ATHENS, Ga. – The University of Arkansas softball team will return to Southeastern Conference play this weekend with a three-game series against No. 8/11 Georgia at the UGA Softball Stadium.
Georgia (25-6, 5-4 SEC) and Arkansas (22-12, 6-2 SEC) will meet for a double header on Friday starting at 4 p.m. CDT. The series finale will then take place on Saturday at 11 a.m.
"Georgia is a good team," Arkansas coach Mike Larabee said. "Last year they were one of the final four teams in the country. You look down their lineup and each batter has statistics like Jessica Bachkora does for us. They swing the bat pretty well and they are pitching pretty well right now. They are leading the SEC in fielding percentage so we are going to have our work cut out for us. As I have said all season, I believe if we bring our "A" game we can compete with anyone on our schedule. It is going to be a challenge so we have to come ready to play."
The Razorbacks are coming off a split on the road with Tulsa on Wednesday. Arkansas picked up a 3-1 victory in the second game behind strong pitching from Chelsea Cohen. Cohen allowed one run on two hits in the first complete game of her career. The freshman allowed only four runners to reach base and retired nine batters straight in the fourth through sixth innings.
Arkansas senior Jessica Bachkora continues to lead the team with a .422 batting average, 46 hits, 12 doubles, 13 home runs and 27 RBIs. In SEC play, the Razorbacks are batting .304 with 14 home runs and a .432 on-base percentage.
In the all-time Georgia-Arkansas series, the Bulldogs lead 26-10 including victories in nine straight contests. The last meeting in Athens came in 2008 and the Razorbacks fell in a three-game sweep.
Last season, Georgia traveled to Fayetteville and won both games in a rain-shortened series, 8-0 and 8-2, to close out the regular season. After the inclement weather cancelled play on first scheduled day of the series, the two teams played the double header on Sunday. In game one, Sarah McCloud and Christie Hamilton combined for a five-inning no-hitter, and the second game was called in the top of the sixth due to a predetermined travel policy.
This season, Georgia is led at the plate by Kristyn Sanberg with a .423 average, 30 hits and five home runs. Taylor Schlopy is next with a .416 average and 21 RBIs. Schlopy is also 23-of-24 on stolen bases attempts this season.
All three games will be broadcast on KXUA Fayetteville (88.3 FM) and ArkansasRazorbacks.com, which will also carry live stats for the Georgia series.
Rankings are based on the ESPN/USA Softball and USA Today/NFCA collegiate softball poll released Tuesday.