FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas softball team won its first ever series over No. 11 LSU, when the Lady Razorbacks (26-29, 10-16) won the nightcap, 3-2 in nine innings, Wednesday, April 26. The Tigers (45-9, 18-6) took game one, 4-3.
Arkansas softball head coach Jamie Pinkerton commended the Lady’Back squad, especially the top of the lineup which consisted of senior outfielder Mindy O’Malley, junior outfielder Rachel LeMaster and freshman infielder Kayla Johnson. The trio accounted for 10 of the 18 hits in the twinbill.
“They are a gritty bunch,” he said. “The top three hitters did a really good job. We rallied the troops and had a complete game effort.
The second game was scoreless until the fourth inning when junior outfielder Leslie Klein hit a two-run home run to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead. The Lady’Backs tied the game, 2-2, on Johnson’s two-run home run, which was her first career home run.
Pinkerton said he thought Johnson’s home run was a turning point and he initially thought it was caught by senior outfielder Camille Harris, who made three diving catches in the doubleheader.
“It got the momentum back,” he said. “We had to make plays. I thought it was important that the kids kept plugging away.”
With the game tied at 2-2 in the ninth, O’Malley leadoff the inning with walk then LeMaster and Johnson reached on a pair of errors to load the bases for senior infielder Shana Easley. O’Malley scored the winning run when the Tigers committed their third consecutive error.
Sophomore Katy Henry (15-14) went the distance for the Lady’Backs while giving up only four hits and recording three strikeouts. She now has 202 strikeouts this season, which is third in the Arkansas record books for strikeouts in a season. Offensively, O’Malley, LeMaster and senior Blaire Perry each had a pair of hits in the game.
In the first game, the Lady’Backs used two hits to take an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. With the bases loaded, Perry drove in two runs after a single down the left field line.
Sophomore infielder Dayna Huckabee gave Arkansas a 3-0 advantage with a solo home run over the center field wall. Huckabee now has four home runs this season.
LSU used a big fifth inning to take its first lead of the game, 4-3. The Tigers recorded five hits including two doubles.
Perry started the game and threw four and two-thirds innings before Henry (14-14) relieved her. Henry took the loss after giving up a run in the fifth inning. At the plate, O’Malley and LeMaster both recorded a pair of hits.
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