FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The 2009 regular season will come to an end for the Razorback softball team with this weekend’s series against No. 9 Georgia. Saturday’s doubleheader is scheduled for a 1 p.m. first pitch from Bogle Park. Game two will follow approximately 20 minutes after the completion of the first. Both teams have qualified for the 2009 SEC Tournament.
The Razorbacks enter the weekend as the No. 7 seed for next week’s SEC Tournament in Knoxville, one game behind Kentucky for the sixth spot. The Wildcats close their season with a weekend set at South Carolina. Georgia is currently the SEC’s slotted as the No. 3 seed for the conference tournament.
Arkansas (27-24) broke out of its recent offensive slump with 23 runs against UMKC during Wednesday’s doubleheader with seven runs in the opener and a season-high 16 runs in game two, in which it also totaled a season-best 18 hits. In the circle, Kim Jones and Miranda Dixon were the beneficiaries of the offensive outburst, both posting complete-game efforts. Dixon also finished the doubleheader with five RBI and her 10th home run of the season.
Whitney Cloer, Jessica Bachkora and Kayla Johnson are the Razorbacks top three hitters. Cloer leads the way with a .333 batting average and 13 doubles. Bachkora carries a .287 batting average and leads the club with 18 stolen bases. She is tied with Johnson for the team lead with 32 runs scored. Cloer and Johnson are one and two RBI, respectively, from reaching the 100-RBI mark during their careers. Dixon eclipsed the 100-RBI mark with her outing against UMKC.
Tori Mort has reached base in seven consecutive games to increase her season average to .253. She was 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI, collectively, in Wednesday’s doubleheader. Fellow freshman Brittany Griffiths is fourth on the team with a .274 batting average.
In addition to her home run prowess, Dixon leads Arkansas in victories with a 17-10 record. In 168.1 innings pitched, she carries a 3.78 ERA with 130 strikeouts. She also leads the team with four saves. Jones, the Razorbacks’ No. 2 starter with 27 appearances, is 8-10 on the season with a 3.70 ERA. She has pitched a career-high 128.2 innings.
The Bulldogs are 37-9 this season with after a Wednesday victory over Georgia Southern. Georgia owns a 16-7 mark in conference play.
Georgia is the top hitting team in the SEC with a .327 batting average. The Bulldogs are led by the conference top power hitting in Alisa Goler. Her marks of 19 home runs, 68 RBI and 1.015 slugging percentage lead the conference. Taylor Schlopy is second on the team with a .410 batting average and 11 home runs. The UGA lineup features five other players hitting above .300.
Christie Hamilton is 19-7 with a 1.72 ERA in the circle for the Bulldogs. She has 122 strikeouts in 155 innings pitched. She is followed by the 15-2 record of Sarah McCloud. In 108.1 innings pitched, McCloud owns a 2.52 ERA with 50 strikeouts.
In the all-time series with the Razorbacks, Georgia leads, 24-10, and has won the last seven matchups. Arkansas won nine of the first 11 meetings in the series, but the Bulldogs have taken 22 of the next 23. The Razorbacks’ last win against Georgia came during the 2006 season, a 1-0 triumph in Athens. Arkansas is 5-12 in games played in Fayetteville.
Sunday’s series finale will be preceded by Senior Day festivities in which the 2009 class will be recognized. The ceremony will begin at approximately 10:15 a.m. All weekend games against the Bulldogs will be broadcast on KXUA Fayetteville (88.3 FM) and ArkansasRazorbacks.com, which will also carry live stats.