FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas softball team dropped a 6-1 decision to No. 9/12 Oklahoma on Wednesday at Bogle Park.
Arkansas (18-11) struggled to finds its rhythm throughout the game, producing only four hits and scoring one run for just the fourth time this season. The Razorbacks have lost only three times in their last 12 games.
Arkansas scored its lone run of the game in the bottom of the seventh as right fielder Brittany Robison came around to score on a base hit by shortstop Brittany Griffiths followed by an error by the left fielder. Robison walked to lead off the inning.
The Razorbacks advanced runners into scoring position in the fourth and sixth innings but were unable to get timely hitting to drive them in.
Oklahoma improves to 26-7 on the season behind a strong pitching performance from starter Keilani Rickets (16-6). The freshman, left-hander allowed one run on four hits while striking out six in her 17th complete game of the season.
The Sooners tallied a run in the top of the third inning to take a 1-0 lead. Right fielder Chana’e Jones scored on an illegal pitch after reaching base on a single, stealing second and advancing to third on a fielder’s choice.
An RBI double by designated player Katie Norris in the top of the fourth extended the Oklahoma lead to 2-0. Center fielder Briana Turang scored after reaching on a single.
The Sooners added a pair of runs in their half of the fifth to make the score 4-0. After Jones scored on a passed ball, OU first baseman Jessica Shults drove in a run with a base hit to right field. A two-run top of the seventh pushed the Oklahoma advantage to 6-0.
Razorbacks starting pitcher Layne McGuirt (5-4) allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits with a walk and three strikeouts in four innings.
Freshman hurler Hope McLemore did not allow a run or a hit while striking out three and walking one through two innings in relief. Fellow newcomer Chelsea Cohen worked the top of the seventh and allowed two runs on three hits.
The Razorbacks return to action this weekend when they begin a three-game series with Mississippi State at Bogle Park. First pitch for Saturday’s doubleheader is scheduled for 1 p.m.