AUSTIN, Texas – With the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh inning, junior Shelby Hiers sent a game-winning grand slam to deep left field to send the University of Arkansas softball team to an 8-4 victory Friday afternoon over North Dakota State. The Razorbacks trailed 4-1 after five but rallied for seven runs over the final two frames for their first win of the year. Grace Moll picked up the win in the circle with a complete-game effort.
Arkansas (1-1) returns to the field Saturday morning for a rematch with the Bison at 10 a.m. (CT), followed by its second game of the weekend against tournament host Texas at 3:30 p.m. Both games will be aired live on the Longhorn Network.
Along with Hiers’ heroics, the Razorbacks got multi-hit efforts from Stephanie Canfield, Ashley Diaz and Madison Yannetti. Nicole Schroeder got on base three times with a single and two walks, and has now reached base safely in six of eight plate appearances through the first two games of the season. Moll registered four strikeouts in her outing.
With the team trailing by one entering the home half of the seventh, Canfield led things off with an infield single and moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by Autumn Russell. Schroeder pushed the game-tying win across the plate with an RBI single to left field, pulling even at 4-all on the scoreboard. Diaz reached on a fielder’s choice and Loren Krzysko followed by drawing a walk to set the stage for Hiers.
Arkansas began the rally with two runs in the sixth inning. The Razorbacks had the bases loaded after walks to Schroeder and Krzysko and a Diaz single. Yannetti responded with a base hit to left field that plated Haydi Bugarin who was in to run for Schroeder. The bases were still loaded with two outs when pinch hitter Tori Cooper came to the plate, and 12 pitches later, she drew an RBI walk to cut the deficit to one run.
North Dakota State (0-1) opened the scoring with a run in the second, and tacked on an additional tally in the fourth with two more runs in the fifth. The Bison took a 4-1 lead in the fifth inning after scoring on a passed ball and fielder’s choice. Moll got out of a two-on, one-out situation in the sixth inning to keep the Razorbacks within striking distance, and worked around a one-out double in the seventh to allow for the comeback.
In the third inning, the Razorbacks scored their first run of the day on an RBI single by Russell. With two down, Canfield just missed a home run to right center but stood on third with her 11th career triple. She is now just one behind the program record of 12 triples held by former infielder Dayna Huckabee (2005-08). Canfield came home to score on the base hit by Russell.
Following the season-opening Texas Classic, the Razorbacks play in the first weekend of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic (Feb. 19-21) in Palm Springs, Calif. Arkansas’ home opener is Feb. 27-28 when it hosts Drake and UMKC for the Razorback Invitational at Bogle Park.
Season tickets are now on sale for $45 through the Razorback Ticket Center. For more information about purchasing season tickets, call 800-982-HOGS (4647) or 479-575-5151, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Razorback Ticket Center located next to Baum Stadium. For more information about Arkansas softball, follow @RazorbackSB on Twitter.
For more information about Arkansas softball, follow @RazorbackSB on Twitter.