AUBURN, Ala. — Despite allowing only three hits, the Arkansas Razorback softball team dropped the series finale to the Auburn Tigers on Sunday at Jane B. Moore Field, 2-1. The two teams combined for five hits, and all the scoring was done in the first inning.
Arkansas (28-28, 10-18 SEC) scored in the top of the first inning for the third time in the series. Senior Jessica Bachkora was hit-by-a-pitch for the third time in as many games to lead off the inning. Becca Carden followed with a sacrifice bunt to put Bachkora at second base with one out. Sandra Smith then singled to put runners at the corners, and Miranda Dixon hit a sacrifice fly to score Bachkora from third. Arkansas led, 1-0, going to the bottom of the inning.
Auburn (30-23, 11-17) answered with back-to-back two-out home runs in the bottom of the first inning by Kyndall White and Elizabeth Eisterhold. Each hit two home runs in the series. Auburn led after an inning, 2-1.
Layne McGuirt reached base on an error for the second time in the series to lead off the second, but was stranded after Auburn starter Holly Ragsdale was able to retire the next three Arkansas hitters in order. The Razorbacks had two on two out in the third, but was unable to drive them in. Ragsdale threw two innings, allowed one run on one hit and struck out one.
Anna Thompson came on in relief of Ragsdale in the third inning. She hit both Bachkora and Dixon, but struck out the side to leave both runners stranded. Thompson again found herself in trouble in the Arkansas fifth after Bachkora drew a walk and Sandra Smith singled with two outs. Smith had Arakansas’ only two hits on the day. Dixon came to the plate with runners at the corners, but struck out swinging to end the frame. Thompson threw five innings of relief and was awarded the win. She allowed only one hit, struck out 11 and walked two. The Hogs stranded seven runners on base in the game.
McGuirt (8-10) found her groove in the third, after allowing four baserunners through 2-1/3 innings; she retired the final 10 Auburn hitters of the ball game in order. She threw six complete innings, allowed two earned runs on three hits, one strike out and walked one.
The Hogs locked up the eight seed in the Southeastern Conference Tournament after two loses by Ole Miss and Mississippi State, and will return to action next Thursday at Bogle Park.
For official tournament bracket and additional information on the 2010 SEC Softball Tournament, stay tuned to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.