Hogs rally in seventh for win split with No. 19 LSU
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Brittany Robison singled to center field with one out in the bottom of the seventh to drive in the game-winning run in the Razorbacks’ 8-7 victory over No. 19 LSU Friday evening at Bogle Park. Arkansas (24-16, 10-7) entered its half of the seventh trailing by two runs before mounting a charge for the come-from-behind win over the Tigers. The win snapped a six-game skid for the Razorbacks against LSU. In game two, the Tigers jumped out to an 8-0 lead and earned a split in the doubleheader with a 10-4 win.
“In game one, we fell behind but just kept plugging away and we hit the ball hard,” head coach Jamie Pinkerton said. “They made one mistake and we were able to come from behind in the seventh. That was a big win for us against a ranked team. LSU is a great team and that sets the table for an opportunity to win the series.”
The Razorbacks scored the first run of the day on an RBI double by Brittany Griffiths in the bottom of the second. The extra-base hit scored Miranda Dixon from second to give the home team the early 1-0 lead. After the teams exchanged two spots on the scoreboard, Arkansas led, 3-2, going into the top of the fifth. Griffiths hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the fourth.
LSU took momentum with a five-run fifth highlighted by an Anissa Young three-run homer to right center. The Tigers batted around during the scoring streak and held a 7-3 lead heading into Razorback half of the sixth.
Dixon cut the deficit in half with her team-leading ninth home run of the season, a two-run knock to left field. Amie Hubbard scored ahead of Dixon. The home run was Dixon’s seventh in eight games. Later in the inning, a walk to Tori Mort loaded the bases. Not seeing anything she wanted to hit, Whitney Cloer earned a walk to push across another run. At the end of the sixth, the Razorbacks trailed, 7-6.
Arkansas tied the game in the seventh on a throwing error by LSU which plated Hubbard. With pinch runner Becca Carden on third and after an intentional walk to Griffiths, Robison delivered the game-winning hit. It was the Razorbacks’ first win over LSU since the 2006 season.
Coming back for game two, however, the Tigers seized control early with two runs in the first, four in the second and another two in the third. LSU did a majority of its damage with two outs against them. In the second, the visitors strung together five consecutive hits, including a double by Rachel Mitchell that ended the scoring. Again down two outs in the third, Jessica Mouse knocked a two-run shot to center to give her team the 8-0 advantage.
“I was disappointed that we spotted them an 8-0 lead in game two,” Pinkerton said. “We had opportunities with at least two runners on in three straight innings. What we have to focus on is coming back tomorrow without digging ourselves a hole or giving away too many free passes.”
In total, Arkansas stranded 10 runners on base in game two of the Friday’s doubleheader. The Razorbacks were able to breakthrough in the bottom of the third by manufacturing four runs to cut the LSU lead in half. Jessica Bachkora scored the first run of the inning when Kayla Johnson reached on a fielder’s choice. Dixon continued to do damage at the plate with a two-run double to right center that scored Tori Mort and Johnson. Sandra Smith posted the final RBI of the inning with a single up the middle.
With their lead down to 8-4, the Tigers responded with runs in the top of the fifth and sixth innings to push the score to the final tally of 10-4.
Arkansas had a chance to cut into the lead in the bottom of the sixth. The Razorbacks had the bases loaded with no outs, but Dixon struck out and Mort was thrown out at home after a fly ball out to end the potential threat.
Saturday’s series finale is set for a 12:07 p.m. first pitch with the game being televised by Cox Sports Television (CST). Arkansas will be looking for its first series win over LSU since the 2006 season. The game will be coupled with the dedication of Bogle Park, the Razorbacks’ new home field. On-field ceremonies begin at 11:15 a.m. with the first 500 fans receiving free admission, lunch and commemorative softball. For more information and live stats, please log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Download: LSU 10, Arkansas 4.pdf