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Razorbacks sweep to open SEC play

Razorbacks sweep to open SEC play

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of Arkansas softball team opened Southeastern Conference play with a sweep of a doubleheader against South Carolina on Wednesday at Beckham Field.A 3-for-3 performance with a home run and three RBIs from Arkansas center fielder Jessica Bachkora led the Razorbacks to a 8-5 win in the first game, while six strong innings from junior pitcher Layne McGuirt helped Arkansas to a 3-2 win in the nightcap. Arkansas (17-8, 2-0 SEC) will take their eight-game winning streak to Lexington, Ky., this weekend as they continue SEC play with a three-game series against the Wildcats. The Razorbacks have won four straight over South Carolina (9-16, 0-7 SEC). In the day’s first game, Arkansas jumped in front with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. Third baseman Sandra Smith drove in her 25th run of the season with a double to left-center field, scoring Bachkora who led off the game with her ninth double of the year. First baseman Stephanie Brewer made the score 2-0 with a single up the middle to score Smith. The Razorbacks extended their lead to 5-0 in the top of the second inning on a three-run home run by Bachkora, her ninth of the season. Arkansas tallied a run in the top of the fourth to make the score 6-0 as left fielder Becca Carden drove in a run on a fielders’ choice.The Razorbacks added a pair of runs in the top of the sixth on a sacrifice fly by second baseman Courtney Breault and an RBI single through the left side by outfielder Brittany Robison to go ahead 8-0. South Carolina got two runs on a two-run double by right fielder Evan Childs to make the score 8-2 in the bottom of the sixth. A three-run bottom of the seventh by the Gamecocks made the final score 8-5. A two-run single by catcher P.J. Fulmer was big hit of the inning for South Carolina. Arkansas starting pitcher Hope McLemore (9-3) allowed five runs (three earned) on eight hits while striking out eight in seven innings. McLemore has thrown seven complete games this season. South Carolina pitcher Ashley Chastain fell to 4-5 on the season after surrendering five earned runs on nine hits with four walks and two strikeouts. In the second game of the doubleheader, McGuirt picked up her fifth win of the season behind six strong innings. The junior limited the Gamecocks to two runs on seven hits while striking out two. She did not issue a walk. McLemore entered the game with a runner at first in the top of the seventh and while allowing an inherited runner to score, earned her third save of the season. South Carolina starting pitcher Kelsey Goodwin (0-8) allowed three runs on five hits in seven innings while walking four and striking out six. A two-run double by Carden in the top of the fifth inning gave the Razorbacks the first lead of the game 2-0. South Carolina cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI double from left fielder Kaitlin Westfall. Arkansas added an insurance run in the top of the seventh on the first-career home run by McGuirt. The Gamecocks tallied a run on a groundout by first baseman Laura Mendes in the bottom of the seventh to make the score 3-2. Arkansas will return to action Saturday in Lexington, Ky., with a doubleheader against the Wildcats set to begin at Noon CDT.

Download: AR317A.pdf

Sports Category : Softball