FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Riding a nine-game winning streak, the University of Arkansas softball team opens Southeastern Conference action in Baton Rouge, La., this weekend at No. 5 LSU (22-0). The Razorbacks (12-7) are coming off a weekend tournament in Hammond, La., where they finished 5-0. Still yet to play a game between the lines at Bogle Park this season, Arkansas will return from Baton Rouge and play host to Tulsa on March 10.
Friday, March 6, 2015 | Tiger Park | 6 p.m.
Saturday, March 7, 2015 | Tiger Park | 4 p.m. | SECN+
Sunday, March 8, 2015 | Tiger Park | 2:30 p.m. | SEC Network
Rounding the Bases
• The Razorbacks enter the series against LSU riding a nine-game winning streak following a perfect 5-0 record at the Lion Classic Scramble in Hammond, La., Feb. 27 – March 1.
• Senior Devon Wallace has been swinging a hot bat lately, posting a .733 batting average in her last five games. Her .434 overall average and .605 on-base percentage both lead the team, while her OBP also ranks fourth in the SEC.
• The top of the lineup has been particularly productive for the Razorbacks. Consider this: through 19 games, Wallace, Kasey Fagan, and Stephanie Canfield combine to average .406 at the plate and have accounted for 44 of the team’s 87 RBIs.
• Home is where the Razorbacks have yet to play this season. Inclement weather in the Northwest Arkansas region cancelled the two scheduled home February tournaments at Bogle Park for the Razorbacks. Arkansas hosts its first home game Tuesday, March 10 against Tulsa and will host its first home series March 14-16 against Texas.
Last Time Out: Lion Classic Scramble (Feb. 27-March 1, Hammond, La.)
Arkansas finished the tournament 5-0 with wins over UT-Martin, Southeastern Louisiana, Southeast Missouri State, and Saint Louis twice. Five different Razorbacks connected for home runs during the weekend: Haley Meinen, Devon Wallace, Rachel Box, Kasey Fagan and Shelby Hiers (twice). In 15 tournament at-bats, Wallace had a batting average of .733, including a home run, two doubles, nine RBIs, and seven walks. Sydney Wright tallied two wins and a save, posting a 1.75 ERA while appearing in all five games.
Take on the Tigers
LSU enters the weekend set with a perfect 22-0 record and a No. 5 national ranking. Senior A.J. Andrews is the reigning SEC Player of the Week, after she batted .909 in four games at the Purple and Gold Challenge last weekend. Andrews is currently batting .529. In the circle, Allie Walljasper is second in the SEC in ERA (0.51) and is also 7-0. The team’s ERA is 0.99.
Home Away from Home
The Razorbacks have gotten acquainted with road travel in the first month of the season. Arkansas is yet to play a home game as poor weather conditions cancelled home tournaments scheduled for Feb. 20-22 and Feb. 27-March 1. In fact, Arkansas played at the Dot Richardson Invite Feb. 13-15 in Clermont, Fla., and with winter weather back home, the team stayed in Florida for the week and competed at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic in Orlando Feb. 20-21. In total, the Razorbacks were gone for 11 days.
In the Circle
With all four pitchers underclassmen, sophomore Sydney Wright heads the charge on the staff. Appearing in 17 of 19 games with 10 starts, she has a 7-2 record to go along with a 2.66 earned-run average. She has five complete games already this season and two have come in shutout variety. Wright is not one to give away free bases, either, tallying a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.1-to-1. In her last five appearances, she’s won two games, recorded her first save of the season, struck out 12 in 20 innings and posted a 1.75 ERA. Freshman Allison Stewart is second on the team in wins with a 4-2 mark. Starting five games with one complete game shutout, she owns an ERA of 3.58.
Fagan’s Fast Start
Kasey Fagan has not wasted any time in getting her senior season off to a good start. Starting in all 19 games at shortstop, Fagan is second on the team in batting and 19th in the conference with a .415 average. Currently on a 10-game hitting streak, she ranks eighth in the SEC for hits (27). Seven of those hits have been doubles, where she is tied for first in the conference. Fagan also posts seven multi-hit games this season and is 12th in the conference with 41 total bases.