FAYETTEVILLE-On a rainy day in northwest Arkansas, the University of Arkansas softball team ended the Lady’Back Invitational Sunday, Feb. 26 with an 8-0 run-rule over Louisiana-Monroe in five innings. The Arkansas and Missouri-Kansas City game was canceled due to rain in the third inning.
Arkansas jumped to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when junior outfielder Mindy O’Malley started the game by taking advantage of a Louisiana-Monroe error that allowed her to advance to third. Sophomore infielder Rachel LeMaster followed with a RBI, infield single.
Senior infielder Ashley Carter reached on an error and went around the bases to score on a stolen base giving the Lady’Backs a 2-0 lead.
Junior Valanna Lyons began the game by giving up two hits in the first inning but shutout the Lady Indians in her fifth win of the year.
Arkansas softball head coach Jamie Pinkerton said he was happy with the Lady’Backs performance. Arkansas improved to 7-8 after defeating Louisiana-Monroe.
“Valanna threw really well despite the conditions,” Pinkerton said. “We played well defensively and took advantage of ULM’s mistakes. I was really pleased with the weekend.”
The Lady’Backs added two runs in the third inning on two Louisiana-Monroe errors. Carter started the Arkansas rally when she reached and advanced to second on a Lady Indians error.
Junior catcher Shana Easley, freshmen infielders Dayna Huckabee and Samantha Buckner drew walks. Then Easley scored when sophomore pitcher Jennifer Braley made a bad toss to the plate on senior Zenobia Davison’s slap hit.
Despite a 4-0 lead, Arkansas only had one hit when the Lady’Backs entered the bottom of the fourth inning, but the runs like the rain poured in. Arkansas tallied four runs on four hits.
Sophomore infielder Kallie Foglesong hit the first of three Lady’Back singles with Buckner recording a double.
With the bases loaded, Carter scored on another Louisiana-Monroe error. Buckner then doubled to left center scoring Easley and Huckabee with Southmayd scoring on an error giving Arkansas an 8-0 lead.
In the second game, Arkansas was leading 6-1 in the bottom of the third inning when the game was canceled. Unofficially, freshman Kelly Ninemire started her first career game.
The Lady’Backs travel to Norman, Okla., Wednesday, March 2, to meet No. 14 Oklahoma for a 3 p.m. doubleheader.
For more information on Arkansas softball, log on to www.ladybacks.com.