FAYETTEVILLE – The Arkansas softball team opens the 2011 season at the 25th Annual Louisiana Classic in Lafayette, La. The team begins the year against Prairie View A&M on Friday, Feb. 11.
The three-day tournament bringsfive games for the Razorbacks. Sam Houston State will meet the Hogs Friday at 7 p.m. and again on Saturday evening at 5:30 p.m. Before meeting SHSU for the second time, Arkansas faces host Louisiana-Lafayette. Arkansas finishes the season-opening tournament with Rhode Island on Sunday at 10 a.m. The Razorbacks are 5-9 all-time in season-opening games with the last win coming in the 2009 opening game versus Southern Miss.
"I am cautiously optimistic going into this tournament," head coach Mike Larabee said. "Our pitching is better, our fielding is better and our catching is better this season. We have some different ways to generate offense this year and practice has been going really well, so with caution, I am optimistic."
The Hogs are meeting Prairie View A&M and Rhode Island for the first time in UA history. PVAMU wrapped the 2010 season with a 2-36 record while Rhode Island finished 19-35 overall. Sam Houston State has a 1-1 all-time record with the Hogs, meeting last season in Denton, Texas, when Arkansas handed the Bearkats a 12-1 loss. Host Louisiana-Lafayette meets the Razorbacks for only the second time in the history of the program. The Ragin’ Cajuns finished with a 19-5 record in the Sun Belt Conference and is returning 14 from the 2010 squad.
Last season, the Hogs beat SHSU 12-1 at the North Texas Invitational to tie up the series record. The Razorbacks look to redeem themselves after a 5-2 loss to ULL last season. The Ragin’ Cajuns rank No. 17/21 going into their own tournament and were selected to win their conference title by the Sun Belt coaches.
Live stats for each game are available and complete box score and recap can be found after each game at Lamson Park.