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    Wednesday SEC Softball Central

    Softball RESULTS
    Arkansas 14, Savannah State 1
    Iowa 3, Kentucky 1
    Georgia 14, Gardner-Webb 0
    Alabama 9, Georgia State 1
    Ole Miss 3, Samford 0
    Florida 11, USC Upstate 0


    Arkansas Offense Explodes at Savannah State

    SAVANNAH, Ga. – The University of Arkansas softball team defeated the Savannah State Lady Tigers, 14-1, in five innings on Wednesday in Savannah, Georgia.
     
    Arkansas (21-10) was led at the plate by Nicole Schroeder. She hammered a first-pitch grand slam in the third inning to give Arkansas a 6-0 lead. Schroeder finished the day with six RBI, upping her total to 21 in 2013. Also homering in the game was Amanda Geile. She hit a pinch-hit, two-run blast in the fifth inning.
     
    In the circle it was the senior, Chelsea Cohen, pacing the Hogs. She went five innings, giving up one run on two hits, while striking out nine. Cohen picked up her 10th win of the season in the effort. She now has 100 strikeouts in 80 innings this season. 
     
    “Once again, we played really well,” head coach Mike Larabee said. “Chelsea came out and was pretty dominant, another nice pitching performance. Our defense was excellent again tonight.” 
     
    Devon Wallace started the game with her SEC-leading 40th walk of the year. She stole second base and then was moved over to third with a groundout to the second-baseman by Stephanie Canfield. On the next pitch Wallace crossed home plate as the ball went soaring over the catcher’s head. The wild pitch gave Arkansas a 1-0 lead after the top of the first.
     
    Jayme Gee led off the third inning with a walk and she advanced two bases with wild pitches from Lady Tiger pitcher, Amanda McDowell. After a Claire Clark fly out, McDowell dealt 12 straight balls to start the third inning and loaded the bases for Oprzedek. The Lady Tiger pitcher balked on her third pitch of the at bat and Gee came home to score. After Oprzedek walked, that loaded the bases again, this time for Schroder. She tomahawked a ball over the leftfield fence for a grand slam. Her sixth homerun of the year gave Arkansas a 6-0 lead. Clarisa Navarro added to the lead when she walked and then scored on an Ashley Martindale double. After Martindale stole her 12th base of the season, she came around to score on a Sierra Bronkey sacrifice fly. Her 12th run of the season made the score 8-0.
     
    Cohen continued to deal through the third inning. After battling Rachel White to a full count, Cohen got the junior on an off-speed pitch for out number one. Antonette Smith suffered the same fate on three straight pitches for Cohen’s fourth strikeout of the game. Cohen continued the trend for the third out of the inning and got Michaela Patton to chase a changeup.
     
    Arkansas added three more runs in the fourth as Wallace started the inning with a single to leftfield. Three batters later she scored when Schroeder tapped out to the shortstop. Canfield walked earlier in the inning and was pinch ran for by Amanda Summerford. The senior scored on a wild pitch to make it a 10-0 lead for the Hogs. Oprzedek scored two pitches later when Martindale reached on an error. 
     
    The Razorback pitcher, Cohen, used the offensive momentum and continued to dominate in the circle. She notched three more strikeouts in the bottom of the fourth to give her six in a row and eight on the day.
     
    Jennifer Rambo started the fifth inning with a pinch-hit single. Geile followed the hit with a two-run bomb over the leftfield fence. This was Geile’s first homerun of the season and it gave Arkansas a 13-0 lead. Back-to-back walks followed for Summerford and pinch-hitting Alyssa Bass. This left two runners on with one out for Schroeder. The freshman lined a single through the left side of the infield and Summerford scored to give Schroeder her sixth RBI of the day.
     
    After Cohen got Tiffany Taylor to groundout to the second-baseman, Bronkey, Megan Uhrman turned on a 2-2 pitch and shot it over the leftfield wall. The solo-shot cut the lead to 14-1. Cohen rallied back and retired the next two batters to end the game.
     
    Next up, the Razorbacks will continue their eight-game road trip with game three games at the University of Florida. Game one will begin at 4 p.m. CT, Friday.



    Kentucky Drops Midweek Duel to Iowa

    LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Iowa softball team scored a run in both the first and second innings to grab ahold of a lead it would not relinquish, defeating the No. 21 University of Kentucky softball team 3-1 in a midweek non-conference game on Wednesday at the UK Softball Complex. 
     
