BOCA RATON, Fla. – The 19th season of University of Arkansas softball begins Friday afternoon with two games at the FAU Kick-Off Classic in Boca Raton, Fla. The Razorbacks open their 2015 campaign versus Penn State at 2:45 p.m. (CT) followed by a matchup with host Florida Atlantic at 5 p.m. Overall, the team is scheduled for five games during the season-opening event and is set to take the field under the direction of sixth-year head coach Mike Larabee.
2015 FAU Kick-Off Classic | Tournament Central
Boca Raton, Fla. | FAU Softball Stadium
(all times Central, subject to change)
Game 1: February 6 vs. Penn State – 2:45 p.m. | Live Stats
Game 2: February 6 at Florida Atlantic – 5 p.m. | Live Stats
Game 3: February 7 vs. LIU-Brooklyn – 8 a.m. | Live Stats
Game 4: February 7 vs. Kansas – 12:30 p.m. | Live Stats
Game 5: February 8 vs. Georgia Tech – 10:15 a.m. | Live Stats
Team Capsule: The Razorbacks
Arkansas returns 11 letterwinners including nine starters from last year’s team. The Razorbacks will be headed by its four-player senior class of Sierra Bronkey, Kasey Fagan, Megan Pearson and Devon Wallace. Earlier this week, Wallace was named to the 2015 College Madness Preseason All-SEC First Team in the utility position. She and Fagan were NFCA All-South performers in 2014. The program also welcomes in 12 newcomers for the 2015 season
Know Your Opponent: FAU Classic Field
With the exception of LIU-Brooklyn, the Razorbacks have some past experience against the other four teams in this year’s FAU Classic. However, Arkansas hasn’t faced Florida Atlantic since 2009, Georgia Tech since 2010, Kansas since 2007 and Penn State since 2006. LIU-Brooklyn is one of four first-time opponents on the Razorbacks’ schedule. The Jayhawks enter the season off a trip to last year’s NCAA Tournament.
@RazorbackSB in Season Openers
As a program, Arkansas Softball carries an 8-10 overall record in season openers including a 3-2 mark under head coach Mike Larabee. Friday’s games will represent the fifth time (2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2015) the Razorbacks have opened their season in the state of Florida.
Swinging the Bat
The Razorbacks are coming off a season in which the 2014 squad set or tied eight single-season program records, seven of which reset for the second time in as many years. Arkansas finished 11th in the NCAA with 6.53 runs per game and produced record figures in batting average (.304), runs scored (359), RBI (325), walks (231), slugging percentage (.484), on-base percentage (.410), triples (14) and sacrifice flies (15).
Take Your Base
Senior Devon Wallace enters her senior season as the SEC leader in career walks and is tied for ninth in NCAA history with 190 career walks. With 10 more free passes, Wallace would become just the eighth player in NCAA history to record 200 career walks. She led the NCAA with 79 walks in 2013 and carries a .570 on-base percentage for her career as she sits just four home runs shy of breaking the program’s career record.
Unprecedented TV/Broadcast Coverage
As part of its 2015 schedule, the Razorbacks will play seven games in front of a national television audience. Five of those will be played on Arkansas’ home field at Bogle Park in Fayetteville. With the addition of SEC Network PLUS events, 29 of the Razorbacks’ games this season will be available to fans either on television or online. Six of Arkansas’ television games will be aired live on the SEC Network while the middle game of the Alabama series will be carried on ESPNU. For more information about this year’s schedule, click HERE.
Head coach Mike Larabee and assistant coach Sue Carpenter begin their sixth seasons at Arkansas with three new faces joining the staff during the offseason. Randi Davis was added to the program in July and will handle the pitching staff with Randi Wilson and Shannel Blackshear joining the staff in August as the volunteer assistant and graduate assistant coach, respectively.
For more information on Arkansas softball, follow @RazorbackSB on Facebook and Twitter.