03/12 - 5:00 PM
SB at Tulsa
03/14 - 6:00 PM
SB vs Tennessee
03/15 - 1:00 PM
SB vs Tennessee
03/16 - 1:00 PM
SB vs Tennessee
03/19 - 6:00 PM
SB vs Memphis
03/21 - 6:00 PM
SB at Ole Miss
03/22 - 2:00 PM
SB at Ole Miss
03/23 - 3:00 PM
SB at Ole Miss
03/25 - 4:00 PM
SB at Jackson State
03/25 - 6:00 PM
SB at Jackson State
03/28 - 6:00 PM
SB vs Texas A&M
03/29 - 1:00 PM
SB vs Texas A&M
03/30 - 1:00 PM
SB vs Texas A&M
04/01 - 5:00 PM
SB vs Missouri State
04/04 - 8:00 PM
SB at Alabama
FAYETTEVILLE - The University of Arkansas softball team had a record breaking 2012 season, making it to the Regional Finals, receiving honors from the Southeastern Conference and breaking or tying numerous school records. Arkansas finished it's the season with a 29-28 record and a berth in the NCAA Tournament, first time since the 2009 season.
The 2012 season brought 12 newcomers to the Razorback softball team including 10 freshman and two junior college transfers. The youth of the Razorback squad didn't hold them back; the team began the season winning three out of four pre-conference tournaments.
Arkansas opened the season at the Getterman Classic in Waco, Texas where the then-No. 7 Baylor Bears hosted. Arkansas started the season with a bang, recording a 16-3 victory over Belmont. Freshman Kimmy Beasley got her first start and win of the season, while freshman Katie Harrison and Devon Wallace were dominant at the plate combining for nine RBI. Arkansas then went on to upset the Bears on their home field 5-1. Beasley recorded the win while all the Razorbacks were patient at the plate, forcing the Bears pitching staff to walk nine batters. The Razorbacks finished the Getterman Classic being named champions with 4-1 record taking wins over Belmont, No. 7 Baylor, Iowa and Wichita State. The Razorbacks dropped a close game to UT-Arlington 4-1.
Arkansas traveled to Tampa, Fla. for its second pre-conference tournament where it played in the USF Invitational. While in Tampa the Razorbacks went 2-1 taking wins over Drake and Wisconsin, while dropping a close extra-inning game 7-6 to the USF Bulls.
The Razorbacks came home to Fayetteville the weekend of Feb. 24 where they opened their home season by hosting the Arkansas Fastpitch Invitational. Arkansas played host to Tennessee State, Jackson State and Northwestern State at Bogle Park's 2012 season debut. The Razorbacks defeated all three teams, earning the No. 1 seed in the championship game where they took on Jackson State for the second time on the weekend. Arkansas got the 4-3 victory in eight innings, scoring two in the bottom of the eighth to give it the victory and the championship. Junior Chelsea Cohen threw all eight innings for the Razorbacks recording six strikeouts and allowing zero walks. She improved her overall record to 6-2 on the season while the team improved to 11-2.
The Woo Pig Classic took place at Bogle Park the weekend of March 3 when Butler, Drake and IUPUI came to town. Arkansas once again showed it was here to make a statement this season, sweeping all three teams and making it to the championship. The Razorbacks faced Butler in the final game and just like the previous tournament Arkansas came up victorious in the eighth inning with two runs beginning with an RBI from senior Tori Mort. Cohen threw all eight innings and improved her record to 9-2 while the teams' record moved to 16-2; the best start for the Razorbacks since the 2008 season.
Arkansas opened up conference play with a mid-week doubleheader against Ole Miss at Bogle Park. While Wallace and Jennifer Rambo both recorded home runs, Arkansas dropped both games to the Rebels beginning SEC play 0-2.
The Razorbacks collected its first conference victory when it traveled to South Carolina for their first SEC road trip. Arkansas put five runs on the board in the first game of the series, four being home runs from Wallace, Clarisa Navarro, Chloe Oprzedek and Andrea Sullivan. Those four home runs in a single game tied the single game record, last set in 2010 at Kentucky. Arkansas went on the drop the series 1-2 to the Gamecocks.
Arkansas had a spark in its tough SEC play when the No. 9 Tennessee Volunteers came to town. The Razorbacks made a statement taking down Tennessee 4-1 on March 17. This win over the Volunteer's was the first since the 2008 season. Wallace and sophomore Amanda Geile hit their sixth home runs on the season leading the Razorbacks to victory. Cohen recorded the win in the circle, her first over a ranked opponent where she threw all seven innings and striking out six Volunteer's.
The Razorbacks showed well against No. 4 Florida in the three-game series. While not taking a win, the Razorbacks proved that they were a solid opponent, nearly taking a game from the Gators.
Arkansas went on the road to Baton Rouge, La. where it dropped three close games to No. 24 LSU including a 1-0 loss in the seventh.
The Razorbacks got out of their SEC slump the next weekend when they hosted Mississippi State in a three-game series. Arkansas got back on the right track in the third game, winning with a walk-off grand slam from sophomore catcher Jayme Gee. Not only was this Gee's first grand slam of her career, it was also her first home run. Arkansas won that game 13-2 in five innings with Gee, Sullivan and Geile all hitting home runs.
