MIAMI-The University of Arkansas senior Blaire Perry led the Lady Razorback softball team in the final day of action in the Diamond Fun and Sun Classic, Sunday, Feb. 12, in Miami, Fla., as she collected all-tournament team honors.
The Lady’Backs fell to Iowa, 5-1, and North Carolina, 8-4. Arkansas finished the tournament with a 1-5 record and head coach Jamie Pinkerton said he wonders what might have been.
“Overall, if we take away the big inning from the losses we could have been 5-and-1 or 4-and-2,” he said. “We’ve got to focus and play seven innings of solid ball.”
In the first game of the day, Iowa opened up the game in the bottom of the third to take a 4-0 lead with a four run, three hit inning.
Starting pitcher junior Kayce Odle threw three innings before sophomore Katy Henry relieved her. Odle finished the game with two strikeouts in three innings pitched.
The Hawkeyes added another run to go up 5-0 in the fourth inning utilizing a Lady’Back error and three bunts including a squeeze.
Arkansas scored a run in the top of the sixth inning to cut into the Iowa lead 5-1 when senior outfielder Mindy O’Malley began the rally with a double. Freshman infielder Kayla Johnson followed with an infield single, which scored O’Malley.
Due to Iowa’s travel schedule, the Lady’Backs continued playing in the championship round and met North Carolina in the 10:00 a.m. game.
Pinkerton said the Lady’Backs have to find a balance in their performances. In all five losses, the opponents had at least one inning where they scored three or more runs.
“Offensively, we’ve got to be more consistent,” he said. “All the way around we need to be more consistent. Blaire did a great job. Kayla Johnson and Samantha Buckner did a good job hitting for us.”
Trailing 1-0, the Lady’Backs took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third inning. Junior outfielder Meagan Harney hit a leadoff double. Then junior outfielder Rachel LeMaster followed with a single up the middle that scored Harney. LeMaster later scored on a passed ball.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Tar Heels used three hits and three Arkansas errors to score seven runs and retake the lead 8-2.
Senior pitcher Blaire Perry took her first loss of the season throwing four innings and she was replaced by Henry, who recorded five strikeouts in two innings of work.
The Lady’Backs attempted a comeback when they added a run in the each of the last two innings but it wasn’t enough to derail the Tar Heels.
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