    Kentucky (20-8) will return to action this weekend when it plays host to a three-game Southeastern Conference series with Mississippi State at the UK Softball Complex. The series will begin Friday night at 6 p.m. ET before 1 p.m. ET start times Saturday and Sunday. Sunday’s game will be televised live on Fox Sports South as part of the SEC regional TV package. Check local listings for channel information.
     
    Admission to all three games is free of charge due to the continued construction of the new UK Softball Complex. The new stadium is nearly completed, but until construction in the seating areas is fully complete, admission to games will be free of charge. Fans can contact the UK Ticket Office with any questions prior to attending a game at 1-800-928-2287. 
     
    Fans attending games this weekend will have countless promotions to get involved with starting Friday as the first 100 fans in the stadium will a free package of UK softball trading cards. Fans will also be able to register to win a free Nike FuelBand on Friday. Saturday and Sunday will be Little League Day at the complex as all little league coaches and players are invited to wear their team uniforms. The entire UK team will also sign autographs following the games on Saturday and Sunday.  
     
    True freshman pitcher Katie Henderson received the loss in the game after throwing two innings, allowing three hits, two runs – both earned – with two strikeouts. The loss is the first of the season for Henderson, who is now 2-1 with a 1.00 earned-run average. Henderson was replaced in the top of the third inning by fellow freshman Kelsey Nunley, who threw the final five innings of the game, allowing one earned run on four hits with five strikeouts. 
     
    Senior Alice O’Brien recorded the only RBI of the game for Kentucky with her run-scoring single in the fourth inning. Freshmen Sylver Samuel and Ansley Smith each had a hit in the game, while sophomore catcher Griffin Joiner was 1-for-2. Freshman Darington Richardson scored the only UK run after pinch running for Joiner in the fourth inning. 
     
    Iowa (19-8) scored single runs in the first, second and seventh innings to earn the win. Iowa pitcher Kayla Massey earned the winning decision, throwing a solid seven innings, allowing only four hits and one earned run. Shortstop Meagan Blank went 2-for-4 in the game with two RBI, while third baseman Michelle Zoeller was 2-for-3 with a run scored. Massey went 1-for-4 at the plate on top of her strong pitching performance, while leftfielder Ashley Akers was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. 
     
    Iowa, who is receiving votes in both the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 and USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Top 25, has won five of their last seven games, including a win over No. 11 Louisville earlier this week. 
     
    This was the third-ever meeting between Kentucky and Iowa in softball with Iowa now owning a 2-1 lead in the series. UK lost to Iowa in the first meeting in 1997 in Bloomington, Ind., before defeating the Hawkeyes in Iowa City, Iowa in 2003. This was the first meeting in Lexington. 
     
    Kentucky will play host to the SEC Tournament this season for the first time in school history. The event, which is considered one of the most prestigious softball tournaments in the nation, will be May 8-11 in Lexington. The championship game will be featured on ESPN2, while all other games will be shown on ESPNU.
     
    For the latest on UK softball, follow "@UKSoftball" on Twitter or like Kentucky Softball on Facebook.



    UGA Shuts Down Garnder-Webb

    ATHENS, Ga. --- The No. 23/24 University of Georgia softball team used five home runs to beat Gardner-Webb 14-0 on Wednesday, March 20 at Jack Turner Stadium.
     
    The Bulldogs improved to 22-7 as Gardner-Webb fell to 3-14 in the five inning game.
     
    Geri Ann Glasco got the start, struck out four and did not allow a hit in three innings of work to improve to 13-1 on the season. Chelsea Wilkinson came in to pitch the final two innings and struck out five of eight batters faced, including the final two batters of the game.
     
    Alyssa Gutierrez (1-3) suffered the loss after giving up three runs on two hits. Jessica Childers also saw time, throwing 1 2/3 innings, giving up eight runs, five of which were earned, on 10 hits. Ashley Rhyne threw two innings of relief, allowing three runs on four hits and three walks.
     
    Georgia took a 5-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back. Paige Wilson hit the first home run of the day when she sailed a long ball over the right field wall. After Glasco walked, Tina Iosefa knocked a two-run homer, her 10th of the season, over the center field wall to give Georgia a 3-0 lead. After Iosefa's home run, Gardner-Webb made a call to the bullpen and brought Childers to the circle. Tess Sito followed Kaylee Puailoa's double with a home run over the right field wall, Georgia's third of the inning which brought the score to 5-0.
     
