Freeman and Smith lead Lady'Backs to two wins
FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas junior Hillary Freeman and sophomore Sandra Smith came up with big hits to lead the Lady Razorback softball team to two wins Sunday at Lady’Back Yard. The Lady’Backs improved to 8-0 in the fall defeating Northeastern Oklahoma A&M 5-1 and Crowder College 1-0. Arkansas’ final game of the evening against Northeastern State University was cancelled after three innings due to inclement weather. Freeman led the Lady’Backs with a .400 batting average, two hits, one double and four RBIs. Smith added a game-winning home run. “We made the plays when we had to today and I was pleased with our performance,” said head coach Jamie Pinkerton. We struggled a little at the plate and we were a bit sluggish offensively, but we scored when we had to.” Down 1-0 against NEO in the third inning of the first game, Arkansas lit up the scoreboard with three runs. Sophomore Jessica Bachkora led off the inning with a single through the right side. Junior Kayla Johnson laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Bachkora and reached base on an error. Bachkora then scored on another NEO error and Johnson advanced all the way to third base. After Smith drew a walk, Freeman hit a line-drive single to center field and scored Johnson and pinch runner Brandy Baze. Freeman pushed two more runs across with a double to right center in the fourth. Freeman plated Smith and senior Dayna Huckabee with her second hit of the game. Layne McGuirt earned her first win on the mound against the Lady Norse. McGuirt pitched six innings and gave up one run on five hits with six strikeouts. Henry pitched one inning in relief and struck out two. “I was happy with our pitching,” Pinkerton said. “Even though Layne admittedly didn’t have her best stuff, she fought through it, pitched six innings and gave us a good start.” Against Crowder, Smith launched a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the fourth inning to score the only run of the game. It was her second homer of the fall. Bachkora and Huckabee also tallied hits versus the Lady’Riders. Freshman Kim Jones and Senior Katy Henry combined for the shutout in the circle. Jones threw six and two thirds innings allowing four hits and striking out five for the win. Henry relieved Jones in the bottom of the six fanning one batter with the tying run in scoring position to earn the save. “I was pleased with Kim’s performance after being off for a week, and with the way Katy came in and shut the door in both games,” said Pinkerton. In the nightcap, Northeastern State jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first as Brandy Kimberlin led off with a bunt single and Lauren Rome scored her with a single through the left side. The Lady’Backs answered in the bottom of the inning evening the score. Bachkora drew a lead-off walk, was sacrificed over by junior Jocelyne Moncrief and scored on a hit up the middle from Huckabee. Bachkora scored again in the third putting Arkansas up 2-1 on NSU. Bachkora reached on an error, stole second and third and slid into home plate on a wild pitch. Play was suspended and the games were cancelled in the top of the fourth due to lightning and storms in the area. The Lady’Backs wrap up their fall season Saturday at Lady’Back Yard hosting Missouri State, Oklahoma State and Rogers State at the Lady’Back Fall Invitational. For more information about Arkansas softball, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.