FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas softball team fell to South Carolina 4-1 Sunday at Lady’Back Yard.
The Gamecocks’s pitching staff kept the Lady Razorbacks’ offense quiet all weekend as USC (23-3, 3-0 SEC) completed a three-game sweep of the Lady’Backs (10-17, 0-3 SEC).
“We didn’t make the adjustments we needed to at the plate and today was the second time we saw this pitcher,” said head coach Jamie Pinkerton. “It’s time for us to look in the mirror and toughen up. We need to get better at coming back after something bad happens in the game.”
The Lady’Backs got off to a 1-0 lead when on one out in the bottom of the fourth inning, freshman Jessica Bachkora became the first Lady’Back to reach base. Bachkora got to first on a fielding error by the South Carolina shortstop. She then stole second base for her 13th stolen base of the year before junior Dayna Huckabee hit a towering fly ball to shallow right field that dropped out of the right fielder’s glove. Bachkora scored on the play for the 1-0 lead.
The next inning South Carolina answered, taking the 2-1 advantage.
South Carolina’s Becky Martinez doubled down the left field line with one out in the fifth. After Henry fanned her second batter of the inning for two outs, pinch hitter Jessica Josker singled just over the head of shortstop Brittany Robison, driving in Martinez from second. Lead-off batter Ashton Payne then hit a double through the left side scoring Josker and putting the Gamecocks up by one run.
In the top of the seventh South Carolina added two more unearned runs for the 4-1 lead after the ball was thrown away by an Arkansas infielder, allowing Jacqueline Wetherbee and Josker, who both singled in the inning, to score.
South Carolina’s starting pitcher, Melissa Hendon (9-1) had a no hitter going into the bottom of the seventh inning when freshman Miranda Dixon broke it up with a single that dropped into right field. Sophomore Whitney Cloer followed Dixon with another single to center field. Hendon allowed just those two hits and struck out six before she was relieved by Kate Pouliot who pitched to the final batter and earned the save.
Junior Katy Henry’s record evened to 7-7 with the loss. Henry allowed four runs on seven hits and fanned eight batters.
The Lady’Backs return to the diamond Wednesday facing Western Illinois in a doubleheader at Lady’Back Yard. Non-conference action begins at 3 p.m.
For more information about Arkansas softball, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.