CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – Freshman Mary Haff earned her third win while fellow freshman Kayla Green and junior Ashley Diaz each homered Monday in the Razorbacks’ 4-2 win over Fordham to close out the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. With the win, Arkansas moved to 5-0 through its opening weekend of the 2018 campaign. Based on her overall performance in the Golden State, Haff was named the SEC Freshman of the Week.
The non-conference season continues Feb. 23-25 with another weekend road trip to the Madeira Beach Spring Invitational in Florida. Over those three days, the Razorbacks are set to play Marist, Manhattan, Delaware, Villanova and 24th-ranked McNeese. Arkansas’ home opener is Feb. 28 when the team hosts Missouri State for a midweek game.
Final: Arkansas 4, Fordham 2 | Box Score
After a scoreless first frame for both teams, Green posted the game’s first run with a solo shot to left field. The Razorbacks plated a run in each of the next two innings to push their lead to 3-0 after an RBI single by Hannah McEwen that scored Aly Manzo in the fourth frame. In her first start, Manzo was 2-for-2 with a run scored.
Meanwhile in the circle, Haff was in complete control through the first five innings of the game. The freshman pitcher tallied a season-high 12 strikeouts in 5.1 innings of work. With one out in the sixth, Fordham (0-5) had runners on first and second after a walk and base hit through the right side. Sophomore Autumn Storms entered the game but a couple of choppers off the Fordham bats plated two runs to cut Arkansas’ lead to one run.
Diaz got one of those runs back with a line-drive solo shot to left field. The home run was her first of the young season and Arkansas’ seventh big fly of the season-opening weekend. The lead was 4-2 with Storms back in the circle looking to secure the win. She struck out the first two hitters but Fordham responded by getting its next two runners on with a walk and single. Storms remained steady and induced a ground ball from the next hitter to pick up her first save of the season.
SEC Freshman of the Week
Haff tallied three of the Razorbacks’ five wins at the Mary Nutter Classic and added a save in another team triumph. Over 18.1 innings of work, the Winter Haven, Fla., native struck out 31 hitters, posted a 0.76 ERA and held the opposition to a .095 batting average. She allowed just six hits, two earned runs and two walks in four appearances. Haff is Arkansas’ first SEC Freshman of the Week since 2012.
2018 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic
Feb. 17 vs Grand Canyon – W, 6-2
Feb. 17 vs #21 Utah – W, 4-2
Feb. 18 vs Weber State – W, 5-2
Feb. 18 vs Loyola Marymount – W, 6-5
Feb. 19 vs Fordham – W, 4-2
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