FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Senior Devon Wallace breaking the program’s all-time home run record was one of many highlights during the 2015 campaign for the Arkansas softball team. Among other highlights include:
2015 Season Notes
• Devon Wallace, a four-year starter for the Razorbacks, used her senior season to etch her name all across the Arkansas record book. The Double Oak, Texas, native owns eight career school records including batting average (.357), slugging (.671), on-base (.557), home runs (47), runs scored (184), total bases (378), walks (235), and intentional walks (12). Facing Texas on March 16 at Bogle Park in front of a nationally televised audience on SEC Network, Wallace broke the school home run record with her 44th career homer. She is one of only two players in Arkansas history to hit 40 or more home runs. Earlier in the series on March 14, she scored her 173rd career run to set a new runs scored record. Facing Saint Louis in Hammond, La., Feb. 28, Wallace tied a single-game record when she recorded a career-high six RBIs including a grand slam in a 6-3 Razorback victory. Her 16 multi-hit games just this season led the team and on April 29 she recorded her 200th career hit as a Razorback. Wallace is one of six players in program history to have 200 or more hits, while she is one of just four in history to pair 200 hits with 30 or more doubles. Hitting leadoff in 49 of 52 starts, Wallace provided plenty of punch to the top of the lineup. Twice she led off the game with solo home runs (March 12 at Missouri State, April 26 at Auburn) while she recorded three total first inning home runs on the year (April 5 vs. Mississippi State). Adding to her record-breaking career, she also became the first Razorback ever to be drafted into the National Pro Fastpitch league when she was selected No. 20 overall by the Pennsylvania Rebellion in the 2015 NPF Draft April 1 in Nashville, Tenn. Off the field, Wallace capped her career by being named the SEC’s 2015 Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year. She graduated in December 2014 with her undergraduate degree and upon passing her board exam in early 2015, became a registered nurse.
• Junior Stephanie Canfield batted .320 this season, third-highest on the team, and finds herself moving up the program’s career charts. Canfield ranks second all-time for batting average as she is a career .349 hitter. Her .471 slugging percentage ranks tied for sixth all-time while her .396 on-base percentage is fourth. After swiping 16 bases on 18 attempts (.889) this season, she stands in ninth place all-time with 28 career stolen bases. Canfield’s career .875 (28-32) stolen base percentage ranks third all-time. For the second consecutive season, the St. Joseph, Ill., native paced the team with four triples. Canfield is on pace to break the school’s mark as her 10 career triples trails leader Dayna Huckabee (2005-08) by just two. Canfield ended the 2015 season on a charge, recording multi-hit games in three consecutive games to close out the year. Her 13 multi-hit games ranked second while her five multi-RBI games was tops on the team.
• Five seniors – Kala Crisp, Sierra Bronkey, Kasey Fagan, Megan Pearson, Devon Wallace – rounded out their Cardinal and White careers in 2015. All five seniors were written into the starting lineup on Senior Day (May 3). Crisp earned her first career start in left field, Bronkey at second, Fagan at short, Pearson at first and Wallace as the designated player.
• The Razorbacks faced one of the more challenging schedules in the Southeastern Conference. Arkansas was the only team in the SEC to open up conference play with two consecutive road series against top-10 opponents. The Razorbacks began play on the road at then-No. 5/5 LSU before playing at then-No. 8/8 Georgia. Additionally, Arkansas faced a total of eight team’s ranked inside the RPI Top 25 (May 4) including three out of conference – LSU, Auburn, Alabama, Missouri, Georgia, Oklahoma, Kansas, UCF.
• Nearly half of Arkansas’ victories this season came after Arkansas trailed in the game. In seven of their 16 wins, the Razorbacks rallied from a deficit, including erasing a three-run margin twice (Feb. 28 at Southeastern Louisiana, April 11 at South Carolina).
