UA Softball Team Opens Fall Season
FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas softball team begins the fall season at Lady’Back Yard Sunday, Sept. 19 as the Lady Razorbacks host the first of three scrimmages with Bacone College, Connors State College and Neosho County Community College in a round robin format. Action starts at 9 a.m. when Bacone College meets Connors State. The Lady’Backs first test comes at 11 a.m. against Neosho County, who finished fifth at the 2004 NJCAA National Tournament. “All three teams will bring a different style,” first-year head coach Jamie Pinkerton said. “I expect Neosho to bring a fundamentally sound team.” In 2004, Bacone College finished in the top 15 in NAIA under head coach Dawn Reed. Reed was a former member of Pinkerton’s staff at the University of Tulsa. The Lady’Backs meet Bacone College at 3 p.m. In the final game of the day, the Lady’Backs take on Connors State at 7 p.m. Pinkerton said he expects the scrimmages to provide the Lady’Backs with experience that leads to a successful 2005 season in the Southeastern Conference. “We’ll be trying different combinations and lineups,” Pinkerton said. “Hopefully, we can fine tune it for the spring.” Pinkerton said one of the most vital things of the fall season is for the players to become accustomed to his style. “As a staff, we like any coaching staff want to win but more importantly we want to implement our new system and have the system established come February,” he said. Sunday marks the first game for the eight new Lady’Backs including transfers Linzee Roby and Anna Hawkins along with six freshmen. “I am looking for the 12 returnees to lead the six newcomers to become acclimated with collegiate Division I softball,” Pinkerton said. Arkansas returns four seniors and sophomore Rachel LeMaster, who led the team in hits (45) and batting average (.298) in 2004. Arkansas hosts two additional scrimmages Sept. 26 with Northeastern A&M, Texarkana College and Northeastern State traveling to Fayetteville and the Lady’Backs conclude the fall season Oct. 2 against Carl Albert, Southwest Missouri State and Evangel. For more information about Lady Razorbacks softball log on to www.ladybacks.com.