HAMMOND, La. – The University of Arkansas softball team improved its record to 9-7 this season following a pair of extra-innings wins on Friday at the Lion Classic Scramble in Hammond, La. The Razorbacks defeated Saint Louis 4-1 in game one and then beat UT-Martin 8-7 in game two. Both games were decided in the eighth inning. Arkansas is back on the fields Saturday, squaring off against Saint Louis at 12 p.m. and Southeastern Louisiana at 4 p.m.
Game 1: Arkansas 4, Saint Louis 1 (8 innings)
Arkansas drew first blood in the fourth inning as sophomore Shelby Hiers came around to score following a leadoff walk in the fourth. Hiers stole second, advanced to third on a Jessica Harrison single and then was knocked in on Rachel Box’s fielder’s choice. The Razorbacks threatened again in the fifth as Stephanie Canfield doubled to right and then a pair of two-out walks loaded the bases. Arkansas would ground out to second to end the inning. In the circle, sophomore Sydney Wright kept the Billikens’ bats quiet. Wright allowed leadoff singles in both the second and third innings but never allowed the runner past second, striking out three total batters over those two innings. The lone run for the Billikens came in the top half of the sixth when Alex Nickel led off the inning with a single, advanced to second on a sacrifice, and then moved around the final two bases on a pair of passed balls. With the game squared at one-all, the game would be decided using the international tiebreaker rule in the eighth. The Razorbacks kept Saint Louis off the board in the top half and advanced Kate James to third on a Claire Clark sacrifice to open the bottom half. Devon Wallace smacked a single to third but the runner had to hold. Kasey Fagan stepped to the plate and launched a drive over the center field wall to give Arkansas the walk-off 4-1 win.
Game 2: Arkansas 8, UT-Martin 7 (8 innings)
The Razorbacks exploded for five runs in the first inning, aided by a three-run shot to left from Shelby Hiers. UT-Martin responded with four runs of their own in the top half of the second, using two hits, three walks and an error to bring the game within a run. Both teams traded runs in the third as UT-Martin used a leadoff walk to score while the Razorbacks’ Rachel Box blasted a solo home run to right center. The Skyhawks tied the game in the sixth behind a leadoff double and a pair of sacrifice hits. Heading to the eighth inning tied at six and using the international tiebreaker rule, UT-Martin again scored its runner using a sacrifice bunt followed by a sacrifice fly to left. Trailing by one, Arkansas began its at-bat sacrificing its runner to third. Devon Wallace singled home the game-tying run and Kasey Fagan again delivered the winning hit for the Razorbacks as she doubled to left center to plate Wallace and give Arkansas the 8-7 win.