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Lady’Backs close out fall with three wins

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Lady’Backs close out fall with three wins

FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas softball team closed out its fall season with three wins Saturday at Lady’Back Yard. The Lady Razorbacks (11-0) had two shutouts on the day defeating Rogers State 2-1, Oklahoma State 1-0 and Missouri State 3-0. “There were games this fall that we looked really good,” said head coach Jamie Pinkerton. “What I learned about this team is even the times when I thought the intensity was lacking, we did what we had to do to win. With the competition we played, the pitchers we faced and going 11-0, I think this is the best fall that we’ve had in my time here.” In the first game of the day, Rogers State took a 1-0 lead on Arkansas in the top of the fourth inning when Megan Wood singled to right center scoring Mandy Clark from second. Clark pinch ran for Tanya Koch who reached base after being hit by a pitch. Trailing by one run in the bottom of the seventh, junior Kayla Johnson led off the inning with a base hit to left field. Senior Samantha Buckner reached base on a sacrifice bunt before pinch runner Layne McGuirt relieved her on the base path. Cloer then got to first on a Hillcat error and Johnson scored on the play. With runners on first and third, freshman Lauren Iverson singled to right field to score McGuirt for the winning run. Sophomore Brittany Robison tallied two hits and senior Katy Henry earned her third win of the fall in the circle. Henry threw a complete game giving up one run on two hits and striking out 10. “Rogers State was the first time this fall we’ve played an early game and we came out a little sluggish,” said Pinkerton. “I didn’t really like our intensity, but I have to tip my cap to the team because in the seventh inning we were able to come back and score two runs to win. I was really proud of the way we fought in the last inning.” Against Oklahoma State, Arkansas got on the board first. In the third inning sophomore Jessica Bachkora led off with a single, followed by a line-drive base hit by Johnson to right field. Both runners advanced on a groundout by sophomore Sandra Smith. Bachkora then scored from third on a wild pitch for the 1-0 lead. OSU had runners in scoring position in the first, sixth and seventh innings, but a solid Arkansas defense kept the Cowgirls scoreless throughout the game. Kim Jones pitched her first complete-game shut out to improve to 3-0 in the fall season. Jones allowed just one hit and struck out four. “I put Kim in that spot because I wanted to see what she could do against a quality, Big 12 opponent and she passed the test,” said Pinkerton. “When she got behind in the count she was able to fight her way back and get into a favorable situation to get the out.” The Lady’Backs out hit OSU 8-1. Johnson and Smith were both 2-for-3. In the nightcap against Missouri State, Arkansas pushed one run across the plate in the fourth with an RBI single from freshman Leslie Dixon. Dixon scored Smith who reached on an error, advanced to second on an illegal pitch and to third on a single from senior Dayna Huckabee. Bachkora led off the sixth inning with a double to left center to heat things up for the Lady’Backs. Johnson followed firing a single up the middle to score Bachkora. Huckabee then got her second hit of the game, moving Johnson to second. A wild pitch from Missouri State advanced both runners two bases to put Arkansas up 3-0. Sophomore Miranda Dixon got her fourth victory of the fall throwing a complete game and allowing just four hits with eight strike outs. “Throughout the day we got better,” Pinkerton said. “We hit the ball and took advantage of what Missouri State gave us.” The Lady’Backs return to the diamond to begin the regular season Feb 8-10 at the Century Bank Classic in Texarkana, Ark. “I’m fired up to get into the off season, work on some things individually and get ready for the season opener against UAB,” said Pinkerton. For more information about Arkansas softball, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Softball