    The Bulldogs used a six-run second inning to increase their lead to 11-0. Glasco added to the home run total when she lined a two-run homer over the right field wall and drove in Niaja Griffin. Sito doubled to center field before Christine Olney hit a single to drive in Maya Branch and Sito, bringing the score to 10-0. Bryanna Blanco hit her first career home run and the fifth of the game when she put one over the right field wall.
     
    Gardner-Webb turned to its third pitcher of the game, Rhyne, at the top of the third. With one out, Olney hit a bases-clearing double to score the final three runs of the game and give Georgia the 14-0 lead.
     
    The Bulldogs turned to Wilkinson in the top of the fourth. After allowing the only hit of the game, she settled in to strike out the next three batters. Wilkinson followed suit in the top of the fifth, striking out the final two batters to seal the 14-0 victory.
     
    The Bulldogs will return to action in the home SEC opener on Friday, March 22 at 6 p.m. when they host Ole Miss for the first of a three-game series.



    Alabama Opens Homestand with Win

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Junior Lauren Sewell got it done pitching and delivered with the bat as the Alabama softball team took down the visiting Panthers of Georgia State, 9-1, Wednesday night from the friendly confines of Rhoads Stadium.
     
    The Crimson Tide improves to 27-3 on the 2013 campaign, winning its fifth in a row. Georgia State falls to 15-9 on the season. The win gives head coach Patrick Murphy, 799 on his career.
     
    Sewell tossed a five inning gem, giving up one run on two hits while striking out three. She improves to 6-0 in 2013 and 23-1 for her career.
     
    Sewell led the Crimson Tide at the plate as well, belting her first home run of the year, finishing 1-for-3 with three RBI, while senior Kayla Braud added her first home run of the year as well. Braud finished the night 2-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored.
     
    After GSU started the scoring in the first, Alabama would answer in the bottom of the second. The first run of the inning was scored on a freshman Andrea Hawkins single that plated sophomore Danielle Richard. Braud then sent the Katie Worley offering over the right field fence for a three-run shot, her first home run of the year. All in all, the Tide would put up a four spot to take the lead.
     
    The power would return in the third inning, with Sewell shooting a laser blast to left field, scoring junior Jackie Traina and sophomore Jadyn Spencer. The three-run blast was Sewell's first home run of the season.
     
    UA would plate two more runs in the fourth, adding to the lead and making the score 9-1. Sewell would send Georgia State down in the top of the fifth, ending the run-ruled game.
     
    Alabama will continue the home stand this weekend, hosting in-state rival Auburn for a three game set. Game one will be Friday, with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m.



    Ole Miss Blanks Samford on Blustery Wednesday

    OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss softball team (19-15, 1-5 Southeastern Conference) got a complete game shutout from junior pitcher Carly Hummel, and defeated visiting Samford 3-0 on a cool, blustery Wednesday evening at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.
     
    Hummel (8-8) threw all seven innings, allowing just four hits, zero walks and striking out five in the victory over the Bulldogs (9-15).
     
    “Today I thought (Carly) threw her game very well and worked on all of her pitches … and I thought she did a very good job of mixing them up,” Ole Miss softball head coach Windy Thees said.
     
    Ole Miss scored one run in each of the first three innings to take a 3-0 lead and held the lead for the remainder of the game. Samford would bring the tying run to the plate in the top of the seventh, but Hummel threw her fifth strikeout of the game and the Rebels got their seventh shutout victory of the season.
     
    Freshman catcher Natalie Martinez had her first multi-hit game of the season, going 2-3 with one RBI. Defensively, Martinez threw out her fourth potential base stealer of the season with a nice throw in the fifth inning to freshman shortstop Haley Culley, who applied the tag.
     
    Martinez and Culley were two of four freshmen to start for the Rebels in the infield Wednesday night.
     
    “They’re talented – they’re very talented,” said Thees about her freshmen infielders Culley, Martinez, Madi Osias and Melina Preciado. “They know how to play this game; it’s just a matter of making plays. When you have a pitcher out there with a lot of confidence it helps. I think they all did a good job.”
     
    Hummel, who has thrown five or more innings in eight of her last 11 starts, said the Rebels had a very hard practice Tuesday, and Wednesday’s win was an important one for the team.
     
