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Softball splits pair on final day of Metrodome Classic

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Softball splits pair on final day of Metrodome Classic

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – On the final day of the Metrodome Classic, the Razorback softball team lost its opener, but rebounded for a win to close out competition. In game one, Arkansas (6-3) failed to get any offense against Northern Iowa and lost 7-0. The bats came alive against Wisconsin-Green Bay in the next game and the Razorbacks picked up a five-inning victory, 8-0.

Northern Iowa opened the scoring with a pair of runs in the first inning. Mackenzie Daigh and Jen Larsen reached on a single and walk, respectively, and came around to score for Northern Iowa and an early 2-0 lead. Freshman starter Kelsie Vallies struggled with her control uncorking two wild pitches and a walk in just one inning of work.

Arkansas’ control struggles continued in the UNI half of the third when Kim Jones, on in relief of Vallies, hit two batters to give the Panthers two runners on with one out. But the sophomore pitcher, worked out of trouble by striking out the final two batters of the inning to keep the Panthers off the board.

Megan Machovec pushed the Northern Iowa lead to 3-0 with an inside-the-park home run in the top of the fifth. Machovec lined a ball into left field and past the outstretched glove of a diving Tori Mort. The ball rolled all the way to the wall and Machovec sped around the bases for the score.

The Panthers padded their lead in the seventh with a four-run inning. Larsen and Rachel Gerking started the scoring with RBI singles. With Gerking on first, Morgan Paulson knocked a two-run shot over the right field fence to give Northern Iowa the 7-0 lead.

The Arkansas offense was limited all game by Larsen who picked up the win by allowing just two hits in a complete game shutout. It was the first time this season the Razorbacks were held without a run in a game.

Against Wisconsin-Green Bay, the bottom of the lineup got things going for the Razorbacks in the third. Amie Hubbard started the inning with a single up the middle. She advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brittany Griffiths and came around to score on a triple by Jocelyne Moncrief, the first of her career.

Jessica Bachkora padded the lead with a two-run home run to right center, her second in as many days and third of the season. The junior center fielder entered the 2009 season with a career total of one home run. At the end of three innings, the Razorbacks led 3-0.

Arkansas pushed two more runs across the plate in the fourth. With runners on second and third, Griffiths looped a ball into shallow right field but the ball fell to the Metrodome turf after a collision between the short stop going back on the ball and the right fielder coming to make the play. The two runners, Brandy Foust and Jessica Robison, came in to score and Griffiths ended up on third. Arkansas took the 5-0 advantage.

In the top of the fifth and with two runners on, Robison hit a three-run home run to center to post her first career homer and give the Razorbacks the 8-0 lead. Mort and Whitney Cloer reached base ahead of Robison with a double and single, respectively.

Dixon finished off the five-inning victory for Arkansas by shutting down the Phoenix in the bottom of the fifth to give her team its first run-rule win of the season.

The Razorbacks return to the field Feb. 20-22 with the FAU/FIU Strikeout Cancer Tournament in Boca Raton, Fla. For more news about Hog softball, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.

Download: UNI 7 Arkansas 0.pdf



Sports Category : Softball