FAYETTEVILLE – The Arkansas Razorbacks softball team fell in a close 5-4 early hitting game on Sunday afternoon to the Gamecocks of South Carolina.
Senior Layne McGuirt started in the circle for the Razorbacks allowing four runs but just one earned run in the Gamecocks first at bat of the day. She started in the circle after going 10.2 innings total on Saturday between two games and leading the Razorbacks to their first win since the doubleheader against Ole Miss on March 23.
"I was really really pleased with our team today," head coach Mike Larabee said. "They just showed a lot of fight. There have been games this year when we got behind we they have just thrown in the towel, but today we got down 4-0 and the team came back and tied it up 4-4 early on."
The Razorbacks came back in the home half of the third to break out into a four-run rally with two outs on the board already. An illegal pitch to senior Becca Carden started the rally with a double to left field. With freshman Jennifer Rambo reaching base on a fielding error, sophomore Courtney Breault came up with a bomb over the left center fence for a three-RBI home run. The bombs continued when Razorback freshman Amanda Geile came to the plate and drilled another homer over the right side.
Carden went 2-for-4 on the day with a single up the middle in the first inning as well. Geile had two hits on the day as well, with a single to left in the home half of the first.
The Gamecocks picked the winning run of the game in the fourth with a single through the left side to bring in the shortstop to make the score 5-4.
Senior Kim Jones came into the circle early in the first inning and collected six total strikeouts including two in the fourth. The senior took the loss, but allowed just two runs off eight hits.
"Even down to the last inning, we had the bases loaded and one of our best hitters at the plate," Larabee said. "Sometimes you get it done and sometimes you don’t. We had great effort today. I was very proud and thought that everyone played with a big heart."
The Razorbacks made the final attempt in the bottom of the seventh with a single by Linnea Ketcher and another base hit from Chloe Oprzedek. Breault came to the plate and hit a fly ball to the right side, but couldn’t find the gap and the game was final at 5-4 for South Carolina.
The Razorbacks head to Sherwood, Ark. on Tuesday to face Memphis in a midweek single game battle before hosting Georgia for three games April 22-24 at Bogle Park. Senior day for the Razorbacks is scheduled for April 23.