NORMAN, OKLA. – Sophomore catcher Whitney Cloer paced the University of Arkansas softball team with two hits in a doubleheader against No. 6 Oklahoma Wednesday.
The Lady Razorbacks (5-12) dropped two quick games, 14-0 and 10-2, to the sixth ranked, undefeated Sooners (18-0).
With winds at 22 miles per hour and gusts at 34 mph, Arkansas had trouble early in game one with three high-hit fly balls. In the bottom of the second inning one hit ended up in an Arkansas error, the other was ruled a double and junior Dayna Huckabee made a diving catch near home plate on the third ball to earn the putout.
With two runners on and two outs, lead-off batter Norrelle Dickson was hit by the pitch for the second time on the day, loading the bases. Back-to-back singles by the Sooners two and three batters pushed three unearned runs across the plate as Oklahoma took the 3-0 lead.
“After the first inning of the first game we didn’t stop them,” said head coach Jamie Pinkerton. “They’re a good team, but I don’t feel like we came out with the intensity to play well today.”
The Sooners tacked on eight runs off of six hits in the third inning for an 11-0 lead. The highlight for Oklahoma was a Savannah Long two-run home run to left field.
In the fourth inning Samantha Ricketts hit a three-run blast to right field, already her 6th home run of the year, putting the Sooners up by 14 runs.
Katy Henry (4-5) got the start and the loss on the mound for Arkansas.
D.J. Mathis picked up her fifth win of the season, pitching a no-hitter with seven strikeouts for Oklahoma.
Sophomore Hillary Freeman was the only Lady’Back to reach base in game one. She touched first base on a walk.
In game two, Oklahoma scored at least one run every inning.
The Sooners took the 1-0 lead after the first inning. Amanda Flores hit a triple that bounced off the left field fence followed by an RBI double to right center by Ricketts which scored Flores from third.
In the top of the second, Arkansas quickly evened the score 1-1. On two outs sophomore Whitney Cloer got the first Lady’Back hit of the day, a double over the center fielder. Freshman Miranda Dixon then hit a towering fly ball behind third base that the Oklahoma shortstop dropped for an error allowing Cloer to score from second base.
The Sooners regained the lead, 3-1, in the bottom of the second inning after Stacia Aleman reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on a double to right center by Susan Ogden. Ogden crossed home plate on a sacrifice fly to left field by Traci Dickenson.
Two Arkansas errors and two Oklahoma base hits scored another Sooner run in the third, giving OU the 4-1 lead.
The Lady’Backs got one run back in the top of the fourth after freshman Jessica Bachkora scored from third base on a single to left field by Cloer. Bachkora reached on a single to right center, advanced to second on a stolen base and to third on a throwing error by the OU catcher.
A third error and a passed ball by the Lady’Backs gave OU the 6-2 lead after four innings of play.
In the fifth, three singles and a three-run walk-off home run ended the game 10-2.
OU pitcher Lauren Eckermann improved to 10-0, while Arkansas’ starting pitcher, Dixon, fell to 1-6.
Cloer was 2-for 3 on the day with a double, one run and one RBI. Bachkora collected the other Lady’Back hit and run.
“I want to at least give Cloer credit for going 2-for-3 on the day,” said Pinkerton.
The Lady’Backs return to action Friday, March 2 hosting the Holiday Inn Express-Arkansas Invitational. Arkansas welcomes Northern Iowa and Louisiana-Monroe.
For more information about Arkansas softball, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.