Razorbacks win 9-8 in finale
LEXINGTON, Ky. -Arkansas senior Sandra Smith’s second home run of the day, a three-run shot in the top of the sixth inning, helped the Razorbacks softball team overcome a late two-run deficit for a 9-8 Southeastern Conference victory over Kentucky on Sunday at the UK Softball Complex.
After a tough offensive day on Saturday, Arkansas (18-10, 3-2 SEC) hit four home runs and scored nine runs on 11 hits. Smith finished the day 2-for-4 with five RBIs.
With the Razorbacks trailing 6-4 in the top of the sixth, first baseman Emily Jones hit her first career home run, a two-run shot to left field, to tie the game. Jones finished the game 3-for-4 with two singles, a home run and three RBIs.
The Wildcats got within a run in the bottom of the sixth when Kentucky shortstop Molly Johnson hit a two-run home run to left field to make it 9-8, but Arkansas freshman Hope McLemore (10-4) retired the Wildcats in order in the bottom of the seventh.
Kentucky (19-10, 4-4) kept pace with the Razorbacks throughout the game, hitting two home runs of its own.
Arkansas took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a solo home run by senior center fielder Jessica Bachkora, her 10th of the year.
A two-run home run by Smith, her seventh of the season, extended the Razorbacks advantage to 3-0 in the top of the second.
Kentucky tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the third inning on a three-run homer to left-center field by Wildcats third baseman Brittany Cervantes.
The Razorbacks tallied a run in the top of the fourth to regain a 4-3 lead as first baseman Emily Jones drove a run with a single up the middle. Designated player Layne McGuirt scored on the play.
A three-run bottom of the fourth put the Wildcats in front 6-4. A two-run single from second baseman Natalie Smith and an RBI single by catcher Megan Yocke accounted for the scoring.
Razorbacks starter Miranda Dixon allowed three runs on five hits with one strikeout in her second start of the year. McGuirt worked two-thirds of an inning in relief, surrendering three runs on three hits while walking two and striking out one.
McLemore worked the final three innings, allowing two runs on two hits with one walk.
Arkansas returns to action Wednesday with a non-conference game against regional foe Oklahoma. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. CDT at Bogle Park.