Softball wasted little time brushing aside the Arkansas Razorbacks Saturday night.
After a one-hour rain delay, the Tigers (43-8, 15-5 SEC) run-ruled the Razorbacks (15-32, 1-19 SEC) 10-1 in a game that was finished in under 90 minutes. There was plenty of action in those five innings, however.
Junior first baseman Jade Rhodes crushed her 18th home run of the season in the bottom of the fifth, tying teammate Kasey Cooper’s single-season program record.
“I hope she breaks [the record],” coach Clint Myers said. “Jade is having a great year.”
Rhodes’ breakout season has boosted the Tigers’ elite offense this season, but Myers said there’s still room for improvement with the junior.
“You look at all she’s doing now, but Jade can do better,” Myers said. “She’s bought in and really working hard. There’s nothing but a great future for her.”
Not to be outdone, Cooper finished off the rout later in the inning, smacking a double off the center field wall and sealing the victory. Cooper currently sits just one home run behind Rhodes and her own program record.
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While the batters battered the Razorbacks, starting pitcher Lexi Davis bounced back from rough performances against Alabama to stifle Arkansas all night long.
“(Davis) has been really working hard,” Myers said. “She knows she can pitch better and tonight she did. She pitched magnificently and we’ve had two greatly pitched games.”
Davis said it was important to get her confidence back in the right place ahead of this series.
"I felt more in-sync than I have been," Davis said. "I got my confidence up a little bit last week and then coming in I felt pretty good with the week of practice that we had."
Despite the positives, Myers said there were areas the Tigers still need to work on, such as hitting with runners in scoring position.
“We talked about the good things that we did today and the things we need to do better,” Myers said. “There are things that great teams do, and I think we need to increase our percentage of scoring runners that are in scoring position.”
The Tigers will look to complete the sweep Sunday, April 25 at 1 p.m. at Jane B. Moore Field. Myers said he hopes the Tigers can close out the home portion of their schedule with one final win.
“It’s the idea that we have one more to do to get done with our homestand and then go out on the road and start basically the postseason,” Myers said. “We’re hoping for a third greatly pitched game.”
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