DENTON, Texas – Behind its hot-swinging offense and a pair of shutout performances in the circle, the Razorback softball team picked up two wins Sunday to complete a 4-0 opening weekend at the North Texas Invitational. Arkansas posted wins of 11-0 over UMass Lowell and 7-0 over host North Texas, and finished the weekend with a 39-1 scoring advantage over its opponents.
Arkansas 11, UMass Lowell 0 (5 inn.) | Box Score
After plating a run in the first inning, the Razorbacks scored pushed four across the plate with the help of a two-run triple of the bat of Nicole Schroeder and an RBI single for Ashley Diaz, her second of the game. Arkansas took advantage of some Lowell fielding miscues to score its next three runs and position itself for the run-rule win. Madison Yannetti padded the lead with a three-run shot off the pole down the left-field line. It was the junior infielder’s third home run of the weekend.
Freshman pitcher Autumn Storms allowed just one hit in three innings of work on the way to her second win of the weekend. She faced her only threat in the first inning where UMass Lowell had runners on the corners with two outs, but Storms got the next hitter to ground out to Diaz at first. Allison Stewart preserved the shutout with two innings of spotless relief. The two pitchers combined to retire the final 13 hitters of the game.
Arkansas 7, North Texas 0 | Box Score
The Razorbacks scored in each of the first four innings, getting on the board in the opening frame on a two-out single off the bat of A.J. Belans with the bases loaded. Shelby Hiers, who scored on the Belans’ hit, added an RBI of her own in the second frame with a single up the middle to plate Autumn Russell. In similar fashion, Russell came up in the third and plated a run with an RBI infield single; a second run scored on the play on an errant toss to first.
Katie Warrick pushed the score to its eventual final of 7-0 with a two-run blast off the light pole beyond the fence in left field, another two-out scoring play. Sixteen of Arkansas’ 18 runs scored Sunday came with two outs. It was Warrick’s second long ball of the year, and the Razorbacks’ 10th of the weekend.
Grace Moll kept the North Texas offense in check with her work in the circle, at one point retiring 10 hitters in a row. With her third strikeout of the game, the Shelbyville, Illinois, native recorded the 300th strikeout of her career. The Mean Green had runners on the corners with two outs in the sixth but Moll struck out her seventh hitter to keep the opposition scoreless. Warrick, in her debut in the circle, pitched a perfect seventh to complete the shutout.
With their opening weekend in the books, the Razorbacks turn their attention out west where they’ll compete next weekend at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Palm Springs. Arkansas is set to play its first 15 games on the road before its home debut on March 3 for day one of the Wooo Pig Classic.
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