TEXARKANA, ARK. – The University of Arkansas softball team hit four home runs in the first of two wins against Centenary College on Sunday afternoon at Lady Razorback Field in Texarkana, Ark.
Senior Samantha Buckner, sophomore Sandra Smith, junior Kayla Johnson and sophomore Miranda Dixon each homered in a 13-1, six-inning win against Centenary, breaking the school record for most home runs in a game. The Lady Razorbacks won game two 9-1, improving their record to 5-1. Centenary fell to 0-6.
“We really stressed coming out and being intense and focused today,” said head coach Jamie Pinkerton. “They did a really good job after coming off two really tough, hard-fought wins yesterday. The mantra today was finish and they came out and did that.”
Buckner got the Lady’Backs out to a 1-0 lead in game one with a solo home run in the top of the second inning, marking her second homer already this year.
Allison Shepperd evened the score at one apiece with a solo home run of her own in the bottom of the inning.
The home runs continued in the third inning as Smith went yard to retake the lead, 2-1. Senior Dayna Huckabee walked and moved to third on a double down the left-field line by Dixon. Buckner then hit a fly ball to foul territory in right field scoring Huckabee for the 3-1 lead.
In the fourth inning, junior Hillary Freeman led off with a single into left field before Johnson hit a two-run shot to put the Lady’Backs up 5-1.
Dixon was not going to be left out and in the top of the fifth inning hit her third home run of the year. Buckner followed with a double off the left-center fence and scored on a wild pitch increasing Arkansas’ lead to 7-1.
In the sixth, Johnson led off with a double before Smith singled to right center scoring Johnson from second. The Lady’Backs loaded the bases with a walk by Dixon and a single by Buckner. Freshman Lauren Chisom was hit by the pitch and earned an RBI. Junior Jocelyne Moncrief and sophomore Jessica Bachkora both walked, scoring two more runs. Moncrief then crossed the plate on a wild pitch for the 13-1 advantage.
Senior Katy Henry started in the circle for the Lady’Backs winning her fourth game. She threw five innings, giving up just one run and fanning eight. Freshman Layne McGuirt relieved Henry in the sixth, facing and striking out three batters.
Stacy Whitmer was the losing pitcher for Centenary.
After Centenary scored one run in the first inning of game two, Arkansas came out with the bats in the bottom of the inning. Walks by Bachkora and Johnson started things off, followed by a line-drive single to the outfield from Smith that scored Bachkora. Dixon doubled down the left-field line to knock in Johnson and Smith. Buckner singled to score Dixon before she crossed home plate on a Centenary error.
The Lady’Backs added three runs in the second inning. Johnson led off with a single up the middle. Dixon was intentionally walked on two outs and Buckner was hit by the pitch to load the bases. Sophomore Teighynne Hulsey drew a walk, allowing Johnson to cross home plate. After Centenary overthrew first, Dixon and Buckner scored to make the score 8-1.
Smith put Arkansas up by eight in the third inning with her third home run of the year, a solo home run to left field.
Dixon (1-1) picked up her first win of the year, throwing four innings. She gave up one run and struck out four and was relieved by McGuirt in the fifth. McGuirt fanned two, facing five batters.
Ryan Thacker earned the loss for Centenary.
“I was real impressed with this team over the weekend,” said Pinkerton.
Buckner led the Lady’Backs today, going 5-for-5 with a double, a home run, three RBI and three runs. Smith was 4-for-6 with two home runs and four RBI.
“Buckner and Smith brought their game today and did a really good job offensively,” Pinkerton said. “We’re going to need that type of production from the middle of our lineup.”
The Lady’Backs return to action Friday with three games at the University of Minnesota Metrodome Classic in Minneaoplis, Minn.
For more information about Arkansas softball, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.