Lady'Backs Open Season with a Split

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif.,-The University of Arkansas softball team opened the 2005 season at the Mustang Roundup as they split two games in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

In the first game of the day, the Lady Razorbacks fell to Sacramento State, 4-0, at the Bob Janssen Field on the campus of Cal Poly.

Arkansas recorded its first win of the season against Nevada, 3-1. Sophomore pitcher Sarah Topham recorded the win as she threw a complete game.

With the victory over Nevada, head coach Jamie Pinkerton recorded his first win at Arkansas and said he was pleased with his team’s persistence.

“I though we bounced back well,” Pinkerton said. “We struggled in the first part of the game but made the adjustments that we didn’t make in the first game of the day.

After three scoreless innings, offense appeared for both the Lady’Backs and Wolf Pack.

Nevada took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when junior right fielder Cindy Elkins tripled to right center scoring junior third baseman Kari Stockstill.

Pinkerton said the Lady’Backs didn’t lose their focus after the Nevada squad struck first.

“We were down but battled back and took the game,” Pinkerton said. “We played well from behind.”

Arkansas answered in the bottom of the inning as sophomore right fielder Rachel LeMaster hit a shot to shortstop scoring senior first baseman Ashley Carter.

The Lady’Backs broke the 1-1 tie in the bottom of the fifth inning with a two run surge.

Carter recorded two RBIs with a double to leftfield scoring sophomore second basemen Kallie Foglesong and junior center fielder Mindy O’Malley, giving the Lady’Backs a 3-1 lead.

In the first game of the day against Sacramento State, the Lady’Backs recorded the first hit of the game as Foglesong started the second inning with a single to second base.

LeMaster followed with a leadoff single in the top of the third inning, which marked the Lady’Backs final hit of the game.

Junior pitcher Valanna Lyons held Sacramento State scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning when the Hornets scored two runs when senior pitcher Brianne Ferguson squeezed a sacrifice bunt and Lyons overthrew junior Shana Easley at home.

Pinkerton said a few blunders hurt the defensive while the offensive stalled in the opener.

“I think we had a couple of communication errors that cost us runs,” Pinkerton said. “When you struggle at the plate, you can’t make those mistakes.”

After a scoreless fifth inning, Sacramento State freshman first baseman Teri Ann Caoagan hit a leadoff double in the sixth that resulted in a two-run inning for the Hornets.

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