comscore script

Lady’Backs Take Two in Fall Finale

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Lady’Backs Take Two in Fall Finale

FAYETTEVILLE-The University of Arkansas softball team finished the fall season with two wins in the third fall scrimmage of the preseason Oct. 2 at Lady’Back Yard. In game one, the Lady Razorbacks lost to Carl Albert 1-0 and won the final two games of the day when Arkansas defeated Evangel University 1-0 and Southwest Missouri State 5-0. Head coach Jamie Pinkerton said he was happy with the conclusion of the fall season as the Lady’Backs shutout SMS. “We did want we talked about all fall,” he said. “We were perfect in all three facets. Our offense, defense and pitching were solid.” Sophomore Sarah Topham (3-0) paced the Lady’Backs as she allowed one hit in a complete game. The lefthander retired the first 10 batters she faced in the nightcap. Topham only allowed one hit in three appearances in the fall. Offensively, the Lady’Backs exploded for three runs in the fifth inning when junior Barbara-Jean Southmayd knocked a double to centerfield to score senior Stephanie Hunter from second. Hunter started the fifth inning with an infield single. With Southmayd at second, sophomore Kallie Foglesong slammed a homerun over the leftfield wall. Pinkerton said he like the offensive power the Lady’Backs showed in the fifth inning. “B.J. started a rally with a double and Kallie finished with her homerun,” he said. “It was good to see that we could score runs in bunches.” In the first game, Carl Albert edged the Lady’Backs after the Lady Vikings scored a run in the top of the first inning. Arkansas never recovered from the first inning hole as the Lady’Backs stranded nine runners on base. Pinkerton said the Lady’Backs were not prepared for the final scrimmage of the fall season. “Game one was a situation where we came out and their pitcher kept us off balance and we didn’t adjust,” he said. “We didn’t play well in any facet of the game.” In her first start, freshman Kelly Ninemire (1-1) recorded her first loss as she allowed five hits in three innings. Junior Linzee Roby threw the last four innings with three strikeouts and three hits. Junior Mindy O’Malley knocked two of the Lady’Backs five hits against the Lady Vikings. Senior Ashley Carter, freshmen Samantha Buckner and Dayna Huckabee contributed hits in a losing effort. Pinkerton said the first loss of the preseason in game one was due to the lack of intensity that the Lady’Backs brought to the field. “I don’t think we showed up ready to set the tone for the day,” Pinkerton said. In game two of the day, the Lady’Backs corrected the first game mistakes as junior Valanna Lyons (2-0) led the charge against Evangel. Lyons threw her second complete game of the preseason after fanning 12 and allowing three hits. Lyons has not allowed a run in the fall. Pinkerton said Lyons paced the Lady’Backs to a win in the circle after she continued to faze batters. “Valanna Lyons set the tone with her pitching,” Pinkerton said. “She’s been doing it all fall and she did it again.” In the top of the fifth inning, Carter doubled to rightfield and scored when Topham hit a shot to leftfield. Offensively, five Lady’Backs supplied hits while only leaving three runners on base. Pinkerton said he was happy with the Lady’Back performance in game two with the exception of the offense. “We had good pitching and defense but we struggled at the plate,” he said. “We were fortunate to scratch out a hit and win.” Pinkerton said the Lady’Back pitching was a bright spot for the team and he looks for that trend to continue in the spring. “Sarah Topham and Valanna Lyons had a fantastic fall,” he said. “This team will do well if the upperclassmen throw like that.” The Lady’Backs begin the 2005 season Feb. 4 at the California Polytechnic State Tournament in San Luis Obispo, Calif. For more information on Arkansas softball, log on to www.ladybacks.com.



Sports Category : Softball