerton said he was pleased with the leadership and performances in the circle in the Lady’Backs first home tournament of the season.
“We got pitching,” he said. “In the bottom of the seventh, Blaire came though like a senior should. Then Huckabee comes up and get the game-winner.”
Missouri State broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning with two runs on two hits. The Bears took advantage of a Lady’Back error and two walks.
Arkansas answered in the fifth inning when the Lady’Backs cut into Missouri State’s lead. Senior Blaire Perry started the rally with a single and freshman catcher Whitney Cloer followed with a base hit. The Lady’Backs loaded the bases when senior outfielder Mindy O’Malley was hit by a pitch. With two outs, junior outfielder Rachel LeMaster came to the plate and recorded her first hit of the game to score Perry.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Perry hit a leadoff single before Cloer knocked a double to right field placing the winning run in scoring position. Huckabee finished the game 1-for-3.
Perry threw three and two-thirds innings and gave up one earned run. Sophomore Katy Henry (2-2) took the win in relief.
Pinkerton said he was delighted with improvement he saw in the Lady’Backs this weekend. Arkansas was two runs away from going undefeated.
“With the progress this young team has made, I’m happy with that,” he said. “We had a good weekend finishing 4-1 and we got better.”
Against UMKC, the Lady’Backs took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when senior catcher Shana Easley hit a double that scored LeMaster. She recorded a leadoff walk and a stolen base.
Arkansas added two runs on three hits in the third inning. Easley was 2-for-4 with two RBIs while LeMaster contributed two hits.
In a complete game performance, junior Kayce Odle (2-2) gave up only one-hit and logged a season-high eight strikeouts.
In other news, North Dakota State pitcher Amber Garrett threw a perfect game in a 1-0 win over Drake. Garrett’s accomplishment is the first perfect game at Lady’Back Yard in recent memory.
For more information on Arkansas softball, log on to LADYBACKS.COM.