BATON ROUGE, La., – The University of Arkansas softball team dropped a pair of Southeastern Conference games against No. 13/15 LSU on Saturday at Tiger Park off the campus of LSU.
The Razorbacks were limited to two runs on three hits in a 4-2 loss in Game One, while two early runs failed to be enough in a 3-2 defeat in 10 innings in the second game of the doubleheader.
Arkansas (24-20, 8-10 SEC) collected 10 hits in the second game of the day including a 3-for-5 performance from junior Layne McGuirt and a pair of hits from shortstop Brittany Griffiths.
Solo home runs by designated player Miranda Dixon and catcher Leslie Dixon accounted for the only Razorback runs in the first game of the doubleheader.
LSU (35-9, 13-5) extended its winning streak to six games behind strong pitching as three Tiger pitcher combined to strikeout 17 and walk only four in two games.
After the Razorbacks tied the first game at 2-2 in the top of the fifth, LSU jumped back in front 4-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning on a two-run home run by left fielder Ashley Langoni, her ninth of the year, over the wall in left field.
The Tigers took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on RBI singles from Langoni and second baseman Juliana Santos.
Miranda Dixon cut the LSU lead to 2-1 in the top of the second inning on her 11th home run of the year, a solo shot to right-center field.
The Razorbacks tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the fifth in on a solo home run to left field by Leslie Dixon, her first of the season and second of her career.
Tiger starter Cody Trahan (10-2) allowed two runs on three hits in seven innings of work while walking two and striking out four.
McGuirt (7-8) surrendered four runs on six hits through six innings. The Wynne, Ark., native walked two and struck out three. Outside of allowing a pair of runs in the first and fifth innings, McGuirt retired 11 of 14 batters she faced throughout the remained of the game.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Longani again drove in the winning run with a double in the bottom of the 10th inning to send home right fielder Rachel Mitchell to give the Tigers a 3-2 extra-inning victory.
The Arkansas offense pounded out 10 hits in the game but stranded nine runners on base including leaving the bases loaded in the third and two runners in scoring position in the sixth.
Arkansas took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on an RBI double by McGuirt. The double drove in left field Becca Carden while Miranda Dixon scored the second run on an error by the left fielder.
LSU tallied a run in the bottom of the fourth on a sacrifice fly from first baseman Anissa Young to make the score 2-1. Center fielder Kirsten Shortridge scored on the play after singling to lead off the inning.
The Tigers tied the game at 2-2 in the home half of the fifth on a RBI single by Mitchell to score designated player Ashley Applegate.
Arkansas right-hander Chelsea Cohen (2-0) limited the Tigers to three runs on seven hits in a career-high 9-2/3 innings pitched. The freshman walked three and struck out two.
LSU freshman Rachele Fico (13-4) shutout the Razorbacks through 7-2/3 innings while striking out nine and issuing only one walk. Tiger starting pitcher Brittany Mack allowed two runs (one earned) in 2-1/3 innings with four strike outs and a walk.
The two teams return to the field Sunday for the series finale with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. at Tiger Park.
Sunday’s game will be broadcast on KXUA Fayetteville (88.3 FM) and ArkansasRazorbacks.com, which will also carry live stats for the LSU series.
Rankings are based on the ESPN/USA Softball and USA Today/NFCA collegiate softball polls released Tuesday.