FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas softball team swept a pair of game on Saturday afternoon in the Arkansas Invitational at Bogle Park.
A game-winning hit from left fielder Becca Carden carried Arkansas to a 4-2 victory over Southeast Missouri State while strong pitching from freshman Hope McLemore led to a 5-2 victory over Louisiana Tech in the first game of the doubleheader.
Against SEMO, Carden drove in the game-winning run with a single to center field in the bottom of the fifth following center field Jessica Bachkora’s two-RBI double that tied that game at 2-2. Brewer and right fielder Tori Mort scored on the double by Bachkora after each reached base on a walk.
Arkansas (13-8) tallied another run in the top of the sixth on an RBI double by first baseman Stephanie Brewer to extend their lead to 4-2. Brewer went 3-for-5 with three RBIs on the day.
Southeast Missouri State (6-9) got on the board first with a run in the top of the second inning. Designated player Elise Sperakos singled home shortstop Renee Kertz who walked to lead off the inning.
The Redhawks added another run on a sacrifice fly by second baseman Carmen Fowler in the top of the third to make the score 2-0.
Razorbacks senior Miranda Dixon (1-2) picked up the win after pitching the final five innings. Dixon shutout the Redhawks on two hits while striking out three and walking two. Arkansas junior Kim Jones allowed one earned run on three hits, walked one and struck out one through two innings in her second start of the season.
Southeast Missouri starter Whitney Dupuis fell to 3-4 on the season after allowing four runs on six hits, two walks and one strikeout.
In the first game of the day, Arkansas captured the victory over Louisiana Tech (10-8) behind a 12-strikeout performance from McLemore and a three-run home run by senior first baseman Sandra Smith.
Arkansas took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third on a two-RBI single by Brewer.
Smith hit her fourth home run of the season to give the Razorbacks a 5-0 lead in the fourth. The three-run shot, which cleared the wall in deep center field, scored Carden and Bachkora.
Louisiana Tech tallied two runs in the top of the fifth to make the score 5-2. An RBI double by first baseman Kylie Bassett got the scoring started followed by a run-scoring groundout by shortstop Amberly Waits.
McLemore (7-3) limited the Lady Techsters to two runs on four hits while setting a new career high with 12 strikeouts. The Oklahoma native allowed three walks.
Louisiana Tech starting pitcher Meghan Krieg (7-7) took the loss despite allowing five runs on only two hits. Krieg walked seven and struck out 10.
Arkansas returns to action Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. with a matchup against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. The third and fourth place teams in the Arkansas Invitational will square off at 1 p.m. followed by the first-place game at 3 p.m.