Arkansas hits five home runs and sweeps Islanders

FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas softball team hit five home runs and swept Texas A&M-Corpus Christi with a doubleheader win, 8-1 and 5-1, on Saturday afternoon at Lady’Back Yard.

Lady Razorbacks Sandra Smith, Miranda Dixon, Brittany Robison (2) and Dayna Huckabee hit the long ball to help improve Arkansas to 28-17. The Islanders fell to 14-23.

The Lady’Backs hit eight home runs in the three-game set to increase their season-record count to 49 home runs. Smith holds the individual season record with 12 homers and Huckabee owns the career record with 18.

Arkansas collected 14 hits in the two games and played another day of errorless softball.

“I’m really proud of the approach that the players took this weekend,” said head coach Jamie Pinkerton. “They did a good job with their mental and physical approach at the plate. They were patient and took advantage of what pitchers gave them.”

Junior Kayla Johnson got things going for the Lady’Backs in the first inning of game one, ripping a triple that bounced off the top of the wall and back into play in right center. Junior Whitney Cloer followed with a sacrifice fly to center field to plate Johnson and get the Lady’Backs out to a 1-0 lead.

A double to right center by Kaylen Skinner in the top of the third put the first base runner on for the Islanders. Skinner advanced to third on a wild pitch and crossed the plate to even the score on a single up the middle by Lauren Sanders.

A two-out rally in the fourth added three runs for the Lady’Backs. Smith led off with a double to left center and with two down, Buckner laced a single up the middle to score pinch runner Brandy Foust from second. Robison then hit a two-run home run to left center to increase Arkansas’ lead to 4-1.

Back-to-back home runs on two outs by Smith and Dixon put the Lady’Backs up 7-1 in the fifth. Cloer started the rally with a single up the middle before Smith hit her 12th homer of the year and Dixon launched her ninth, both to left field.

Back-to-back singles led off the bottom of the sixth to set up pinch hitter Emily Jones for an RBI on an infield groundout that scored pinch runner Hillary Freeman.

Dixon (10-7) threw for her 10th win of the season, allowing one run on five hits and striking out five.

In game two, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi got on the scoreboard first in the second inning. Kim Connelly led off with an infield single and scored on a double to right center by Lauren Peters.

After three scoreless innings, a three-run home run by Huckabee and a two-run shot by Robison in the fourth put Arkansas on top 5-1. Johnson was hit by the pitch and Smith walked to be on the base paths for Huckabee’s homer and Buckner singled up the middle before Robison went yard.

Freshman Kim Jones fanned eight batters to tie her career best and win her fourth game of the year. Jones threw six innings giving up just one run and five hits. Henry relieved Jones in the seventh to earn her second save of the year.

“It was good to get Kim out there and I was happy with the way she pitched today,” said Pinkerton. “We’re going to need her down the stretch. I was real pleased with all three pitching performances this weekend.”

The Lady’Backs continue their seven-game home streak taking on No. 11 Oklahoma on Monday at Lady’Back Yard. The doubleheader is slated for 4 p.m.

For more information about Arkansas softball, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.