FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas softball team defeated Missouri State, 5-1 and 1-0, Tuesday, April 11.
Senior outfielder Mindy O’Malley paced the Lady Razorbacks (19-25) offense with three hits and two RBIs in the doubleheader while junior pitcher Kayce Odle (3-5) shutout the Bears (27-13) in the nightcap. With the win in the second game, Arkansas tied its season win total from 2005.
Game one was scoreless for the first two innings until Missouri State took a 1-0 lead on one hit in the third. The Lady’Backs answered in the bottom of the inning with two runs on three hits to go ahead, 2-1.
Arkansas loaded the bases after sophomore infielder Dayna Huckabee, freshman outfielder Jocelyne Moncrief and senior outfielder Mindy O’Malley singled. Moncrief and O’Malley scored after freshmen infielders Kayla Johnson and Sandra Smith drew walks.
Head coach Jamie Pinkerton said he was happy with the Lady’Back offense after it has struggled recently. In the first game, Arkansas recorded 10 hits, which is the fourth time this season the Lady’Backs have reached double digits in that category.
“With as young a team we have, we’ve battled through some adversity,” he said. “I thought we made adjustments. We got big production out of the bottom of the lineup.”
The Lady’Backs added another run in the fifth inning when Johnson scored on senior infielder Shana Easley’s single. Johnson began the rally with a two-out base hit.
In the sixth inning, O’Malley drove in two runs with a single up the middle to give the Lady’Backs a 5-1 advantage. Freshman catcher Whitney Cloer, junior pinch hitter Meagan Harney and Huckabee loaded the bases for O’Malley with singles.
In the circle, sophomore Katy Henry (10-11) earned the win with seven strikeouts in a complete-game performance.
In the second game, the Lady’Backs jumped on the scoreboard in the first inning, 1-0, when O’Malley leadoff with a single and then scored on a wild pitch.
Pinkerton said he was pleased with O’Malley’s and Odle’s performances as Odle had a no-hitter until the top of the seventh inning.
“We got a great performance out of Kayce,” he said. “Mindy is so important for us to set the tone of the game. When she opens the game with a hit, we usually win.
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