FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas softball team has a tough weekend of Southeastern Conference play ahead of it which begins on Friday afternoon when it hosts No. 4 Florida at Lady’Back Yard. The three-game series consists of a doubleheader on Friday beginning at 3 p.m. and a single game on Saturday at noon.
Arkansas enters the weekend with a solid record of 21-6 overall and 1-2 in the conference. Florida is rolling with a 28-2 record and is coming off a weekend sweep of Mississippi and a split with No. 2 Alabama on Wednesday.
“Florida has a great pitching staff and they’re one of the better hitting teams in the conference,” said head coach Jamie Pinkerton. “It sure is nice to have them at home. We have to find a way to slow down their offense and scratch out runs. We have to play a solid seven innings of ball and get back off on the right foot at home in the SEC.”
The Lady Razorbacks went to Gainesville last season and after two straight shutouts, took the final game of the series 1-0, from the 23rd-ranked Gators. Then sophomore Hillary Freeman scored the lone run of the game off of a single to center field by Whitney Cloer. It was a pitcher’s dual as Katy Henry and Stacey Nelson each threw a complete came giving up three hits, hitting one batter and striking out four. The only walk of the game by either pitcher led to Arkansas’ winning run.
In order for Arkansas to be successful in 2008, it will need every bit of the offensive prowess it has show throughout the season. Arkansas has a program-best .291 batting average and a .484 slugging percentage. The Lady’Backs are just 11 runs and five hits away from matching their totals from last season and have already set a school record 33 home runs this year.
Florida’s strength lies in its pitching and offense. Nelson leads the SEC with 164 strikeouts and the Gators’ have a staff earned run average of 1.23. Florida has a .307 team batting average and has strong bats from Tiffany DeFelice and Mary Ratliff and excellent speed from Kim Waleszonia.
The Florida series will be broadcast live on KXUA 88.3 FM Fayetteville as well as on LADYBACKS.COM. Saturday’s game will be televised by Cox Sports Television and is available through Cox cable on Channel 119.
For more information and tickets please call the Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK or log on to LADYBACKS.COM.