FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – With the help of four home runs, the University of Arkansas softball team opened its home schedule Wednesday evening with a 9-0 win over Missouri State. In the circle, freshman Mary Haff had seven strikeouts and allowed just one hit to secure her sixth win of the season. All nine of the Razorbacks’ runs came courtesy of the long ball including the game-ending shot by Haydi Bugarin in the bottom of the fifth.
Arkansas is now 10-1 on the season and Wednesday’s game marked the fifth run-rule victory of the season. The Razorbacks also go home runs from Loren Kryzsko, Tori Cooper and Hannah McEwen.
“We’re going to get more contributions and we’re going to see a little more balance one through nine,” head coach Courtney Deifel said. “It doesn’t really matter who we put in there. They’re producing and making the most of the opportunity. It’s a fun team to watch right now.”
The Razorbacks continue their home stand this weekend with six games during the Razorback Invitational The team is set to host Central Connecticut State, Dartmouth and Northern Colorado. The 11-game, three-day tournament begins Friday at Bogle Park.
Final: Arkansas 9, Missouri State 0 (5 inn.) | Box Score
After stranding two in the first inning, the Razorbacks broke through with back-to-back solo blasts by Krzysko and Cooper, respectively. The big fly was the 15th of Cooper’s career. McEwen continued her hot swinging with a grand slam in the fourth to push the lead to 6-0. The freshman outfielder now has three home runs this season, including two grand slams.
While her teammates were hitting the ball out of the park, Haff retired the first 12 Missouri State hitters she faced and was perfect through four innings. She didn’t allow a hit until the lead-off hitter in the fourth singled to shallow center field but Haff responded by striking out the next three hitters. Wednesday’s game was her fifth appearance of the year with at least seven strikeouts.
The Razorbacks’ half of the fifth began with a walk to A.J. Belans and a one-out free pass issued to Cooper. Bugarin came to the plate, and facing a full count, drove a pitch to deep left field to secure the home-opening triumph. The win pushes the Razorbacks to a 20-19 edge in their all-time series with Missouri State.
Krzysko and Autumn Buczek both recorded two hits in the game while Cooper scored three runs against the Bears. With Wednesday’s output, Arkansas has now hit 19 home runs through its first 11 games of the 2018 campaign.
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