FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Carrying a seven-game winning streak to open its 2017 campaign, the Razorback softball team is off to the Sunshine State for the FAU Invitational to face that a field that includes Florida A&M, Memphis, Connecticut and host Florida Atlantic. Arkansas, which is receiving votes in this week’s ESPN/USA Softball national poll, is 7-0 for just the second time in program history.
2017 FAU Invitational (Boca Raton, Fla.) | Game Notes | Tournament Central
Feb. 24 vs Florida A&M – 12:30 p.m. (CT)
Feb. 24 at Florida Atlantic – 5 p.m.
Feb. 25 vs Connecticut – 10:15 a.m.
Feb. 25 vs Memphis – 12:30 p.m.
Feb. 26 vs Florida A&M – 8 a.m.
(all times central)
Against the Field
Arkansas has played a combined 11 games against the field at this weekend’s FAU Invitational, having most recently played Florida A&M and host Florida Atlantic—both 2016 NCAA Tournament teams—during the 2015 season. Saturday morning’s game against UConn will mark the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
Touch ‘Em All
Through the first two weekends of the season, Arkansas leads the NCAA with 21 home runs, good for an average of three per game. The offense also ranks second in scoring (10.71 runs/game) and slugging percentage (.796), sixth in on-base percentage (.484) and 10th in batting average (.376). The pitching staff is aiding in the Razorbacks’ 7-0 start with its 1.44 ERA which ranks 24th nationally.
Get On…and Score
Senior catcher Shelby Hiers leads the SEC and is sixth in the nation with her .692 on-base percentage. The Quitman, Ga., native has reached safely at least twice in each game this season. Hiers has gone on to score 15 runs through seven games which averages out to an NCAA-best 2.14 runs scored per game.
Trailing CSUN by a score of 7-3 entering the seventh inning (Feb. 17), the Razorbacks put together a five-run frame to seal the come-from-behind win. The inning was highlighted by a two-out, three-run home run by A.J. Belans. Autumn Russell and Stephanie Canfield led off the seventh with back-to-back singles to start the rally. Arkansas won the game, 8-7.
Have a Day, Tori
In her second start of the season, junior outfielder Tori Cooper went 3-for-3 at the plate with two home runs—including a grand slam—and a career-high six RBI against San Diego (Feb. 19). She also scored three times in the 13-1 victory. Three of Cooper’s four hits during the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic were home runs.
After their weekend in the Sunshine State, the Razorbacks will travel to Stillwater, Okla., for a midweek against Oklahoma State. Wednesday’s regional matchup is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. start. Arkansas’ home debut is set for March 3-5 when the team hosts IUPUI, Lamar and Nebraska for the Wooo Pig Classic.
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