Tampa, Fla. – After games being cancelled on Friday due to weather conditions, the Arkansas Razorback softball team came out ready to play at the USF Invitational in Tampa, Fla. Arkansas went 1-1 on the day moving its overall record to 5-2.In its first match up of the day Arkansas took on the Drake at 12:00 p.m. ET. The Razorbacks struck early in the first inning when they received back-to-back singles from freshman Devon Wallace and sophomore Clarisa Navarro. Freshman Sierra Bronkey, came up to bat and grabbed a double bringing in both runners and giving Arkansas to 2-0 lead. "A lot of our first year players are really stepping up offensively for the team," said Head Coach Mike Larabee. "We are getting a lot of hits and quality at bats and that is what we want."Drake answered with one run in the bottom of the first after a walk and a stolen base, which was then brought in off a single. Offense was quiet from both teams until the top of the seventh when freshman Katie Harrison slammed a homerun over the centerfield wall; her second of the year. After a few walks and double by sophomore Amanda Geile; pinch runner, Maddie Reese was brought in to give the Razorbacks four runs. The Bulldogs were unable to respond in the bottom seventh giving the Razorbacks the 4-1 win.Junior Chelsea Cohen held strong in the circle for all seven innings collecting her second win of the season.
The Razorbacks came out strong in the first inning in their second game of the day against USF. Wallace single was eventually brought in by a powerful line drive to the left field wall by Harrison to give Arkansas the 1-0 lead.The Bulls answer in the bottom of the first with a double by their third baseman to bring home a run and tie the game at one.USF got hot at the plate in the bottom of the third bringing in three runs and taking the lead 4-1.In the top of the fifth Navarro gave the Razorbacks a spark with a double bringing in Bass who was pinch running for Wallace. Navarro also scored in the fifth bringing the score to 5-3.The game came down to the seventh inning and sophomore Ashley Martindale, She battled through numerous pitches with the game on the line and came up with a hit. She was followed by sophomore Jayme Gee who added a single. Senior
"Marty has one of the biggest hearts on our team," said Larabee "She is such a tough kid mentally."
SeniorTori Mort stepped up to the plate and showed her leadership by blasting a double and bringing home Martindale.
The Razorbacks took the lead after USF intentionally walked Wallace to load the bases. Junior Andrea Sullivan came in to pinch hit and was hit by a pitch which allowed Gee to come home. Even with all the battling and heart that the Razorbacks displayed, they just could not hold the Bulls in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs down USF hit a single and two doubles to bring in the winning run. "I told the team that I was so proud of their effort and the heart they showed," said Larabee. "We came up just a little bit short but hopefully we can take our frustrations out on Wisconsin tomorrow." Freshman Kimmy Beasley got the start throwing three innings and grabbing two strikeouts. Freshman Ciara Clampitt came into the game in the fourth, throwing 2.1 innings also recording two strikeouts. Cohen finished the game pitching 1.1 innings.Arkansas is back in action tomorrow at 10:45 a.m. where they will take on the Badgers of Wisconsin.
For more information regarding Razorback softball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.