FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Taking a late-season break from SEC play, the No. 24 University of Arkansas softball team makes the program’s first-ever trip to South Bend for a three-game series at Notre Dame, beginning with a Saturday doubleheader. Due to potential rain in the South Bend area, first pitch of the twin bill has been moved up to 11 a.m. (CT) with game two to follow. All three games will be streamed live on ACC Extra through the WatchESPN app.
No. 24 Arkansas (29-18) at Notre Dame (28-18)
Melissa Cook Stadium | South Bend, Ind.
Series vs Notre Dame
Arkansas and Notre Dame have met just four times prior to this weekend’s series, and haven’t played since the 2001 season in Fayetteville. The series will also mark the first-ever meeting in South Bend. The all-time series is split (2-2) heading into Saturday’s doubleheader.
Last Time Out
Behind 15 hits including three home runs, the Razorbacks powered by Jackson State with a 14-2 win in five innings (April 25). Autumn Russell tied her season high with three hits while Tori Cooper, Shelby Hiers and Loren Krzysko each homered in the win. It was Arkansas’ ninth game of the season scoring 10 or more runs. The 14 runs and 15 hits were each just one off the team’s season-high marks.
See Ya, Softball
With their power display at Jackson State, the Razorbacks pushed their season total to 49 home runs which ties last year’s figure and the sixth-highest mark in program history. Arkansas enters the weekend second in the SEC in home runs. Eleven different players have hit a home run during the 2017 campaign.
Who to Watch
• A.J. Belans – hitting .389 with three home runs, five doubles and 11 RBI in the past 13 games
• Tori Cooper – has a hit and an RBI in five of the past six games; scored in four of the past five games
• Loren Krzysko – hitting .353 with five runs scored, eight RBI in the past 11 games; reached in nine straight
• Autumn Russell – hitting .375 in the past 11 games; hits in 10 of the past 11 including seven straight
Maintaining its spot among the nation’s top 30, Arkansas ranks 26th in the April 24 release of the NCAA RPI. The Razorbacks close out the regular season with top-45 matchup against Notre Dame (No. 42) and Georgia (28).
Letting the Defense Work
Arkansas’ infielders continue to rank among the SEC’s top 10 in defensive production. Autumn Russell (third base) is third in the conference with 118 assists, A.J. Belans (shortstop) is seventh with 106 and Madison Yannetti (second base) is 10th with 102. Additionally, Ashley Diaz (first base) ranks second in the SEC with 385 putouts while Shelby Hiers has thrown out 12 runners on the bases which is also second in the league.
For more information about Arkansas softball, follow @RazorbackSB on Twitter.