FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – When the University of Arkansas softball team takes the field for its 2015 season opener this Friday, it will be looking to continue the program’s recent surge of offensive production. Last year’s team set or tied eight single-season program records, seven of which were established the year prior in 2013. The upcoming campaign will be the program’s sixth under the direction of head coach Mike Larabee.
The Razorbacks open their season Feb. 6 against Penn State with first pitch scheduled for 2:45 p.m. (CT) as part of the FAU Kick-Off Classic in Boca Raton, Fla. Arkansas will also play Georgia Tech, Kansas, Long Island and host Florida Atlantic during the season-opening weekend.
Batting Average | .304 (previous: .283, 2013)
Last year’s team was the first in program history to finish the season with a .300 or higher batting average. Arkansas’ .304 mark ranked 45th in the NCAA and surpassed the previous team record by 21 points. The offense’s 432 hits stand as the fifth-highest season total in program history. Four Razorbacks hit at least .300 during the year with a team-leading .353 by then-senior Clarisa Navarro.
Runs | 359 (previous: 304, 2013)
One season after breaking the 300-run barrier for the first time in program history, the Razorbacks extended the school record with 359 runs scored in 2014—55 more than the previous mark. Arkansas scored at least eight runs in 23 games including 13 double-digit performances and two games with a school-record 20 runs. The team finished 11th in the NCAA with 6.53 runs per game.
RBI | 325 (previous: 274, 2013)
For the first time in program history, Arkansas eclipsed the 300-RBI mark during the 2014 season. Seven different players drove in at least 25 runs including a team-high 46 RBI from then-junior Kasey Fagan. She and Navarro became the second pair of Razorback teammates with 40+ RBI in the same season; former standouts Miranda Dixon and Sandra Smith accomplished the feat twice.
Walks | 231 (previous: 229, 2013)
The Razorbacks drew two walks in their season finale to establish a new school mark in free passes. Then-junior Devon Wallace walked an SEC-leading 58 times from her leadoff position to set the tone. During the year, she became the all-time SEC leader with 190 career walks. Overall, 10 different Arkansas hitters drew at least double-digit walks. The three 200-walk seasons in program history have come under Larabee.
Slugging Percentage | .484 (previous: .470, 2013)
In another case of resetting a one-year-old record, the Razorbacks’ .484 slugging percentage eclipsed the .470 mark set by the 2013 team. Of the team’s 432 hits during the season, 134 of them went for extra bases with 66 doubles, 54 home runs and 14 triples. Fifteen (15) of the 18 Razorbacks that recorded an at-bat in 2014 tallied at least one extra-base hit.
On-Base Percentage | .410 (previous: .390, 2013)
In another first, the Razorbacks registered a collective on-base percentage of .400 or higher. Wallace led the team and was fourth in the SEC with her .534 figure. Arkansas’ .410 on-base percentage was sixth in the conference. In addition to the team’s hits and walks total, the Razorbacks were plunked by a pitch 36 times to accept a free pass to first base. Then-freshman Parker Pocklington led the team with nine HBPs.
Triples | 14 (tied: 14, 1999)
Nine different Razorbacks registered at least one triple during the 2014 season including a team-leading four off the bat of then-sophomore Stephanie Canfield. Arkansas’ 14 triples tie the school record also held by the 1999 teams and are the most by the program since the 2011 season.
Sacrifice Flies | 15 (previous: 14, 2013)
With a runner on third, the Razorbacks cashed in with a team-record 15 sacrifice flies in 2014 to replace another one-year mark established in the previous season. Navarro led the team and tied for the SEC lead with five sac flies. Fellow 2014 seniors Jayme Gee and Chloe Oprzedek each tallied three sacrifice flies.
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