Offense stymied in doubleheader at No. 6 Alabama
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Razorback softball team struggled at the plate Saturday in a pair of losses to the sixth-ranked Crimson Tide at the Alabama Softball Complex. Arkansas (25-19, 10-10) scored the first run of the day but stalled in a 9-1 loss in game one. In the day’s finale, Alabama (37-8, 15-6) scored the first seven runs of the contest to come away with a 7-1 win.
“It was one of those days where nothing went right,” head coach Jamie Pinkerton said. “I don’t feel we played poorly, defensively, but I don’t think we saw the ball well or made adjustments at the plate. We just have to do a better job tomorrow making those adjustments and keeping runners off the bases in front of their No. 3, 4 and 5 hitters.”
The Razorbacks jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning in game one. With one down, Amie Hubbard singled up the middle and advanced to second on a Sandra Smith groundout. Brittany Griffiths singled to left field to plate Hubbard and give Arkansas the early advantage.
Alabama responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the second. With the bases loaded, Lauren Parker drew a walk from starter Kim Jones and Ashley Holcombe came in to score to even the game. The Crimson Tide tacked on another two runs in the third, the first on one swing of the bat by Charlotte Morgan who led off the inning with a solo home run to right field. Alabama led, 3-1.
With the help of three walks by Kelsi Dunne, the Razorbacks had the bases loaded in the top of the fourth. Hubbard, Griffiths and Jocelyne Moncrief each worked a walk out of Dunne with Jessica Bachkora coming to the plate. However, the junior outfielder struck out to end the inning and possible scoring threat.
Back-to-back home runs by Ashley Locke and Holcombe to lead off the bottom of the fifth was a start of a four-run inning for the Crimson Tide. Lauren Parker had a single to left field to plate two runs and extend her team’s lead. In the sixth, Holcombe hit a two-run single up the middle to seal the win for Alabama in six innings, 9-1.
Game two was a reverse replay of the opener as the Crimson Tide jumped out to a big lead with Arkansas adding a run late in the ballgame. Holcombe continued to torture the Razorbacks with a two-RBI single in the bottom of the second. After a two-run shot by Morgan, her second of the day, Alabama led, 4-0, after three innings of play.
The home team put the game out of reach with a three-run spot in the bottom of the fifth. With the bases loaded, Cassandra Reilly-Boccia was hit by a Miranda Dixon pitch to pick up an RBI. Alabama’s final runs of the game came by way of a two-run single by Holcombe through the right side.
Arkansas’ lone run of game two came in the top of the seventh. Smith reached on an error by Parker at second, and Becca Carden came on to pinch run. Hubbard followed with a single to left field. Carden came around to score from second when a single by Dixon was misplayed in the outfield. The game came to an end when Brittany Robison grounded into a double play.
Sunday’s series finale is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start and will be televised by Fox Sports South. Arkansas will look to salvage a game from the series and break a 21-game skid against the Crimson Tide. The game will be broadcast on KXUA Fayetteville (88.3 FM) and ArkansasRazorbacks.com, which will also carry live stats.
Download: Alabama 7, Arkansas 1.pdf