The Lady Razorbacks conclude the fall season Oct. 2 at Lady’Back Yard. Arkansas takes a 6-0 record into Saturday as Carl Albert, Evangel and Southwest Missouri State travel to Fayetteville.
Easy Does It
Junior catcher Shana Easley leads the Lady’Backs into the final weekend of the preseason with a .583 batting average and seven hits. Easley recorded three RBIs and one double in six appearances. In the 5-0 win over Texarkana College, Easley knocked her first double of the fall.
Going into the final series of the fall, Arkansas has four doubles in six games. The Lady’Backs recorded three doubles against Texarkana Sept. 26. Freshmen Samantha Buckner and Dayna Huckabee scored their first doubles as Lady’Backs against the Bulldogs.
In the circle, sophomore Sarah Topham (2-0) continues to set the standard. The lefthander leads the Lady’Backs with 17 strikeouts. Topham has not allowed a hit in two starts and 11 innings. In game one against Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Sept. 26, Topham fanned nine in six innings.
Carter for President
Senior infielder Ashley Carter paces the Lady’Back offense with a team high nine hits. Carter is also second on the team in batting average with .563.
In the Circle
As a squad, the Lady’Backs pitching staff improved their ERA to 0.86 with their performances on Sept. 26. The six Arkansas pitchers, including two freshmen, recorded 50 strikeouts and allowed 24 hits. Junior Valanna Lyons earned her first win against Northeastern State Sept. 26. Lyons tossed eight strikeouts in a complete game. In her first start, freshman Katy Henry produced her first win. Against Texarkana, Henry threw four, scoreless innings. Henry had three strikeouts and allowed two hits.
Around the Diamond
The Lady’Backs have stolen 11 bases in the preseason. Sophomore Rachel LeMaster leads the pack with four while junior Mindy O’Malley adds three. Arkansas has successfully advanced on all 11 attempts.
The Next Chapter
First-year head coach Jamie Pinkerton begins his tenure with the Lady Razorbacks after four successful seasons as the head coach of the Tulsa Golden Hurricane softball team. Pinkerton was a two-time Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. Pinkerton’s staff includes former TU assistant coach Tiffany Redding-Pitts and former Lady’Back Aly Sartini. Redding-Pitts was a Golden Hurricane assistant from 2002-2004 with Pinkerton and she assists with the infielders and serves as first base coach. Redding-Pitts directs the administrative duties while serving as the recruitment coordinator and managing the team’s camps and clinics. As a college softball player, Redding-Pitts was a four-year letterwinner at shortstop for the Golden Hurricane. Aly Sartini returns as an assistant coach to the program she helped to build. Sartini oversees pitching, outfield, scouting, academics and assists with administrative responsibilities. In her four seasons as a Lady’Back, Sartini helped lead Arkansas to three Southeastern Conference tournament appearances, an NCAA Regional berth and was a member of the 1999 SEC All-Tournament team.
A Year Ago
The Lady’Backs ended the 2003-04 season with a 18-40 overall record and a 6-24 finish in the Southeastern Conference. Last season’s campaign included wins over No. 12 Tennessee and No. 17 Florida.
Older and Wiser
The Lady’Backs return 11 players from the 2003-04 squad. Leading the way for the Lady’Backs are four seniors including Blaire Perry, who is third on the Arkansas career list for stolen bases and holds the school record for sacrifice hits in a season.