No. 6 LSU sweeps Lady'Backs

FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas softball team fell to No. 6 LSU 3-1 in the final game of the Southeastern Conference series Sunday at Lady’Back Yard. The Lady Razorbacks dropped to 20-38 overall and 5-17 in the SEC while the Tigers remained first in the Western Division of the SEC with a 19-3 SEC record and a 46-6 overall record. The Lady’Backs were plagued by errors all series and committed four errors on the day making all three LSU runs unearned. “When we go out and play a team the caliber of LSU we have to limit our mistakes to have a chance,” said head coach Jamie Pinkerton. “We hit the ball a little bit today, but we’ve got to play defense.” On a windy afternoon, LSU got out to quick start against the Lady’Backs with two runs in the top of the first inning. Dee Dee Henderson drew a lead-off walk before Rachel Mitchell reached on an Arkansas error. Both runners advanced on a double steal and then Henderson crossed home plate as Tayl’r Hollis reached on another infield error. Mitchell then scored on a wild pitch to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead. Senior Rachel LeMaster led-off the bottom half of the first inning with a single in the infield. She advanced to second with a stolen base, but was left stranded after three consecutive put outs. In the second inning LSU added another run. Jazz Jackson reached on a fielder’s choice, advanced all the way to third on a stolen base and a throwing error, and then scored on a passed ball for a 3-0 lead. LeMaster reached base again in the third inning, this time on an LSU error. LeMaster then got into scoring position with her 22nd stolen base of the season and the 75th of her career, but was left on base. In the fourth inning, freshman Miranda Dixon led-off with a single and pinch runner Jocelyn Moncrief made it all the way to third, but a strong LSU defense kept the Lady’Backs scoreless. In the fifth inning junior Samantha Buckner led off with a line-drive double to left center. Buckner advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by LeMaster and on two outs freshman Jessica Bachkora singled down the right field line to score LeMaster giving the Lady’Backs their first run of the series and narrowing the Tiger lead to 3-1. Dani Hofer started in the circle and picked up her 21st win of the year for the Tigers. She threw five innings and allowed one run on five hits and struck out five before she was relieved by Emily Turner. Turner pitched the last two innings giving up no hits and striking out two to earn her first save of the season. Dixon threw a complete game in the loss, allowing just three hits and two walks with two strikeouts. “I’m really pleased with the way Miranda threw today,” said Pinkerton. “We’ve brought her along slowly and here within the last week or two she’s emerged as one of our better pitchers. I think she’s maturing and I like the progress she’s making.” Arkansas softball returns to action Wednesday, April 25, facing Wichita State in a midweek doubleheader. The first pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. For more information about Arkansas softball, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.