• The Razorbacks found themselves in seven extra innings game this season, including playing a season-high 9.0 innings against Texas (March 14). Of Arkansas’ three extra-innings victories, two came in walk-off fashion. Tied 1-1 in the bottom of the eighth against Saint Louis in Hammond, La., on Feb. 27, Kasey Fagan delivered a three-run homer to give Arkansas a 4-1 win. On the same day in the same place, Fagan delivered another walk-off hit, this time a double to plate the winning run in an 8-7 win over UT-Martin. Arkansas’ third extra innings win came April 11 at South Carolina, in one of the Razorbacks’ more dramatic games of the season. Trailing 3-0 and getting no hit by the Gamecocks through the game’s first five innings, Devon Wallace and Kasey Fagan broke up the no-hit bid and recorded back-to-back singles. Stephanie Canfield tied the game up on her third home run of the season, a three-run blast to right field. Tied 3-3 in the top of the seventh, Fagan delivered an RBI base hit to put Arkansas ahead for the moment. After South Carolina tied the game in the bottom of the seventh, sophomore Shelby Hiers provided the heroics for the Razorbacks, plating the go-ahead run on a solo home run to center field in the top of the eighth.
• Arkansas recorded three walk-off wins this season. In addition to Fagan’s two winning hits, freshman Tori Cooper delivered the third. Trailing 6-5 entering the bottom of the seventh against George Washington Feb. 20, Stephanie Canfield provided a one-out base loaded single to tie up the game. On a full count in the next at-bat, Cooper connected for a single up the middle to supply the winning run for Arkansas.
• With 20 of 28 players on the roster as underclassmen, plenty of freshmen and sophomores received extended playing time this season. Freshman Madison Yannetti paced the team batting .303 in SEC games. Starting 26 games overall, Yannetti connected for her first career home run on the road at Georgia (March 21). Freshman Tori Cooper led all underclassmen, batting .258 overall. Cooper appeared in 39 games while starting 27 including 12 of the final 13 games. Freshman Autumn Russell also started 27 games while appearing in a total of 45. Her four multi-hit games led all freshman and batted .243 on the season. Freshman Jessie Mullen started 12 games – 11 coming at second base – and pinch hit in an additional 10 games. Her first career home run came in a pinch hit role April 6 vs. Mississippi State. Red-shirt freshman Rachel Box proved to be a reliable bat off the bench. Box was second on the team behind senior Sierra Bronkey in pinch-hit appearances, hitting 5-for-12 (.417) with a home run in 14 late-game appearances. Sophomore Jessica Harrison turned it on in the last chunk of the season, batting .455 while slugging .818 over the season’s final nine games. In the three-game set at Auburn (April 24-26), Harrison batted a team-high .500 with two home runs and three RBIs. Following that effort, she hit .800 with five RBIs in doubleheader action against Southeast Missouri (April 29). At one point during the final nine games, Harrison had posted a seven-game hitting streak and a six-game RBI streak. Sophomore Shelby Hiers and redshirt-sophomore Nicole Schroeder both finished second on the team in home runs with four as the Razorbacks received a combined 10 home runs from the catcher position (Hiers 4, Schroeder 4, Kate James 2). Schroeder slugged two homers in a Feb. 14 game against Louisville, the only Razorback to hit multiple home runs in a game this season. As a team, Arkansas hit multiple home runs in a game seven times, posting a 3-4 record.
• Sophomore Sydney Wright led the way for the Razorbacks in the circle. She posted team highs in appearances (44), starts (22), complete games (8), innings pitched (155.0), wins (10) and strikeouts (74). Four times over the course of the season she pitched a career-high 8.0 innings (Feb. 27 vs. Saint Louis, March 28 vs. Ole Miss, April 11 at South Carolina, and April 29 vs. Southeast Missouri). Freshman Allison Stewart finished second on the team in wins with four while starting nine games and appearing in 21. Sophomore Grace Moll logged the most innings behind Wright, pitching 67.2 innings while making 24 appearances and 14 starts.
• Looking ahead to the 2015-16 season, Arkansas is on track to return .652 percent of its hits, .677 percent of its RBIs, .677 percent of its home runs, and .667 percent of its runs scored from the 2014-15 season. The Razorbacks’ pitching staff of four underclassmen – freshmen Haley Meinen and Allison Stewart and sophomores Sydney Wright and Grace Moll – and junior Claire Clark are also set to return.