FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Razorback junior Jessica Bachkora led off Arkansas’ day with a solo shot into right field and the Hogs never looked back, blanking Drury, 8-0, and Crowder, 3-0, in the Arkansas Fall Festival on Sunday at Bogle Park. Arkansas pitching did not allow a run in 14 innings.
"Overall, best weekend of the fall," said Razorback head coach Jamie Pinkerton. "We’re starting to gel and things are coming together like I thought they would. Two shut outs, perfect defensively and good hitting. It’s easy to see why we were 2-0 today."
Hurler Miranda Dixon retired 17 of the 18 batters she faced against Drury before being pulled in the sixth. She was perfect through five and two-thirds, and struck out five. Kim Jones came on in relief and retired all four batters she faced.
Arkansas was on the board very quickly with Bachkora’s solo shot in the first. The Hogs would add another run on a Dixon single that brought Kayla Johnson home from second. The Razorbacks led, 2-0, after one.
The Hogs would score two on a wild pitch in the third, as Tori Mort and Lindsay Wells—running for Sandra Smith—came in to score. Arkansas was on top, 4-0, after three.
The bats came alive in the Arkansas fourth, as Bachkora continued what would be a two-for-three, two-RBI contest for her with a leadoff single in the fifth. After a Mort single, Johnson smashed a two-run double to the wall in left center. Arkansas wasn’t done, as one batter later Sandra Smith hit her second two-run home run in as many weekends, and Arkansas blew the lead wide open and went on win, 8-0.
"We knew coming in that Drury was going to be tough," Pinkerton said. "We knew we were going to have to clean everything up defensively and we did that. We moved runners, hit the ball and played great defense. Credit the kids, they bought what I was selling and it worked out for us."
Facing Crowder in the final game of the day, Bachkora got going early again with a leadoff single in the first. Bachkora was one-for-two with a walk and a run scored in game two, three-for-five on the day. Arkansas could not capitalize in the first, as the next three Razorbacks were retired in order.
No runs would cross the plate until the Arkansas half of the sixth, when Pinkerton’s group plated three en route to their second win of the afternoon, 3-0.
Kelsie Vallies got the starting nod inside the circle in game two and was lights out. Through five innings, Vallies allowed only two hits and stuck out six. Teighynne Hulsey offered some relief in the sixth and seventh, striking out three and not allowing a base runner. She was credited with the win
Crowder starter Alex Peters was outstanding through five in a losing effort, allowing only two hits, while stiriking out seven. She gave up four hits in the contest, struck out eight and walked one.
The two teams managed a combined six hits in the contest.
Drury defeated Crowder, 5-4, in ten innings in the day’s first contest, as Stephanie Ray broke a 4-4 tie with a sacrifice fly ball that scored Chelsea King from third base in the bottom of the tenth. Drury catcher Sadie Ball led the way, going two-for-four with an RBI and a run scored. Drury finished the day with a record of 1-1, Crowder was 0-2.
The Arkansas Fall Invitational is the third of four fall events for the Razorbacks this season. Arkansas will play host to one more event next week, set to be played at Bogle Park. The Hogs will host Northeastern St. and Oklahoma St. in the Razorback Fall Invitational next Saturday, Oct. 11. Visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com for more details and updated news about Razorback softball.