LEXINGTON, KY- Senior outfielder Mindy O’Malley paced the University of Arkansas softball with six hits as the Lady Razorbacks defeated Kentucky, 2-1 and 2-0, Saturday, April 15 in Lexington, Ky.
Arkansas (21-26, 7-13) won its second Southeastern Conference series of the season and its third straight series over the Wildcats (19-26, 3-18).
In game one, Kentucky scored first with one run on one hit and the Wildcats took advantage of a Lady’Back error to go ahead, 1-0, in the first inning.
The Lady’Backs responded in the top of the second inning with two runs on four hits to take the lead, 2-1. O’Malley highlighted the inning with a RBI-double.
Freshman infielder Sandra Smith began the charge with a single. Freshman infielder Brandy Baze followed with a base hit after she put down a bunt. O’Malley then drove in freshman pinch runner Brandy Foust and scored on junior outfielder Rachel LeMaster’s single.
Arkansas softball head coach Jamie Pinkerton said he was happy with the Lady’Backs performance after the series opener.
“I was real proud of the kids and how they bounced back when we had our backs against the wall,” he said. “Mindy O’Malley was huge. O’Malley and LeMaster created pressure and that took some heat off the rest of the lineup.”
Senior Blaire Perry (6-8) earned the win with seven strikeouts and threw sixth and one-third innings. Sophomore Katy Henry came in and collected her fourth save of the season as she recorded two strikeouts.
O’Malley led the Lady’Back offense with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate while LeMaster contributed a pair of hits.
In the second game, the game was scoreless until the top of the fifth inning when Arkansas took a 2-0 lead on three hits including a pair of doubles.
Freshman infielder Kayla Johnson’s first hit of the series was a two-RBI double that gave the Lady’Backs the advantage. O’Malley and LeMaster scored after they recorded a double and single, respectively.
In the shutout, Henry (11-12) threw a complete game with eight strikeouts. Offensively, O’Malley was 3-for-4 and Smith was 2-for-2.
Pinkerton said he was pleased with Henry, who was effective in both games of the doubleheader while he credits the senior class for directing the squad.
“Katy was great,” he said. “She had a couple key strikeouts in relief and she pitched a great second game. Overall, it was a great team effort and we had great senior leadership.”
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