STILLWATER, Okla. – The Razorback softball team erased a six-run deficit Sunday afternoon before falling to Oklahoma State, 7-6, in the final game of the Cowgirls’ Mizuno Classic. Arkansas (11-9) trailed by six after three innings, but solo home runs by Whitney Cloer and Brittany Robison in the fourth and a grand slam by Jessica Robison in the fifth knotted the score. The contest remained tied until the bottom of the seventh when Mariah Gearhart singled to plate the game-winning run for Oklahoma State (17-4).“I’m really proud of the way we fought back today after falling behind,” head coach Jamie Pinkerton said. “I liked our approach at the plate today. We’ve put pressure on ourselves throughout the season by falling behind. It is a lot easier to hit when the score is 0-0 or its tied, 6-6, but we responded today after digging a six-run hole against a good Oklahoma State team.”Arkansas turned to Teighynne Hulsey for the start against its regional rival from Stillwater. Gearhart led off the bottom of the first with a single and scored on a two-run home run by Alysia Hamilton. The shot by Hamiliton gave the home team a 2-0 lead.Hulsey recovered and got out of the first without allowing any further damage. She worked around a single and a walk in the second and quickly retired the first two batters of the third before running into trouble. Hulsey gave up a pair of singles and three walks to the next five batters before being relieved by Kim Jones. Hulsey was charged with all four runs that crossed the plate during the inning.Facing an Oklahoma State pitching staff that had not allowed a run in its previous four games of the weekend, the Razorback lineup was kept quiet through the first three innings by Anna Whiddon. Cloer put a dent in that scoreless streak, leading off the fourth with a blast to left center. It was the senior catcher’s second home run of the weekend and third of the season.After striking out the next batter, Whiddon looked in as Brittany Robison stepped to the plate. Robison followed Cloer’s lead and lined a ball over the left field wall for her third homer of the season to cut the Cowgirls’ lead to four, 6-2.With Oklahoma State retired in its half of the fourth, the Razorback bats went back to work in the fifth. Jocelyne Moncrief and Jessica Bachkora reached to lead off the inning and Cloer singled to shallow right field to load the bases for Jessica Robison. The freshman infielder turned on a pitch from Sarah Odom, on in relief of Whiddon, and deposited the ball over the wall in left field to complete the Arkansas comeback and even the score.The Cowgirls would have the final say, however, by getting runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the seventh. After getting Kelsey Anchors to ground out for the second out, Jones watched as Gearhart’s third single of the game found its way through the right side of the infield to bring Megan Castle home from third and seal the victory for Oklahoma State.“We fought hard and grew up a lot today after a bad loss yesterday (against Northern Colorado),” Pinkerton said. “Now the question is whether we’ve grown enough for the start of conference play, but ready or not, it’s here.”Arkansas returns to Fayetteville for Wednesday’s conference opener against South Carolina. Game one of the doubleheader is set for a 3 p.m. start at Bogle Park with game two to follow. For more information and continued coverage, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
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