    “We came out and I think we played ready today,” Hummel said. “It was kind of difficult coming off that losing streak, especially with Missouri, they’re an awesome team. So coming out today, it was really important that we got that win.”
     
    Culley scored the first run of the game for the Rebels in the bottom of the first on a wild pitch with the bases loaded.
     
    Martinez scored Ole Miss’ second run of the game with an RBI double to left-center in the second inning. Martinez’s double scored junior right fielder Natalie Nimmo from second base.
     
    With two outs away in the bottom of the third, sophomore designated player Lauren Lindsey hit her fifth double of the season to the left-center gap. After freshman right fielder Bri Payne came on as a pinch runner and advanced to third on a wild pitch, Osias hit an RBI double down the left field line to give the Rebels a 3-0 lead that proved to be the final score.
     
    Ole Miss will now turn its attention to No. 23 Georgia (22-7, 3-0 SEC) as it returns to conference action in Athens, Ga. The Rebels will face the Bulldogs in a three-game series beginning Friday at 5 p.m. CT. First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT, and Sunday’s series finale will start at 1 p.m. CT. 
     
    For all Ole Miss softball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissSoftball and on Facebook at Ole Miss Softball.



    Gators Hold USC Upstate to One Hit

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Following almost a two hour rain delay at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium, the No. 3 Gator softball team (28-3, 4-2 SEC) worked quickly, using three runs in the first inning and eight in the third to enforce an 11-0 run-rule over USC Upstate (21-3, 5-1 A-Sun), the Gators’ ninth mercy rule and 11th shutout of the season. Junior ace Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) and sophomore hurler Alyssa Bache (Clearwater, Fla.) combined for one-hitter, holding the Spartans hitless on the evening until the fifth.
     
    Rogers received the start and earned the victory in the circle for the Orange and Blue Wednesday, improving to 15-2 overall after recording seven strikeouts in four hitless innings of work, before Bache completed the game with a scoreless frame of her own, allowing a single hit with two Ks. The effort marked the 13th combined one-hitter in Florida history and the first since the same Gator duo shut out Gardner-Webb in five innings last March.
     
    Reigning SEC Co-Player of the Week sophomore Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) paced the Gator attack, driving in four runs with a 2-for-3 night at the plate, connecting for a double and homer in the third inning.
     
    Florida used a pair of two-out RBI hits from sophomore Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.) and junior Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif.) in the bottom of the first frame to jump out to an early 3-0 lead on Upstate.
     
    Rogers swiftly went to work in the circle on the defensive end for the Gators, punching out two Spartans in the first frame, one in the second, and two in the third and fourth innings each in an efficient 44-pitch outing.
     
    The Orange and Blue kept the bats going in the bottom of the third as the Gators hit around, stringing together an eight-run, five-hit stanza to go ahead of the Spartans, 11-0. Florida first used an infield single from freshman Kirsti Merritt (Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.), followed by a Haeger two-run shot to left field to go ahead, 5-0. Haeger’s bomb marked her team-leading 11th of the season for Florida, her third consecutive game with at least one blast.
     
    Next up, Little drew a walk with no outs on the board to set up a sophomore Bailey Castro (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) two-run jack for the 7-0 Gator lead, chasing Upstate starter Sam Poarch from the circle in favor of Anna Miller. The Gators then drew two consecutive walks before sophomore Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.) cashed in with a RBI single to right field for the 8-0 UF advantage.
     
    Freshman Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) was then pegged with a Miller pitch to juice the bags for Merritt, who was able to drive in a run following an Upstate defensive miscue for the 9-0 lead that left the bases loaded. Haeger registered her second extra-base hit of the frame with a two-RBI double to deep right center to take the Gators up the final 11-0 margin following the third stanza.
     
    Following a scoreless fourth for both teams, Bache came on in relief in the circle for UF in the top of the fifth to close things out for the Orange and Blue. Dana Landers connected for Upstate’s first hit of the game, a double to left center, in the top of the fifth, but Bache was effective retiring the final three batters in order – including two strikeouts – to cap off Florida’s 28th win of the season.
     
    Poarch moved to 1-1 on the season in the circle for the Spartans, while she and Miller combined for four Ks on the evening. Poarch was charged with five hits and four earned runs, while Miller gave up two Gator hits and three earned runs in the mid-week contest.