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Sixteen hits gives Lady’Backs 8-6 win over Rutgers

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Sixteen hits gives Lady’Backs 8-6 win over Rutgers

COLLEGE STATION – The University of Arkansas softball team tallied a season-high 16 hits en route to an 8-6 win over Rutgers in its final game of the Texas A&M Aggie Classic in College Station, Texas. The Lady Razorbacks earned their fourth win of the season improving to 4-6. Rutgers fell to 0-6. “Offensively I thought we played well and we needed every run today,” said head coach Jamie Pinkerton. Sophomore Kayla Johnson was 3-for-3 with one run scored, freshmen Jessica Bachkora and Miranda Dixon went 3-for-4. Bachkora added two RBIs. Junior Dayna Huckabee and sophomore Whitney Cloer added two hits a piece while senior Rachel LeMaster, junior Samantha Buckner, and freshman Jessica Waddle each had one hit. “Johnson and Bachkora showed up offensively and intensity-wise those two really led the way,” said Pinkerton. “The middle part of the order also did their job today.” An Arkansas error allowed Rutgers lead-off batter Amanda Shaw on base in the top of the first inning. She stole second and scored on an RBI single up the middle by Kaitlyn Valiante for a 1-0 lead. Bachkora led off the bottom of the second inning with a line-drive single up the middle and advanced to second base, earning her fifth stolen base of the year. Bachkora touched home plate on a base hit to right center field by junior Samantha Buckner and Arkansas evened the score 1-1. Arkansas took a 3-1 lead in the third inning after Johnson reached first base on a walk and Dixon singled to the second baseman. Both runners advanced on an illegal pitch by the Scarlet Knight pitcher. Johnson scored on a passed ball, while Dixon crossed the plate on a single to right center by Bachkora. The Lady’Backs added three more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning for a commanding 6-1 lead. Huckabee singled and scored on a wild pitch. Cloer singled up the middle and scored on an RBI single to left center by pinch hitter Jessica Waddle. Freshman Jess Reed came back in to run for Waddle, stole second base and scored on a triple down the right field line by senior Rachel LeMaster. In the top of the sixth, Rutgers narrowed the margin 6-4 behind a two-run home run to left center by Mallory Miller. Kim Hodges also scored from third in the inning before Shantai Dixon got caught stealing second base. In the bottom half of the inning four consecutive hits, singles by Johnson and Dixon and doubles by Huckabee and Bachkora, gave the Lady’Backs two runs for an 8-4 lead. Rutgers was relentless, however, pushing two more runs across the plate in the top of the seventh inning and leaving the bases loaded before Henry struck out the final batter and picked up the save on the mound. “I thought we’d come out more intense and more focused after our loss last night, but they fought and they hung on for the win today,” said Pinkerton. Dixon earned her first collegiate win on the mound for the Lady’Backs. She threw 4.1 innings striking out three and allowing one unearned run on four hits before she was relieved by junior Katy Henry. Henry finished the game and took home her first save of the year. Rutgers used four pitchers and five substitutions on the mound against Arkansas. Their starter Nicole Freeman picked up the loss posting a 0-3 record. Arkansas is back in action next weekend hosting its home opener, the Clarion Inn-Lady’Back Invitational. Play begins Friday, Feb. 23 and goes through Sunday, Feb. 25. For more information about Arkansas softball, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Softball