FORT MYERS, Fla. – Three two out runs in the third inning proved to be crucial for No. 24 Arkansas (7-1) as it defeated FGCU (8-3), 4-1, at the FGCU Softball Complex on Sunday afternoon. The tandem of juniors Ryan Jackson and Kayla Green combined for every Razorback RBI on the day, and freshman pitcher Jenna Bloom racked up her first collegiate save as she struck out all six batters she faced.
Senior starting pitcher Autumn Storms (4-0) scattered seven Eagles singles across her 4.2 innings of work and left six runners stranded. The Arkansas bats drilled 11 hits against FGCU pitching while Jackson (3), junior Hannah McEwen (3) and Green (2) each recorded a multi-hit game.
How it Happened
Jackson and Green teamed up to score the first Razorback run in the top of the second. Jackson led off the inning with a double toward the left centerfield gap and Green bounced a single past the dive of the FGCU second baseman to go up, 1-0.
The two were the driving force behind three two out Arkansas runs in the third inning. Jackson sent a double to the right centerfield gap and recorded an RBI as McEwen scored. The Hogs went up 3-0 as junior Linnie Malkin advanced to score on the same play as the relay throw from the second baseman skipped past the catcher. Green then rifled a ball toward left center for an RBI double to increase the lead, 4-0.
FGCU manufactured a run in the bottom of the fourth inning to draw within three. The first two Eagle hitters recorded singles then advanced on a sacrifice bunt. A groundout to short plated the run.
Storms and Bloom both had control of their pitches. They combined for 10 strikeouts and did not walk a batter. FGCU junior pitcher Sarah Lawton (4-1) took her first loss of the season and allowed all four runs and six hits in 2.2 innings of work.
Redshirt freshman Valeria Ventura was error-free at third base in her first collegiate start and recorded her first collegiate hit on a single to centerfield.
The Razorbacks went 3-0 at the FGCU Invitational this weekend and improved to 8-0 all-time at the event.
Arkansas hosts the Razorback Invitational next weekend at Bogle Park from Thursday, Feb. 20 through Sunday, Feb. 23 and will play six games. The Razorbacks take on Boston University in the home opener at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20. Visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com for a complete schedule.
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