FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas softball team is at the halfway point of its fall schedule and carries a 2-2 record after four games. The Razorbacks opened their fall slate Oct. 2 with wins over Butler CC and Evangel at Bogle Park. Last weekend, Arkansas traveled to Norman, Okla., where it dropped both games of a doubleheader to defending national champion Oklahoma.
The Razorbacks have four games remaining on their 2013 fall schedule, split between a pair of doubleheaders against Oklahoma State and Louisiana Tech. Arkansas’ doubleheader against OSU is slated for Oct. 20 and will start at 1 p.m. (CT) at Bogle Park. The team will then travel to Texarkana, Ark., for an Oct. 26 doubleheader with Louisiana Tech. Those games will be played at Arkansas High School, also beginning at 1 p.m.
Head Coach Mike LarabeeOn the start of fall competition…"One of our priorities this fall was to strengthen our defense. We’ve played 26 innings so far and committed just one error. I’m very, very pleased with that. Over the first couple of games, we didn’t have any errors, we swung the bats well and the pitching was fantastic. This past weekend, we went over and lost two to Oklahoma but there were a lot of bright spots. Number one, I thought it was humbling to see where we were. You can schedule however you want in the fall but I think it’s good for the team to go out and play great competition. We realize we have a ways to go after playing Oklahoma. We only had one error in those two games but I think the highlight for us was the play of our younger players."
On young player responding to tough competition…"I’m very encouraged. Last year, they were watching (Oklahoma) on ESPN win a national championship. They could have gone into those games in awe of Oklahoma but they didn’t. They went in like it was any other team. I really wanted to put them in that competitive environment to see how they would react because if they could perform against Oklahoma, they aren’t going to miss a beat come February and SEC season."
On work to be done before Oct. 20 doubleheader against Oklahoma State…"We’ve put a lot of time into the defense because that’s been a priority. We’ll keep putting in that time but it was evident that we need to swing the bats a little bit more. Looking back at the video, Oklahoma’s pitchers did a really nice job of locating their pitches so we’ll come back and start swinging the bats more. Hopefully, we’ll get the mix and balance of offense and defense."
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