FAYETTEVILLE – The Arkansas Razorbacks softball team dropped the second in the three-game series against the No. 24 Auburn Tigers on Saturday afternoon 9-1 during opening weekend of Southeastern Conference play.
The Razorbacks (9-14, 0-2 SEC) started off with a quick three outs in Auburns half of the first. In the home half of the inning, Arkansas got two on base with a walk and an error to short, but three strikeouts closed the inning without a run.
For the second day, UA struggled in the second inning and let five runs score off two doubles and a single. Senior pitcher Layne McGuirt allowed a walk-off run in the second with the bases loaded. A single to right center brought around the second run of the game for Auburn before a double plated two more to bring the core to 5-0 after two innings.
"We gave up four last night in the second inning and five today and put ourselves in a hole," Arkansas coach Mike Larabee said. "That’s always hard, and Auburn has a good pitching staff."
Auburn came back to plate two more runs in the fourth off a double and two base hits. Arkansas answered back with a base hit by Courtney Breault and another by Jennifer Rambo to start off the Razorbacks half of the fourth. Jayme Gee and Brittany Griffiths each walked on base, and Griffiths brought around pinch runner Amanda Summerford to plate Arkansas solo run of the game.
"I thought we had a little bit of a spark there in the three innings, and I thought we did a little bit better offensively today," Larabee said. "I think we are just not getting that four or five run inning like other teams are and I think once we do, everybody can relax a little bit as a player."
Pinch hitter Ashley Martindale led off the fifth with a single off a bunt to third, tallying her fourth hit of the season. The freshman advanced to second off a single up the middle by senior Becca Carden.
"They’ve outplayed us both days and we’ve got one more shot at it tomorrow and hopefully we can come out tomorrow and get that key hit," Larabee said.
The Razorbacks have their final chance to top Auburn on Sunday afternoon for the final game of the conference opening series. The first pitch is set for 12:30 p.m. at Bogle Park.