Lady'Backs split against Ole Miss Saturday
OXFORD, MISS. – The University of Arkansas softball team defeated the University of Mississippi 7-0 in the first game of a Southeastern Conference doubleheader in Oxford, Miss., before falling in the nightcap 1-0. The Lady Razorbacks (18-34, 5-13 SEC) produced seven runs on eight hits in game one and were held scoreless, managing just one hit in game two. Ole Miss (19-25, 9-10 SEC) was shutout in the first game with only four hits, while the Rebels tallied eight hits and one huge run late in the second game. “We did really well in game one,” said head coach Jamie Pinkerton. “I was really happy with the offensive production, we played clean defensively and Katy Henry threw big game. That is how we’re capable of playing. Inconsistency plagued us in game two.” After two scoreless innings in game one, the Lady’Backs plated a run in the third for the 1-0 lead. Sophomore Hillary Freeman was hit by the pitch to reach base before Senior Rachel LeMaster singled in the infield, advancing Freeman to third. LeMaster then stole second to put both runners in scoring position when sophomore Kayla Johnson singled to the right side, scoring Freeman. The Lady’Backs added two runs in the third inning behind a two-RBI triple by freshman Jessica Bachkora. Junior Samantha Buckner led off the inning with a single that dropped into left field. Freeman was then hit by another pitch to reach base, moving pinch runner Dara Clark over to second. On two outs, Bachkora smacked a triple over the right fielder’s head, scoring Clark and Freeman for a 3-0 lead. The Arkansas offense was not done there as it pushed four more runs across the plate in the top of the seventh. Bachkora led-off with a single through the right side before sophomore Whitney Cloer blasted a two-run home run to right center for her sixth homer of the year. Rebel pitcher Tara Willitt then hit Johnson with the pitch and Huckabee singled up the middle, putting runners on first and second. With no outs, sophomore Brandy Baze then reached on a Rebel error, allowing Johnson to score and advancing Huckabee to third. Huckabee later crossed home plate on a passed ball putting the Lady’Backs up 7-0. Junior Katy Henry earned her 12th win and threw her seventh shutout of the season, a four-hit, seven-strikeout performance. Willitt picked up the loss giving up seven runs on eight hits with eight strikeouts. In game one, LeMaster had two stolen bases and tied the career stolen base record with 72 stolen bases. The night cap was a pitcher’s duel, scoreless through six and a half innings. Dixon got the start in the circle for Arkansas while Becky Nye started for Ole Miss. Huckabee was the first base runner for Lady’Backs, reaching on a walk in the top of the fifth inning. Huckabee then advanced to third on a single to center field by Dixon. With runners on first and third, pinch runner Clark stole second to put both runners in scoring position, but Huckabee was picked off at third after Buckner attempted a bunt. Buckner did reach base on a walk, but the Rebels managed to get out of the inning unharmed. The fifth inning was the only time the Lady’Backs had runners in scoring position in game two. Dixon threw four and one-third innings, allowing no runs on five hits and striking out seven before she was relieved by Henry in the fifth. Ole Miss threatened several times throughout the game, but in the bottom of the seventh Mary Jane Callahan hit a walk-off home run to center field to end the game 1-0 in favor of the Rebels. Nye threw a complete-game shutout, giving up just one hit and three walks, while striking out 12. In two innings of relief, Henry gave up one run on three hits and struck out two. The final game of the series begins tomorrow at 1 p.m. For more information about Arkansas softball, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.