Arkansas softball shut down by South Alabama before the rain

Bri Ellis drove in Arkansas' only run during a loss to South Alabama at the Razorback Rumble. (Hank Layton/NWA Democrat-Gazette)

FAYETTEVILLE — Olivia Lackie has become a thorn in the side of SEC opponents, and she came up roses again for South Alabama on Friday.

Lackie settled down after allowing a first-inning run and pitched out of trouble the rest of the way as the Jaguars edged No. 20 Arkansas 2-1 in the Razorback Rumble softball showcase at Bogle Park. 

For the third time in as many weeks, Lackie (9-3) shut down an SEC team. Earlier this season, the right-hander defeated South Carolina 5-2, and last weekend she handcuffed Alabama 2-0 with a three-hit shutout.

“To me, every game is the same,” Lackie said. “I go out there with the same mindset, just one pitch at a time and just give it all I've got.”

On Friday that was more than enough as the senior overcame an early deficit by working around jams in several innings, including the fifth when the Razorbacks (17-5) threatened to take the lead.

With one out, Hannah Camernzind hit a grounder that was headed to the hole between first and second base. South Alabama second baseman Odalys Cordova made a diving attempt to keep the ball in the infield, but the ball glanced off Cordova's glove and into foul territory down the right-field line. Camenzind raced around to third for a triple.

Arkansas' Rylin Hedgecock followed by blasting a Lackie pitch toward the middle, but Cordova raced to her right and snared the liner with a backhand catch. A popup to short ended the threat and the Razorbacks did not threaten the rest of the way.

“That was huge,” Lackie said of Cordova's catch. “They had all the momentum and it was just really big for her to come back and make that play. It was just huge. It turned the whole momentum in our favor.”

South Alabama (13-6-1) lost 7-2 earlier in the day to Northern Iowa.

“They were just tougher than we were,” South Alabama coach Becky Clark said of the loss in the early game.

Arkansas jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first against Lackie. Reagan Johnson led off with a single and scored on Bri Ellis' RBI double. 

But that was all the runs the Razorbacks could muster despite numerous chances. Arkansas was 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position.

South Alabama took the lead in the third inning against Arkansas starter Robyn Herron (6-5), who took the loss despite giving up 3 hits with 6 strikeouts in 4 innings. 

Brooklyn Bockhaus led off with a walk and was sacrificed to second. After Herron struck out Sidney Lee, Mackenzie Brasher singled sharply to left and Bockhaus beat the throw to the plate to tie the game at 1-1. 

Gabby Stagner belted a 2-2 double to center, scoring Brasher from second for a 2-1 lead.

Morgan Leinstock replaced Herron in the fifth with two on and no outs and shut down the Jaguars with a pair of strikeouts. Leinstock was dominant over 3 innings, allowing 3 hits with 5 strikeouts.

Washed Out

Arkansas' second game Friday against Saint Francis was canceled in the third inning due to rain. 

Arkansas was batting in the bottom of the inning when play was stopped. The game will not be made up. 

Arkansas started Hannah Camenzind in the circle and she allowed 2 hits and struck out 2 in 3 innings.

Schedule Shuffle

Arkansas' game against South Alabama, scheduled to start at 3:45 p.m., did not start until close to 5 p.m. 

Three games were played earlier in the day, which caused the schedule to run behind.

In the earlier games Friday, Nebraska won a pair of games, defeating Saint Francis 7-6 and run-ruling Northern Iowa 13-3. 

Also on Friday, Northern Iowa downed South Alabama 7-2.

Arkansas was originally scheduled to play Nebraska on Thursday, but that game was canceled because of the threat of inclement weather.

Next Up

Arkansas is scheduled to play twice Saturday, beginning with a 4:45 p.m. game against Northern Iowa, followed by a 7 p.m. rematch with South Alabama.

The Razorback Rumble will conclude Sunday with Arkansas taking on Northern Iowa at 12:15 p.m. in the Razorbacks' final game of this lengthy homestand.