OXFORD, Miss. – Senior Blaire Perry drove in two runs in the top of the seventh inning as the University of Arkansas softball team defeated Mississippi, 4-3, Tuesday, March 21 in Oxford, Miss.
The Lady Razorbacks (14-14, 3-5) fell to the Rebels (12-21, 1-7), 2-1, in the first game of the doubleheader after only recording two hits.
In the second game, Arkansas recorded a season-high 10 hits in Southeastern Conference play. Senior catcher Shana Easley led the team with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate.
Arkansas softball head coach Jamie Pinkerton said he was relieved to end the trend that the Lady’Backs had going in the previous SEC series.
“The positive thing is that we got out of the habit of dropping the first game of a doubleheader,” he said. “We need to do a better job of coming out ready to play. I was happy with our resilience after the disappointment of game one.”
In the first inning, Ole Miss didn’t waste any time as the Rebels took a 2-0 lead on a leadoff walk and two hits, including a triple.
Arkansas evened the score, 2-2, in the top of the third inning. The Lady’Backs used four consecutive base hits and two walks to score. Senior outfielder Mindy O’Malley started the rally with left field single. Junior outfielder Rachel LeMaster, freshman infielder Sandra Smith and Easley followed with base hits.
Ole Miss regained the lead, 3-2, in the bottom of the sixth on two hits and a Lady’Back error. Then, the Lady’Backs answered in the top of the seventh with two runs. O’Malley sparked the inning with a leadoff single up the middle. LeMaster drew a walk and Easley singled to load the bases but after a pair of strikeouts Perry was clutch as she hit a two-RBI single to give the Lady’Backs a 4-2 lead.
Pinkerton said he was happy with the performances from the juniors and seniors, who accounted for eight of the 10 hits in the win.
“We had good leadership from the upperclassmen,” he said. “Mindy, Rachel, Shana and Blaire came through for us when we need them and I thought that was huge.”
Sophomore pitcher Katy Henry (7-5) tallied the victory while recording 10 strikeouts in a complete game performance. Despite a slow start, Henry found the zone and didn’t give up an earned run after the first inning.
In the first game, the Lady’Backs were on the scoreboard with a 1-0 lead in the first inning. O’Malley began the inning as she reach on an error and moving to second on a sacrifice before stealing third. O’Malley then scored when sophomore infielder Dayna Huckabee recorded the first hit of the game.
Ole Miss tied the game in the fifth on two hits and the Rebels took their first lead of the day, 2-1, in the sixth using a double and a walk.
Perry started the game and recorded three strikeouts in four and one third innings before junior Kayce Odle replaced her in the fifth. Odle (2-3) took the loss after giving up a run in the sixth inning. The defensive was strong for the Lady’Backs as they recorded a season-high three double plays.
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