Arkansas scores two wins on record-breaking day
FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas softball team broke two school records and tied two records in a doubleheader sweep of Southeastern Conference foe Kentucky, Saturday at Lady’Back Yard. The Lady Razorbacks (14-30, 2-10 SEC) tied the single game records for most runs scored (14) and most hits (19), and broke the record for most runs batted in (14). Sophomore Whitney Cloer also broke the single game record for most hits in a game with five. Cloer was 5-for-5 in game one with four RBIs, two runs scored, two doubles and one home run. Arkansas broke its seven-game losing streak in high fashion and earned its first two SEC wins against Kentucky, improving to 14-30 overall and 2-10 in conference play. The Wildcats fell to 17-13 and 4-9 in the SEC after the series loss. “I was really proud of the way they came out and fought today,” said head coach Jamie Pinkerton. “They’ve been plugging away hard all year and haven’t been catching any breaks. Today they caught a few breaks. We knew we were going to struggle at times this year, but good things come to those who work hard.” The first game Molly Johnson got Kentucky out to a quick 2-0 lead with a two-run home run on two outs in the first inning. After freshman Brittany Robison led off the second inning with a walk, freshman Miranda Dixon evened the score, 2-2, with a two-run shot of her own. Five hits, including two doubles and a three-run home run by Ashley Fertic, put the Wildcats up by five runs in the top of the third inning. The Lady’Backs answered with seven hits and six runs in the bottom of the third. Cloer led off with a double down the left-field line. Junior Samantha Buckner then singled through the left side followed by a single to center by junior Dayna Huckabee scoring Cloer. Robison reached on a fielder’s choice before Dixon dropped a base hit into right center. Sophomore Kayla Johnson scored Robison and Huckabee on a single through the right side. A single by freshman Teighynne Hulsey and a fielder’s choice by LeMaster loaded the bases, when Bachkora was hit by the pitch allowing Johnson to trot across the plate. A bases-loaded two-RBI single to center field by Cloer scored Hulsey and LeMaster and gave the Lady’Backs the 8-7 advantage. Singles by Robison and Johnson, and a double by Hulsey put Arkansas up 10-7 in the fourth. Johnson’s hit up the middle scored Robison from second while Hulsey’s double to left field scored Johnson from second. In the top of the fifth inning an RBI single by Campbell that scored Marnitz put the Wildcats within two of the Lady’Backs. A solo home run to left field by Cloer in the bottom of the fifth gave Arkansas their three-run lead back, 11-8. Arkansas loaded the bases again in the sixth after Dixon led off the inning ripping a single to left field, Johnson walked, and Hulsey reached on a catcher’s interference. LeMaster then hit her third double of the year driving in Dixon and Hulsey. Another RBI double, this time by Cloer on two outs, scored Bachkora and gave the Lady’Backs the 14-8 lead. “Whitney Cloer is one of the hardest working players on this team,” said Pinkerton. “She’s done a good job of situational hitting.” Hulsey relieved junior Katy Henry on the mound after 2.2 innings and earned her third win of the year. She allowed just one run and two hits in 4.1 innings. In game two, Arkansas scored first on two outs in the first inning. Cloer walked, Buckner singled to center field and Huckabee walked, loading the bases for the Lady’Backs. Robison then drew the third walk of the inning, allowing Cloer to cross home plate for the early 1-0 lead. Fertic hit her second home run of the day, a solo blast to left field in the fifth inning tying the score, 1-1. Kentucky took the 2-1 lead in the sixth with an RBI single through the right side, scoring Johnson. In the bottom of the inning, Robison reached on a Kentucky error before Dixon launched a game-winning, two-run home run, her second of the day and fourth of the year. “Miranda can swing the bat and when she gets hot, watch out,” Pinkerton said. Bachkora doubled to left field later in the sixth, scoring freshman Jess Reed and LeMaster to put the Lady’Backs up 5-2 over Kentucky. Henry relieved Dixon in the circle in game two, picking up her eighth victory. She allowed no runs and just two hits in her two innings of work. “Katy told me after game one that she didn’t pitch like she should and that she wanted to go back in,” said Pinkerton. “I’ve got to trust her. She carried us to the SEC tournament last year.” The Lady’Backs play the final game of the SEC series with Kentucky at Lady’Back Yard tomorrow at 1 p.m. The contest is televised on Fox Sports Network South. Students get in free with a valid U of A ID, and the first 250 fans into Sunday’s game receive a free mini bat. “There is still a lot of season left,” said Pinkerton. “We’ve dug a deep hole, but we took one step out of the hole today. We’ve got to keep playing like we did in these games to have a shot in this conference.” For more information about Arkansas softball, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.