Long ball leads Arkansas to Border War sweep

TULSA, Okla. – Taking a mid-week break from Southeastern Conference play, the Razorback softball team notched a pair of victories Wednesday in the Border War with wins over Oklahoma State and Tulsa. Arkansas (21-13, 8-4) run ruled Oklahoma State, 8-0, in the opener and completed the sweep of games with a 9-5 victory over host Tulsa. The Razorbacks had a pair of home runs in each game and collected 17 combined hits against their regional opponents.In the day’s first game, Arkansas jumped out to an early two-run lead after the first two innings of play by plating a runner in each frame. In the bottom of the first, Tori Mort got on with her first of two infield hits of the day. Standing on third, after a walk and a fielder’s choice, Mort scored on ground ball up the middle by Miranda Dixon.Sandra Smith led off the second by earning a walk. She was replaced at first by pinch runner Lindsey Wells who promptly got into scoring position when she advanced to second on wild pitch by OSU starter Sarah Odom. Later in the inning, Bachkora had an RBI single to left field that brought Wells home and gave the Razorbacks a 2-0 lead.Arkansas continued the scoring streak in the third. Kayla Johnson and Dixon started the inning with a pair of singles to right field. With one down, Smith continued her recent surge with a three-run shot to deep left field, her third home run of the season. The Razorbacks led, 5-0.Oklahoma State had its chances throughout the game with at least one runner in each inning, but Kim Jones never allowed a runner past second base. The Cowgirls looked poised to breakthrough in the top of the fourth with runners on first and second with one out. Jones responded, however, by striking out the final two batters of the inning to end the threat. Jones (6-6) finished the game with four strikeouts on her way to her third shutout of the season.In the bottom of the fifth, Brittany Griffiths ended the game with a three-run homer of her own to center field. Jessica Robison and Smith reached base ahead of the freshman shortstop and came around to score on the first career home run for Griffiths. It was also her first walk-off hit.In game two, Tulsa got on the scoreboard first when Vanessa Vice singled to center field to score Lauren Menke, who stood at second after a double into the gap of right center.Arkansas’ bats responded with a three-run second to take the lead from the Golden Hurricane. The first three hitters of the inning all singled, but Amie Hubbard was thrown out at second trying to leg her single into a double. Brittany Robison scored the first run of the inning when Bachkora singled to left. Griffiths and Bachkora came around to score on an RBI single by Whitney Cloer.The Razorbacks tacked on two more runs in the third on an RBI single by Robison and an RBI groundout by Griffiths. Dixon and Hubbard came around to score to give Arkansas the 5-1 lead.Tulsa fired right back with three runs of its own in the bottom of the inning. With the bases loaded, Christian Timmons doubled down the left field line to clear the bases, scoring Lauren Lindsay, Kailey Yarmer and Brooke Smart.After a pair of scoreless innings for both teams, Arkansas held on to a 5-4 lead heading into the sixth. Two of the Razorbacks’ biggest bats came to the forefront in the way of Cloer and Dixon. With two outs and Mort on first, Cloer lofted her eighth home run of the season to left field. Not to be outdone, Dixon delivered a two-run shot—Johnson walked ahead of her—to straight-away center field. It was the fourth home run of the season for Dixon. The pair of homers lifted the Razorbacks to a 9-4 lead. Cloer was 3-for-4 with four RBI against the Golden Hurricane.Dixon (13-4) allowed a fifth run in the bottom of the seventh, but closed out the game getting Smart to line out to Griffiths. The junior pitcher finished the game with six strikeouts and with her 13th win, surpasses her previous season high of 12 set last season.Arkansas improves to 8-7 all-time in Border War games and won both games for the third time in program history. The Razorbacks return to SEC action by hosting Auburn in a weekend series at Bogle Park. Saturday’s doubleheader is set for a 1 p.m. start. Visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com for more information.

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