LAS CRUCES, N. M.-After a day of unscheduled rest, the University of Arkansas softball began the final day of the Las Cruces Hilton Classic with a 7-6 win over Purdue.
The Lady Razorbacks lost to New Mexico State 8-3 in the final game of the tournament.
Against Purdue, junior infielder Barbara-Jean Southmayd led the Lady’Backs with a two-run home run over the left field wall.
Purdue was the first to score in the bottom of the first inning when junior pitcher Valanna Lyons walked sophomore catcher Erika Peterson with the bases-loaded to give the Boilmakers a 1-0 lead.
In the top of the third inning, the Lady’Backs tied the game at 1-1 when junior outfielder Mindy O’Malley hit a double to right centerfield. Sophomore center fielder Catherine Zaworski fumbled the ball allowing O’Malley to take third and advance home on the throw.
In the bottom of the fifth, Purdue scored two runs on two hits. Outfielder Heather Rankin just missed a double play when senior shortstop Tricia Lilley hit a sacrifice fly to right field and senior outfielder Katie Absher avoided the tag by junior catcher Shana Easley to take a 2-1 lead. The Boilmakers added another run when senior second baseman Andrea Hillsey scored on a Lyons’ wild pitch.
Arkansas answered with a run in the top of the sixth as senior infielder Ashley Carter, freshman infielder Dayna Huckabee and designed hitter Rachel LeMaster singled. On LeMaster’s hit up the middle, scored Carter on a Lilley error.
The Lady’Backs rallied in the top of the seventh with five runs on five hits. Southmayd started the rally with her first home run of the season.
Sophomore infielder Kallie Foglesong and Carter followed with singles as Huckabee knocked a single to center field scoring Foglesong. LeMaster continued the offensive surge with a single to right field that scored Carter.
Huckabee scored the final Arkansas run as Peterson overthrew second base while trying to prevent LeMaster from stealing second.
Trailing the Lady’Backs 7-3, Purdue launched a comeback effort that wasn’t enough with three runs on three hits to give Arkansas the victory.
In the second game, tournament host New Mexico State started the game with a 2-0 lead as freshman right fielder Sarah O’Neill hit a two-run double to right field.
The Aggies added another run in the top of second inning on two hits to lead 3-0.
After a scoreless two innings, New Mexico State exploded for four runs in the top of the fifth inning. Junior first basemen Mailei Hilva hit a two-run home run over the right center field wall.
The Lady’Backs escaped the shutout as Foglesong hit a double to left field with Carter following with a single to second advancing Foglesong to third. LeMaster scored Foglesong on a RBI, infield-single.
In the bottom of the seventh, freshman pinch hitter Samantha Buckner recorded her first career home run with a two-run shot to left field.
Arkansas travels to Corpus Christi, Texas for the Islander Invitational, Feb. 18-20.
For more information on Arkansas softball, log on to www.ladybacks.com.