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LeMaster breaks career stolen base record; Lady’Backs fall at Ole Miss

BY ANDRES FOCIL
LeMaster breaks career stolen base record; Lady’Backs fall at Ole Miss

OXFORD, MISS. – University of Arkansas senior outfielder Rachel LeMaster broke the career stolen base record with the 73rd stolen base of her career Sunday, in Oxford, Miss., but a walk-off grand slam home run in the bottom of the seventh inning doomed the Lady Razorback softball team asit wasdefeated by the University of Mississippi 7-4. The Lady’Backs were in perfect position for a win as they led the entire game, and had a 4-2 lead entering the bottom of the seventh. Ole Miss, however, protected their home field producing five runs on three hits in the bottom of the seventh to pull out ahead. After winning today’s game and game two of Saturday’s doubleheader Ole Miss took the series victory, improving to 20-25 overall and 10-10 in the SEC, while the Lady’Backs fell to 18-35 overall and 5-14 in league play. “We had an opportunity to close the door and we didn’t do it today,” said head coach Jamie Pinkerton. “I was pleased with our efforts on offense.” LeMaster earned her 20th stolen base of the season and the 73rd of her career after stealing second base in the top of the first inning. She beat the previous record of 72 set by Dana Gulick from 1997-2000. “I’m happy for Rachel, said Pinkerton. “It shows her speed and means that she’s had a good career of getting on base. Hopefully she’ll be able to break a few more records before her career is over.” The Lady’Backs jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning of the rubber game, behind a two-RBI single by sophomore Kayla Johnson. To lead off the inning, LeMaster walked to reach base and then stole second, marking the new Lady’Back record. Freshman Jessica Bachkora then reached base on a fielder’s choice as LeMaster aggressively took two bases and drew the throw to third. Bachkora stole second, putting runners on second and third before Johnson singled up the middle, scoring LeMaster and Bachkora. In the bottom of the second, Lauren Grill led off the inning with a single to left center and was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Grill moved to third on a single in the infield by Amber Tramp before Lauren Rowe hit a long fly ball to left field, scoring Grill on a sacrifice fly and making the score 2-1. The Lady’Backs increased their lead to 3-1 in the fourth inning. Johnson led off with walk and advanced to second on a single by freshman Miranda Dixon down the left field line. Junior Dayna Huckabee then advanced both runners into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt before junior Samantha Buckner stepped to the plate, hitting an RBI single to left field that scored Johnson. Arkansas plated another run in the top of the sixth inning behind a lead-off single by Dixon. With Dixon on first, Huckabee reached base on a walk. Buckner then reached on a fielder’s choice, advancing Dixon to third, while Huckabee was out on the play. With one out, freshman Brittany Robison earned an RBI with a ground out to the shortstop as Dixon scored from third on the play. The Rebels scored one run on two outs in the bottom of the sixth as Mary Jane Callahan singled, followed by back-to-back walks to load the bases. Grill then singled through the left side scoring Callahan from third and narrowing the Lady’Back lead 4-2. The Lady’Backs were scoreless in the top half of the seventh. In the bottom half of the inning, Tramp led off with a single into left field and Rowe followed with a double to left center. Junior Katy Henry then fanned her fifth and sixth batters of the game, giving the Lady’Backs two outs and two runners on. Arkansas intentionally walked the next batter, Callahan, who hit the walk-off home run to win game two yesterday. With the bases loaded, Courtnie Ghinaudo drew a walk, scoring Tramp, but the Lady’Backs still had the 4-3 advantage. With two outs, Conchos then blasted a grand-slam home run to left field to win the game, 7-4. Becky Nye earned the win on the mound for the Rebels, throwing a complete game with 10-strikeouts. Henry picked up the loss and recorded six strikeouts on the day. Dixon led the Arkansas offense going 2-for-3 with one run scored. She was 4-for 8 for the series, batting .500 with one run scored. The Lady’Backs return to action Wednesday, April 18, traveling to Sherwood, Ark., for a doubleheader against Louisian Tech. The first pitch is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. For more information about Arkansas softball, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Softball