GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Arkansas softball team attempted to win its first series over Florida since 2000 but the Lady Razorbacks came up short falling in 10 innings, 3-2, Sunday, March 26, in Gainesville, Fla.
Junior outfielder Rachel LeMaster led the Lady’Backs (16-16, 5-7) with three hits while the Gators (26-11, 5-4) used a sacrifice fly to win the game.
Arkansas softball head coach Jamie Pinkerton said the squad needs to keep the pressure on opposing teams. The Lady’Backs captured early leads in all three games of the series.
“We didn’t make the plays when we needed to and we didn’t get the big hit when we needed to,” he said. “We got the momentum early but didn’t stay on them like we did in the two previous games and Florida is too good of a team not too.”
In the second inning, Arkansas went up 2-0 using four hits. Sophomore infielder Dayna Huckabee gave the Lady’Backs a 1-0 lead with a double down the left field line that scored senior outfielder Blaire Perry. After aggressive base running, Huckabee crossed the plate on a wild pitch.
The Gators tied the game, 2-2, in the fourth inning on two hits and a Lady’Back error. The defenses dominated in the late innings until Florida scored after the international tie-breaker rule was implemented in the 10th-inning.
Offensively, freshman infielder Kayla Johnson contributed two hits to the Lady’Back cause while freshman catcher Whitney Cloer also recorded a hit.
Sophomore right-hander Katy Henry (9-6) took the loss while throwing a complete game. Henry had five strikeouts and gave up nine hits.
Pinkerton said he was pleased with the weeklong road trip overall but knew the Lady’Backs had a chance to sweep. Arkansas returns home before traveling to Tulsa, Okla., Wednesday, March 29, for the Border War.
“I think we had a successful trip and it’s bittersweet because we could have been 6-0 and not 3-3,” he said. “We had opportunities to win them all but we didn’t take advantage.”
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