This article originally appeared online on February 25, 2013 on The Arkansas Traveler website (uatrav.com).
The Arkansas softball team rebounded after an extra inning loss to ULM in the semifinals of the Arkansas Invitational by defeating St. Louis 8-0 in six innings in the consolation game.
Arkansas led ULM 6-0 after two innings in the first game Sunday, but couldn’t score another run. They ended up losing 7-6 in eight innings.
However, in the second game Sunday, the Razorbacks clinched third place in the Arkansas Invitational by scoring eight runs on 10 hits. The third inning was their only scoreless inning.
“There’s a couple ways you can come back,” UA head coach Mike Larabee said. “You can feel sorry for yourself, or you can come back and take care of business. I really love the way our team responded.”
In the pitcher’s circle, senior Chelsea Cohen struck out 13 of the 22 batters she faced, setting a career high for strikeouts in a game. Her strikeout total was just three shy of tying Heather Schlichtman’s UA record of 16, which was set in 2004.
In six innings of work, Cohen didn’t allow a run and only gave up three hits.
“I thought (Cohen) was spot on,” Larabee said. “She got ahead (in the count) and that’s what we’ve been stressing to our pitchers.”
Offensively, the Razorbacks were led by sophomore Sierra Bronkey, who moved from the seven spot in the lineup to the two spot, in place of freshman Stephanie Canfield. Canfield suffered a leg injury in the second game Saturday.
Bronkey went 4-for-4, including a two-RBI double in the sixth inning to clinch third place.
“(Bronkey) had four good quality at bats,” Larabee said. “With Canfield out, we thought she’d be a good candidate for the two spot and she came up big.”
The Razorbacks were also aided by sophomore Devon Wallace, who continued her hot hitting by going 1-for-2 and also getting a walk. She finished the tournament 8-for-12 with two home runs, two doubles, four RBI, eight walks and two stolen bases.
She is now batting .457 this season and leads the Southeastern Conference with 19 walks.
“She’s phenomenal,” Larabee said. “Last year we didn’t have a lot around her, but this year the bottom of our order is really (good) and we’re generating a lot more runs.”
Arkansas finished the tournament 4-1, winning by run rule in all four games and losing in extra innings in their lone loss, and improved their season record to 12-5. They outscored their opponents 44-10.
The Razorbacks’ next game is 3 p.m. Friday against Wright State in the first game of the Woo Pig Classic at Bogle Park.