MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. – The University of Arkansas softball team improved to 7-0 with run-rule victories Friday evening over Marist and Manhattan at the Madeira Beach Invitational. Helping the team to a season-high 15 runs, four Razorbacks tallied multi-hit performances including freshman Hannah McEwen who recorded five RBI and a grand slam against Marist. Junior Haydi Bugarin hit a home run and drove in five runs of her own in Arkansas’ win over Manhattan.
Day two of the Madeira Beach Invitational begins at 10 a.m. (CT) with a game against Delaware which will mark the first-ever meeting between the two programs. The Razorbacks will follow with a game against Villanova at 12:30 p.m. Both are scheduled for Field 3 at R.O.C. Park.
Game 1: Arkansas 15, Marist 3 (6 inn.) | Box Score
McEwen ripped a double down the line in right field to open the scoring, plating senior Autumn Buczek who led off the game with a walk. Later in the first, a fielder’s choice grounder by Tori Cooper brought McEwen home from third. The Razorbacks took a 3-0 advantage in the third inning on an RBI double off the bat of freshman Kayla Green that allowed Cooper to score.
Reigning SEC Freshman of the Week, Mary Haff picked up where she left off last weekend by striking out seven through the first three innings. She finished the game with nine strikeouts and no walks in five innings of work. Haff, pitching back in her home state, improved to 4-0 with the win.
The Razorbacks stretched its lead to seven with McEwen’s grand slam in the fourth inning. With runners on first and second, Buczek legged out an infield single to load the bases for McEwen. In control of the game, Arkansas busted things open with an eight-run sixth frame behind five hits and five walks issued by Marist pitching. Green picked up her second and third RBI with a double in the outburst.
Game 2: Arkansas 9, Manhattan 1 (6 inn.) | Box Score
The Razorbacks left seven runners on base through the first three innings including a bases-loaded, one-out threat in the opening frame. Meanwhile, sophomore Autumn Storms was keeping the Jaspers quiet by retiring the first six hitters of the game with the help of three strikeouts. In the third, Manhattan loaded the bases with no outs but a 1-2-3 double play followed by a ground ball to shortstop helped Storms and the Razorbacks get out of the inning unscathed.
Bugarin supplied the timely hit Arkansas had been missing when she launched a two-run shot to left field in the fourth, her second home run of the season. She added a two-run double down the line in the fifth inning, pushing the Razorbacks’ lead to 4-0 when pinch runners Sydney Parr and Jada Dotson crossed the plate. After a four-run fifth inning, the lead was up to 6-0 for Storms.
Manhattan got on the scoreboard with a run in the top of the sixth inning but the Razorbacks responded with three runs in the home half of the inning to end the game. Ashley Diaz and Bugarin posted back-to-back RBI singles for an 8-1 advantage. With the bases loaded, McEwen grounded a ball to first base but the throw home for the would-be forced out was bounced to the plate allowing Diaz to score the game-ending run.
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