Clarksville, Ark.-The University of the Ozarks softball team easily took care of Rhodes College 9-1 in six innings on Tuesday afternoon in Memphis, Tennessee, in non-conference play.
Ozarks (8-5, 0-2) roughed up Rhodes pitcher Rachel Austin for three runs in the top of the first. That inning set the table for additional Ozarks’ runs late in the game. Jessica Pianalto opened the game with a single. After Pianalto recorded one of her three steals in the game, Jodie Clark knocked her in to give the Lady Eagles a 1-0 cushion. Brooke Grice and Chelsea Joslin each had RBI’s in the inning to put the visitors up 3-0 after one inning of play. Rhodes could only manage one run against Ozarks’ starter Andrea Mitchell. That came in the second when Jessica Stepp doubled in Austin. However, from that point, Mitchell would allow just two hits. After going scoreless the next three innings, Ozarks would tack on two more runs in the top of the fifth. Ozarks’ offense flexed its muscles in the top of the sixth, scoring four runs on three hits. Ozarks also benefited form two Rhodes’ miscues. Kara Bartholomew and Clark each had sacrifice RBI’s in the four-run inning. Pianalto had a 2-RBI double to cap the inning. Mitchell then quickly dashed Rhodes’ hopes of a comeback by closing out the game with a ground out and two strikeouts. Mitchell improved her record to 3-1. She had four strikeouts and only walked one. Pianalto finished the game 3-for-4 with 2 RBI and 3 runs. Clark had a team-best 3 RBI. The Lady Eagles had eight steals in the contest. Rhodes drops to 3-10. The Lady Eagles will host UT-Tyler in an important American Southwest Conference four-game series this weekend. Friday’s double-header begins at 1:00 p.m., and will be followed by a double-header on Saturday at 11:00 a.m.