AUBURN, Ala.-In her appearance of the season, sophomore relief pitcher Cassy Long shutout the Auburn Tigers in three and two-thirds innings in the first game of a Southeastern Conference doubleheader.
The Arkansas softball team (10-16, 0-5) couldn’t overcome the Auburn (26-6, 2-0) offense as the Lady Razorbacks fell 4-0 and 10-1.
Despite the loss, Arkansas softball head coach Jamie Pinkerton said he was pleased with Long’s performance in the circle.
“The bright spot was Cassy Long,” Pinkerton said. “She (Long) came in and shut them down when no one else could.”
Junior outfielder Mindy O’Malley started the game for the Lady’Backs with a leadoff, single down the left field line. But Arkansas couldn’t take a lead as she was stranded on first base.
The Lady’Backs fell behind 1-0 in the first inning as starting junior pitcher Linzee Roby (0-1) gave up two walks and a hit.
After Roby gave up her third walk of the game, freshman pitcher Katy Henry relieved Roby in the top of the third inning.
In the bottom of the third inning, Auburn took a 4-0 lead on back-to-back home runs. Long was then substituted for Henry. Long only gave up one hit.
Pinkerton said the Arkansas offense should be more productive and learn to adapt to the opposition sooner in the game.
“We’re not making adjustments until the late innings,” Pinkerton said. “We’re not going to win ballgames when we score one run in two games.”
In the second game, sophomore outfielder Rachel LeMaster recorded her first hit of the series as she reached base on an infield single and then proceeded to steal second but was left on base in the first inning.
The Tigers didn’t waste anytime putting runs on the scoreboard as Auburn took a 2-0 lead on three hits in the first inning.
Junior pitcher Valanna Lyons (6-9) started the game before Henry made her second relief appearance of the day as she replaced Lyons in the bottom of second inning.
Auburn continued the offense surge with three runs on five hits to lead 5-0. O’Malley ended the Tiger rally as she threw out sophomore pitcher Holly Currie at home on a senior first baseman Paige Jones single.
The Tigers added a run in the bottom of the fourth inning on one hit and one walk. Henry didn’t give up a run until Currie tripled.
The Lady’Backs started to chip away at the Auburn lead as freshman infielder Samantha Buckner hit a leadoff, double down the left field line.
With two outs, Arkansas rallied as LeMaster singled up the middle to score Buckner to trail Auburn 6-1.
For more information on Arkansas softball, log on to www.ladybacks.com.