North Texas Classic next for Razorbacks

FAYETTEVILLE — The Arkansas softball team continues its non-conference tournament schedule Friday through Sunday at the North Texas/Sleep Inn Classic in Denton, Texas.

“We are looking forward to picking up where we left last weekend,” Arkansas coach Mike Larabee said. “Especially in terms of our pitching and defense goes. Hopefully we can get about three or four more hitters going this weekend.”

Arkansas is coming off a 2-3 weekend at the Metrodome Classic in Minneapolis. The Razorbacks hit .242 as a team during the three-day tournament. Center fielder Jessica Bachkora paced the Razorbacks with a .500 average (8-for-16) and six runs scored. Miranda Dixon led the team with two home runs and six RBIs.

“I thought last weekend was a pretty good start for us,” Larbee said. “All four pitchers we threw combined had good outings. Our staff ERA was slightly over two runs per game and if we can continue to pitch that way the rest of the year we are going to be in great shape. I was really impressed with freshman Hope McLemore, I thought she showed a lot of heart.”

In the opening game of the tournament, the Razorbacks (2-3) will play North Texas (0-1) with first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m. Arkansas will then take on Sam Houston State (1-5) at 5:30 p.m.

On the second day, Arkansas will play Missouri State (0-3) at 10 a.m. followed by Buffalo (0-0) at 12:30 p.m. The Razorbacks will close competition with an 11:30 a.m. match up against Drake (2-3).

Friday and Sunday’s game will be played at the home of the Mean Green, Lovelace Stadium, while both games on Saturday will take place at Pioneer Field. Pioneer Field is located on the campus of Texas Woman’s University.

For the second-straight tournament, Arkansas will take on a couple fairly unfamiliar opponents while taking on one regional foe in Missouri State. Against three of the five other teams–North Texas, Sam Houston State and Buffalo–participating in the tournament, the Razorbacks have played only two games.

Missouri State leads the all-time series with Arkansas, 17-14, including a 2-1 win in the squads last meeting in Fayetteville, while the Razorbacks have a 4-3 record against Drake after suffering a 2-1 loss to the Bulldogs last weekend in Minneapolis. Arkansas will face off against both the Tigers (April 28, Springfield, Mo.) and the Bulldogs (March 6, Fayetteville) again this season.

Arkansas and North Texas have played against each other only once with the Razorbacks coming out on top.

Sam Houston State, who went 28-26 a season ago, won the only previous match up with Arkansas, a 1-0 decision in 2005 in Corpus Christi, Texas. Sunday’s game will be the first meeting between Arkansas and Buffalo. The Bulls had a record of 25-27 last year.

The North Texas/Sleep Inn Classic is the second of five non-conference tournaments for Arkansas.