Razorbacks split with Tulsa

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas junior Becca Carden and senior Sandra Smith each homered in game two of Saturday’s doubleheader to lead the Razorbacks to a 9-0 win and a split on the day with Tulsa at Bogle Park. In the first game, the Hogs lost 2-0 after being shutout on two hits.

"I was really encouraged by the weekend," head coach Mike Larabee said. "Our pitchers so far in four games have only given up three runs so that is really a bright spot. We had our first error but one error in four games is not too bad. The first game we came out and we were really, really tight. In between games, I just told our players to go up there and relax and you saw the results, we put up nine runs against a very good team."

In game one, starting pitcher Miranda Dixon held the Golden Hurricane scoreless through the first four innings. Tulsa threatened in the first and the third, putting runners on second and third with no outs in each inning. In the third, after a strikeout and a defensive gem by third baseman Brittany Robison to take down a runner at home, Dixon got left fielder Jessica Stoelke to pop out, ending the inning.

Dixon allowed one run on nine hits through six innings of work. The senior struck out four and did not issue a walk. Dixon gave way to junior right-hander Layne McGuirt who pitched one inning of relief, giving up one run on one hit with two walks and one strikeout.

Tulsa broke the scoreless tie in the fifth when shortstop Samantha Cobb doubled home right fielder Lauren Menke, who led off the inning with a single to left field, giving Tulsa a 1-0 lead.

The Golden Hurricane added another run in the top of the seventh to take a 2-0 advantage. Center fielder Caitlin Everett scored from third on a passed ball after she reached on a single, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch.

The Razorbacks rallied to load the bases in the bottom of the seventh but were held without a run. With two outs, Carden walked followed by a Tori Mort single. Center fielder Jessica Bachkora then reached on an error by the second baseman. Tulsa reliever Jackie Lawrence ended the Arkansas comeback and the game when she got Robison to strike out.

Lawrence earned a save for Tulsa after pitching the final three innings of game one. Starter Jordan Kinard pitched four scoreless innings, walked only one and did not allow a hit.

The second game of the day was a different story on offense for the Razorbacks with Dixon, Carden and first baseman Sandra Smith all driving in at least two runs. Arkansas got the scoring started early with a five-run bottom of the first. Dixon drove in the first run with an RBI single which Carden followed with a grand slam to left-center field. Dixon, second baseman Courtney Breault and shortstop Brittany Griffith all scored on the home run. Carden added a single in the third to finish the game 2-for-3 with a run and four RBIs.

Dixon drove in her second run of the game on a sacrifice fly in the second to increase the Hog lead to 6-0. Bachkora scored after reaching on her second walk of the game.

The Razorbacks increased their edge to 9-0 in the bottom of the fourth on Smith’s three-run homer to right-center field. Mort and Robison scored after reaching on a single and a walk, respectively. Razorback starting pitcher Hope McLemore worked five shutout innings, allowing only two hits and issuing one walk while striking out four. Fellow freshman Chelsea Cohen pitched the final two innings in her second appearance of the fall.

Through four exhibition games this fall, Robison and Dixon lead the team in hitting with a .444 and .400 average, respectively. Smith and Carden are tied for the team lead with four RBIs each.

Arkansas returns to the field Oct. 3 for its final doubleheader of the fall, a meeting with Seminole College at Bogle Park. Game one of the twin bill is set for 1 p.m.

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