FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas softball team will look to continue its success against the top teams in the Southeastern Conference when it welcomes No. 5/4 Florida for a three-game weekend series at Bogle Park.
The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday and a single game on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. both days.
"It doesn’t get any easier does it," Arkansas coach Mike Larabee said. "Florida is hitting around .330 and fielding around .976. There No. 2 pitcher was named SEC Pitcher of the Week, Ensley Gammel, a freshman out of Bakersfield, Calif., and they also have Stephanie Brombacher. But I believe if we come out and play like we did last Friday against Georgia as far as pitching, defense and hitting and bring that same type of enthusiasm, we might be able to steal a game or two from the Gators."
Arkansas (24-13, 8-3 SEC) won its third Southeastern Conference series of the year last weekend as it traveled to Athens, Ga., and won two of three games against the highly-ranked Georgia Bulldogs.
The Razorbacks opened conference play with an 8-2 record this season, a mark that represents the best start to SEC play in school history. The back-to-back wins over a ranked opponent were the first of the season for Arkansas.
Senior outfielder Jessica Bachkora continues to lead the Razorbacks as she paces the team in nine offensive categories with a .395 batting average, 42 runs, 47 hits, 12 doubles, 13 home runs and a .507 on-base percentage. As a team, Arkansas is batting .255 with 46 home runs, while the pitching staff boasts a 2.98 ERA with 202 strikeouts.
Florida comes into this week with a 27-4 overall record and a No. 5 ranking in the ESPN/USA Softball poll and a No. 4 rank according to the USA Today/NFCA poll. Florida retained control of first place in the SEC Eastern Division after a three-game sweep of LSU, who was previously unbeaten in conference play. UF has a 9-2 record in conference play.
Florida leads the all-time series between the two teams 26-11. Last season, the Razorbacks were swept in a three-game series in Gainesville while the Gators were ranked No. 1.
Offensively, the Gators are led by outfielder Francesca Enea. The senior is batting .405 with 34 hits, seven doubles, 14 home runs and 44 RBIs. Sophomore outfielder Michelle Moultrie is batting .391 with a team-high 36 hits along with three home runs and 19 RBIs. As a team, Florida is batting .331 with 60 home runs and 41 stolen bases.
In the circle, junior Stephanie Brombacher is 19-4 with a 2.17 ERA. The right-hander has thrown 122.2 innings with 139 strikeouts and only 46 walks. Freshman right-hander Ensely Gammel ranks second with 54.1 innings pitched and has a record of 7-0 with a 2.32 ERA.
This weekend’s games will be broadcast on KXUA Fayetteville (88.3 FM) and ArkansasRazorbacks.com, which will also carry live stats for the Florida series.
Download: 4-10 Florida.pdf