NORMAN, Okla. – The No. 13 national seed University of Arkansas softball team dropped a 7-2 decision to two-time defending national champion Oklahoma in game one of the Norman Super Regional. Freshman Hannah McEwen extended her school record with her 57th RBI of the season. With the setback, the Razorbacks are now 42-16 on the season. Friday’s game marked the program’s first-ever Super Regional appearance.
The two teams return to Marita Hynes Field Saturday afternoon for the second game of the best-two-of-three series. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. (CT) with the game being televised on ESPN.
FINAL: #4 Oklahoma 7, #13 Arkansas 2 | Box Score
The Razorbacks put together the first scoring opportunity of the game with an early threat in the top of the first. McEwen reached on a throwing error and with one down, junior Ashley Diaz dropped a single into shallow right to give Arkansas runners on first and second. However, Oklahoma starter Paige Lowary got out of the jam with a strikeout and ground ball to second.
After a scoreless opening frame for both teams, the Sooners plated two runs in the bottom of the second and added three more in the third including back-to-back solo shots to lead off the inning. Head coach Courtney Deifel turned to sophomore Autumn Storms out of the bullpen after the second home run. Storms allowed three runs—one earned—on three hits during her three innings of relief Friday.
Trailing 5-0 after four, Arkansas broke through with a run in the top of the fifth frame. Freshman catcher Kayla Green led off the inning with a single to right and after Haydi Bugarin was hit by a pitch, the Razorbacks had runners on first and second with no outs. Pinch runner Sydney Parr moved up to third on a fly out by McEwen and came in to score on an RBI grounder off the bat of senior Autumn Buczek.
Arkansas’ defense surrendered a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth and Oklahoma (54-3) pushed its advantage to 7-1. Neither team scored in the sixth with sophomore Caroline Hedgcock turning in a scoreless relief appearances. Down to its final three outs, Arkansas got on the board again with a two-out tally thanks to an RBI double by McEwen by brought Bugarin around from first to score.
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