Lady'Backs run rule Bears Pinkerton picks up 100th win

Springfield, Mo. – The University of Arkansas softball team run ruled Missouri State 9-1 in five innings at the MSU Softball Field on Tuesday. The Lady Razorbacks dropped the first game 5-2, but rebounded to earn a split on the road. “I commend the players for coming back in game two and getting things back on track,” said head coach Jamie Pinkerton. “We played like we’re capable of playing. We had a little chat in between games that sometimes things don’t bounce your way and you can either throw your hands up or you can stand up and fight. They stood up and fought.” The game two win gave Pinkerton his 100th win at the helm of Arkansas softball. “It’s an honor that doesn’t come without a lot of hard work from your staff and your players,” Pinkerton said. “We hope the next 100 come quicker.” Arkansas produced 12 hits in its five-inning win and was led by junior Kayla Johnson with two hits and four RBI. Arkansas’ eight and nine batters, sophomore Brittany Robison and junior Jocelyne Moncrief, went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored. Senior Katy Henry earned her 17th win in the circle. She allowed one run and struck out five. Sophomore Jessica Bachkora led off the second game with an infield single and scored on a double off the left center fence by Johnson. The Lady’Backs rallied for five runs on two outs in the top of the fourth. Junior Whitney Cloer walked with one out and with two down, senior Samantha Buckner doubled to left center. Back-to-back one-run singles by Robison and Moncrief plated Cloer and pinch runner Hillary Freeman, respectively. Bachkora loaded the bases with an infield single before Johnson smacked a bases-clearing double to left center that put Arkansas up 6-0. Missouri State got on the scoreboard with one run in the bottom of the inning. Melissa Porche led off with a double to left field. She advanced to third on a single by Brooke Kempker and scored on a sacrifice fly to left center by Elysha Swider. In the fifth, senior Dayna Huckabee hit a line-drive double to center after Cloer reached on a fielder’s choice. Three consecutive one-run singles sprayed through the infield by Buckner, Robison and Moncrief moved the Lady’Backs out of reach 9-1. In game one, back-to-back doubles by Johnson and sophomore Miranda Dixon got the Lady’Backs out 1-0 in the top of the first inning. In the second, Michelle Armentrout singled up the middle before Ashley Knehans hit a two-run home run to left field to put the Bears up 2-1. A single and an Arkansas error put two runners on for the Bears in the third. Jessie Smith then singled up the middle and scored both runners. Another Lady’Back error allowed Porche to reach base and Smith scored from second to give Missouri State a 5-1 advantage. In the fourth, Huckabee led off with a single to left field. Buckner laced a line-drive single a bounce away from the center field fence that moved Huckabee to third. Bachkora then singled in the infield and plated Huckabee to bring Arkansas within three, 5-2. Porche kept the Lady’Backs at bay for the rest of the game and picked up the win in the circle. She threw four innings in relief and allowed just one hit with five strikeouts. Porche started game two and earned the loss after giving up six runs on eight hits. The Lady’Backs return home this weekend for their last regular season Southeastern Conference series against No. 23 Mississippi State. Saturday’s doubleheader and Sunday’s single game are slated for 1 p.m. For more information about Arkansas softball, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.