FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A pair of solo home runs from seniors Devon Wallace and Sierra Bronkey weren’t enough as the University of Arkansas softball team was defeated 3-2 by Mississippi State Sunday night at Bogle Park. The Razorbacks (14-23, 0-11 SEC) held a 2-1 lead over the Bulldogs (28-10, 7-7 SEC) entering the sixth inning, but the visitors scored two in the inning to edge out Arkansas.
The third and final game between Arkansas and Mississippi State will be Monday at 6 p.m. CT and broadcasted on SEC Network.
Arkansas gained much of the game’s momentum in the early innings, taking a 2-1 lead after two.
Mississippi State threated in the top of the first, loading up the bases with one out. Sydney Wright, starting her 17th game of the season, retired the next two batters on consecutive strikeouts to end the inning. With momentum already swinging their way following the defensive stop, the Razorbacks jumped on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the inning.
Devon Wallace, batting in the No. 3 hole for the first time this season, took the first pitch of her at-bat over the wall in left center for her fifth home run of the season and giving Arkansas a 1-0 lead. Wallace connected for her 45th career home run as she continues to set her own record.
After the Bulldogs countered with a solo home run of their own in the second to tie the game, Arkansas answered. Leading off the bottom of the second, Sierra Bronkey gave the Razorbacks a 2-1 lead by blasting her first home run of the season to center field.
In the third, Wright again stranded the bases loaded. A two-out walk jammed up the bases for MSU, but Wright induced a lazy fly ball to Kasey Fagan in left field to end the inning.
Arkansas appeared to have something cooking with two outs in the third after Fagan and Wallace both singled but a fly ball to right field stopped the rally.
Arkansas led 2-1 going into the sixth, but MSU rallied to tie the score and then plate the go-ahead run, all with two outs in the innning. Allison Stewart, who entered in relief in the fourth, walked Amanda Ivy with two outs and then Caroline Seitz doubled to tie the game. On the first pitch of the next at-bat, Mackenzie Toler singled through the right side to give MSU the 3-2 lead. Stewart (4-5) took the loss, pitching 3.0 innings, giving up two hits, two earned runs and striking out three.
Needing a rally in the seventh, Madison Yannetti singled to left with one out and Wallace drew a two-out base on balls. With the potential tying run at second base, the Razorbacks struck out to end the game.
• Senior Devon Wallace, already the school’s all-time home run leader, connected for her 45th career homer in the first inning.
• Senior Sierra Bronkey hit her first home run of the season leading off the second inning. For Bronkey, it was her fifth career homer and first since 2013.
• The Razorbacks hit two home runs in a game for the fourth time this season with the last time occurring Feb. 27 in a win against UT-Martin.
• Freshman Madison Yannetti continues to lead Arkansas offensively in SEC games as she is batting a team-high .444. Yannetti finished Sunday’s game 1-3 at the plate.