FAYETTEVILLE- For the first time this season, the Lady Razorback softball team hit multiple home runs in a game, as Arkansas (10-14, 0-3) closed the first Southeastern Conference series of the year with a 5-3 loss to South Carolina (18-9, 3-0), Wednesday, March 9, at Lady’Back Yard.
Two of the three Arkansas hits were home runs, and softball head coach Jamie Pinkerton said this wasn’t the Lady’Backs best performance of the year in the third game against a conference opponent.
“We struggled,” Pinkerton said. “We didn’t play well defensively, and outside of the home runs, we didn’t hit the ball. It seems like we are not making adjustments until our third at bat instead of our second.”
After a scoreless first inning, both Arkansas and South Carolina sparked their offenses. In the top of the second inning, South Carolina took a 1-0 lead on one hit, one base on balls and an error.
The Lady’Backs answered when designated player Barbara-Jean Southmayd walked with two outs. Freshman infielder Samantha Buckner then hit her second home run of the season to give Arkansas its first lead of the series 2-0. Buckner led the Lady’Backs with two hits.
South Carolina tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the fourth inning on two hits and one error.
Junior catcher Shana Easley gave the Lady’Backs a 3-2 lead as she hit her first home run of the year over the right center field wall.
Junior pitcher Valanna Lyons (6-8) recorded the loss, giving up two earned runs and eight hits in four and one-third innings of work.
Freshmen Kelly Ninemire and Katy Henry worked in relief. Henry had three strikeouts and gave up one hit in two complete innings.
The Gamecocks added three runs in the top of the fifth inning; on four hits including two doubles to take a 5-3 lead.
Arkansas travels to Auburn, Ala., for its first road SEC meeting. The Lady’Backs play Auburn, Saturday, March 12 at noon for a doubleheader.
For more information on Arkansas softball, log on to www.ladybacks.com.