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No. 11 Sooners up next for Razorback softball

BY ANDRES FOCIL
No. 11 Sooners up next for Razorback softball

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas softball team will be looking for its first win over a ranked opponent Wednesday when it takes on No. 11 Oklahoma in a non-conference meeting. First pitch of the game is scheduled for 5 p.m. from Marita Hynes Field in Norman, Okla. It will be the Razorbacks’ second consecutive midweek trip to the Sooner State after last week’s Border War in Tulsa.In 15 meetings between the two teams, Oklahoma holds the all-time advantage, 14-1. Arkansas’ lone win, a 3-2 triumph, in the series came in game one of a doubleheader with the Sooners last season in Fayetteville. The game was the first of three one-run games between Arkansas and Oklahoma during the 2008 season, including the Sooners’ 6-5 win in 11 innings during NCAA Regional play. The Razorbacks are 0-7 all-time in games played in Norman.Arkansas is hitting .264 as a team, led by a pair of .300 hitters in Whitney Cloer and Brittany Griffiths. Cloer, the team’s leading hitter all season, carries a .374 batting average and leads the Razorbacks with eight home runs, 31 RBI and 43 hits. Cloer is also tied for the SEC lead in doubles with 12. Griffiths is hitting .303 in her freshman campaign as the club’s everyday shortstop.Kayla Johnson is third on the team with a .298 batting average. A rejuvenated bat for the Razorback lineup, Johnson is hitting .388 since the beginning of conference play. She is second on the team with eight doubles and 23 runs scored. Jessica Bachkora leads the team with 25 runs scored and 15 stolen bases.Two of Arkansas’ bigger bats, those of Miranda Dixon and Sandra Smith, have experienced a recent power surge. Dixon has four home runs in the last six games with 10 RBI totaled in that same stretch. With her batting average up to .250, Smith is turning around a slow offensive start to her season. She had three home runs last week, including a two-homer effort in game three of the Auburn series. Smith recently ended a streak in which she has reached base in nine consecutive plate appearances.In the circle, the Razorback pitching staff carries a 3.32 ERA with Dixon and Kim Jones, collectively, starting the previous 24 games. Dixon is 14-4 on the season with a 2.67 ERA. In 131 innings pitched, she has struck out 106 batters and allowed just 35 walks. Dixon has also totaled three saves this season. Jones is 6-8 in 18 appearances with a 3.06 ERA. In her last start, game one of the Auburn series, Jones tied a career high by striking out eight Tiger hitters. In its last series outing, Oklahoma (30-11) swept Nebraska in a two-game set with a pair of 3-2 victories. The Sooners are 13-4 at home, including wins in seven of their last eight at the OU Softball Complex. On the season, Oklahoma is hitting .297 as a team and the pitching staff carries a 2.72 ERA.Amber Flores leads her team with a .425 batting average, good for second in the Big 12 Conference. The junior infielder leads the Big 12 with 11 home runs, 43 RBI and 44 runs scored. Samantha Ricketts is hitting .351 and leads the Sooners with 46 hits, including a Big 12-best 15 doubles. Katie Norris and Evan Sallis round out the list of Oklahoma’s .300 hitters with batting averages of .311 and .306, respectively.In the circle, Oklahoma has three pitchers who have made at least 13 starts. Allee Allen leads the team in victories with a 14-2 record. In 95 innings pitched, she has struck out 85 batters and carries a team-best 2.36 ERA. The Sooner staff also features D.J. Mathis (9-3) and Kirsten Allen (7-6). Mathis has struck out 82 batters in 76.1 innings pitched and holding opponents to a .201 batting average.Wednesday’s non-conference battle will be broadcast on an internet-only basis on ArkansasRazorbacks.com, which will also feature live stats of the game.

Download: 2009 notes.pdf



Sports Category : Softball