Lady'Backs drop SEC doubleheader to No. 2 Alabama

TUSCALOOSA, ALA. – The University of Arkansas softball team dropped a Southeastern Conference doubleheader to the second-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide Wednesday at the Alabama Softball Complex in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The Lady Razorbacks (12-25, 0-5 SEC) dropped their fifth conference game, while Alabama (30-1, 9-1 SEC) hit six home runs on the day, winning their ninth SEC game.

“Offensively and defensively I thought we played really well,” said head coach Jamie Pinkerton. “Our athletes played hard and we didn’t make any errors tonight. It’s real disheartening when you play well defensively and hit the ball decent against the No. 2 team in the nation, and 8 of their 14 runs come from the home run. You can’t defend that.”

In game one, four home runs lifted the Tide over Arkansas 9-0 in just five innings.

Alabama jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after a two-run home run by Lauren Parker in the bottom of the first inning.

The Crimson Tide increased their lead 7-0 in the third behind two solo back-to-back home runs by Jordan Praytor and Dani Woods, a two-RBI double by Kellie Eubanks and a solo homer by Kelley Montalvo.

Bama added two more runs in the fourth for a 9-0 lead and final. Praytor hit the top of the right field fence for an RBI double scoring lead-off batter Brittany Rogers and Woods hit an RBI single through the right side to score Praytor.

Arkansas had base runners in four out of the five innings, producing five hits, but was shutout by the pitching duo of Chrissy Owens and Allison Moore.

Owens improved to 15-0, allowing four hits, walking none and striking out three. Moore threw the fifth inning, allowing one hit and walking one.

Dixon earned the loss in the circle falling to 3-10.

“Against Chrissy Owens, their ace, we only had three K’s,” said Pinkerton. “I was real pleased with the way we swung the bats in that game, even though we lost 9-0.”

In game two, the Lady’Backs fell behind 2-0 after the first inning, as Parker hit her second two-run home run of the evening.

In the fourth, Morgan’s RBI single to right field and Roger’s RBI single through the right side added two runs for the Tide, increasing their lead 4-0.

The Lady’Backs got on the scoreboard in the top of the sixth, narrowing the lead 4-2. Freshman Jessica Bachkora singled up the middle and a wild throw by the Alabama infield advanced Bachkora to second. Senior Rachel LeMaster then traded places with Bachkora, hitting a line drive to right center for her second double of the year. LeMaster advanced to third on a passed ball and crossed the plate on a wild pitch.

Alabama added one more run in the bottom of the inning on a bomb by Mandy Burford to put the Crimson Tide up 5-2.

Blair Potter improved to 7-0 on the mound and Moore picked up the save, while Katy Henry fell to 7-11.

“We were without Teighynne Hulsey tonight and that had a big bearing on what we could do from a pitching standpoint, but you go with the cards you’re dealt. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but we just have to try to take this offensive momentum and go to Knoxville.”

Sophomore Whitney Cloer led the Arkansas offense going 3-for-5 with a double. She was followed by Bachkora who was 3-for-6 with one run scored, and LeMaster, who went 2-for-5 with one run scored and one RBI.

“We have a couple holes in the lineup right now,” said Pinkerton. “If we can get some offense from them and continue to get that kind of production out of LeMaster, Bachkora and Cloer, we’ll be alright.”

The Lady’Backs continue with SEC play this weekend, facing Tennessee in Knoxville for a three-game series. Saturday’s doubleheader and Sunday’s single game all begin at noon.

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