The home runs spree continued when Arkansas traveled to Kentucky for a mid-week doubleheader. Wallace led the game off with back-to-back home runs against Kentucky. Rambo recorded three of her own, one in the first game and two in the second. There were 11 home runs hit between the two teams in two games with Arkansas hitting seven. Arkansas ended up splitting games with the Wildcats dropping the first game 9-7, but answering in the second with a 7-3 victory. Beasley recorded her first SEC win and was named SEC Freshman of the Week.
The Razorbacks returned home for three games against non-conference opponents. The Razorbacks took both games in the doubleheader on April 14 against UT-Martin improving Arkansas overall record to 22-19. Arkansas then hosted UMKC in a mid-week single game matchup where the Razorbacks took care of the Kangaroo's in a 2-0 victory. Freshman Maddie Reese hit her first collegiate home run over the left field wall to help the Razorbacks to a victory.
With three SEC series left, Arkansas traveled to Auburn, Ala. in much need of some victories. The Razorbacks battled through a tough first game of the series on April 20 where they dropped a heart-breaker in a walk-off eight inning game. Arkansas did not cave though; they came back on Sunday and took a 5-1 win over the Tigers. Cohen threw all seven innings that game collecting her thirteenth win of the season.
Arkansas showed its tenacity when it hosted No. 3 Alabama. Arkansas dismantled the Crimson Tide in the game on April 28 when the Razorbacks got the 8-1 win. Three Razorbacks hit home runs, Rambo, Navarro and Wallace had two. The victory over Alabama broke a 30 game losing streak that dated back all the way to the 2002 season. Beasley got her second win over a top-ten ranked team and was once again named the SEC Freshman of the Week. Arkansas ended up dropping the series on Sunday, but the Razorbacks made a statement.
Arkansas traveled to Springfield, Mo. for its last mid-week game of the 2012 season to take on Missouri State. Between Beasley and Cohen, the Razorbacks threw a no-hitter, the first one since the 2008 season. Beasley got the start, throwing one inning while Cohen came in and threw the last six.
The Razorbacks traveled to Athens, Ga. for its last series against conference foe No. 11 Georgia. Arkansas needed one win out of the three-game series, giving it a winning record and making it eligible for post season play. The Razorbacks stepped up to the plate and split the doubleheader with the Bulldogs on the first day of play. The Razorbacks took the second game 2-1 with a two-run home run from Wallace. Junior Hope McLemore, who was out for the majority of the season due to injury, returned to the circle and recorded her first win on the season. She threw 5.1 innings striking out two Bulldogs and allowing no walks.
With the one victory at Georgia, Arkansas finished regular season play with an overall record of 27-26, making it eligible for post season play. While the Razorbacks had a 7-21 record in conference play placing them ninth in the SEC; not qualifying them for the SEC Tournament because only the top eight teams make the tournament, Arkansas rested up and left its fate in the hands of the NCAA selection committee.
For the first time since the 2009 season the Razorbacks received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, only the two seniors Mort and Jessica Robison had played in an NCAA Tournament. Arkansas was placed in the Berkeley Regional in Berkeley, Calif. where the host team was the No. 1 overall seed California. Arkansas received the two seed in the regional while Boston University got the three and Iona the four.
Arkansas opened NCAA Tournament play on May 18 against Boston University. The Razorbacks defeated the Terriers 3-2 with McLemore in the circle, recording her second win of the season. The win over Boston University is the fourth in program history, but the first since the 2008 season.
The Razorbacks were set to face No. 1 California on May 19 to determine who would go to the regional final. Arkansas started off strong against the Golden Bears scoring three runs in the first inning off two different pitchers. Navarro and Sierra Bronkey both recorded clutch RBI in the first to give Arkansas the 2-0 lead. After a pitching change, Rambo came to the plate and blasted a home run over the right field wall silencing the crowd. The Razorbacks went on to hold the Golden Bears to only two runs and took the 3-2 victory over the number one team in the country. Beasley started the game throwing 5.2 innings with Cohen relieving her, finishing out the game. With the victory over Cal, Arkansas was in its first Regional final ever.
Arkansas played Cal in the Regional final the following day, after Cal defeated Boston University to earn its way into the final. Arkansas dropped the first game to the Golden Bears 10-2. Cal came out fired up and put three runs up in the second inning. Arkansas answered with a two-run home run by Wallace, but could not get any more offense going after the home run. With the NCAA Regional being a two-game elimination tournament, Arkansas had to turn right back around and face the tough Golden Bears again to determine who would move on to Super-Regionals. Cal got on the board quick again putting three runs on the board in the first. Arkansas fought through seven innings, but was unable to clinch another victory falling 7-0 to the Bears.
Arkansas ended its 2012 season with an overall record of 29-28 breaking four school records and tying five. Wallace broke three records and tied one herself; (most walks in a single game (4), walks in a single season (53), on-base- percentage for the season (.548) and home runs (15). Arkansas set a new program record in on-base-percentage .355, beating the old record set in 2010 of .353.
With such an outstanding season, Arkansas received many accolades from the conference and NFCA. Devon Wallace was named the SEC Freshman of the Year. She was also named to the All-SEC first team. This is the first time in program history that a player has received either honor. Freshman Kimmy Beasley was also honored by the SEC, being named to the SEC-All Freshman team. Senior Tori Mort collected honors for her work in the community, being named to the SEC Community Service Team.
Wallace and sophomore Clarisa Navarro were honored by nationally by the NFCA. Wallace was named to the All-Region first team while Navarro was named to the All-Region second team.
With such a young team, the Razorbacks have a bright future ahead.