FAYETTEVILLE– The University of Arkansas’ softball team begins practice in preparation for the 2010 fall season. Under the direction of second-year head coach Mike Larabee, the Razorbacks gear up for a nine-game fall schedule that includes Tulsa and Oklahoma State. The Hogs performed physical and skill testing over the past week and Larabee said he and his staff are very pleased.“I thought the majority of our athletes did a tremendous job coming back in great softball shape,” Larabee said. “We are much faster, stronger and our skills are much improved from this time last year.”After an intra-squad game on Friday to kick off fall training, Larabee said he was impressed with the team’s hitting and the group is far ahead of where it was last year. The team returns 19 to the roster with eight seniors leading the Razorbacks this season. Eight newcomers also join the Hogs roster. Coming back for her second season is sophomore Courtney Breault who garnered Southeastern Conference All-Freshman honors after she started all 28 conference games at second base for Arkansas, finishing the season with a .313 average against SEC opponents. Seniors returning to help lead the squad this season are Layne McGuirt and Becca Carden. McGuirt finished the 2010 season with an 8-10 record and a 3.56 ERA with 85 strikeouts in 124.0 innings pitched, the most of her career. Carden appeared in 49 games as a junior for Arkansas with 38 starts. Carden finished the year with six multi-hit games and five multi-RBI games. “They both came back in fantastic shape and are going to be key leaders on our team this year,” Larabee said of McGuirt and Carden. The fall season for the Razorbacks kicks off on Sept. 18, with the Alumni game followed by Texarkana College on Sept. 22, at Bogle Park.