SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Starting and ending the game strong, the University of Arkansas softball team picked up a road win Thursday night against Missouri State, winning 11-5 at Killian Stadium. The Razorbacks (13-11) snap a four-game losing streak and gain some momentum heading into this weekend’s home set against the Texas Longhorns March 14-16.
Arkansas took the lead in its first at-bat of the game as senior Devon Wallace took the second pitch of the game over the wall in center field. The home run for Wallace was her third of the season and 43rd of her career, placing her in a tie for most home runs in Razorback softball history.
The Razorbacks put two more runs on the board in the top of the second to take a 3-0 lead. Jessica Harrison led off the inning with a single to left. With Harrison on second and two outs, Madison Yannetti smacked one right back up the middle for an RBI base knock. Autumn Russell kept the inning alive, legging out an infield single. With two on and two out, Wallace was intentionally walked to load the bases. Jessica Mullen made the Bears pay as she worked a walk on a full count to bring home another run.
Getting her fifth start of the season, Grace Moll cruised through the first two innings, setting all six Bear batters down in order.
Leading off the third inning, Shelby Hiers laced a double off the wall in left center and was brought around on Rachel Box’s single up the middle.
Missouri State got one of those runs back in the bottom of the third to make it 4-1 in favor of the visiting team after three complete.
The Bears came back to tie the game in the fifth inning. With two outs, Missouri State got a base hit from Hailee Vigneaux and a walk from Rebecca McPherson. Chelsea Thomas took the first pitch of the next at-bat deep to right field to knot the game up at four.
After seeing their four-run lead go away, Arkansas responded in a big way in the top of the sixth by scoring six runs and taking a 10-4 lead. Yannetti led off with a walk, Russell reached on an error and Wallace walked to load up the bases with no outs. Parker Pocklington, who entered in the fourth, came up clutch for Arkansas after falling behind in the count. On a 2-2 count, Pocklington swatted a bases-clearing double off the wall in right to put the Razorbacks ahead 7-4. Pocklington came around to touch home on a Hiers RBI.
Still in the sixth, Arkansas would load up the bases again, this time with two outs. Yannetti delivered two more RBIs in the inning, barreling a single to left. In total, Arkansas sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning, scoring six runs on four hits.
Arkansas added another run in the seventh for good measure, as Harrison delivered her third hit of the game and brought in a run.
Missouri State did not get a hit, but still scored a run in the seventh to make the final tally 11-5. Arkansas’ pitchers and defense held strong in innings three through seven, as the Bears left two runners on base in each of the final five innings.
Sydney Wright came on in relief of Grace Moll and earned her eighth win of the season, pitching 2.1 innings, giving up two hits and one unearned run.
Arkansas set a new season-high in hits (14) and runs scored (11).
The Razorbacks will be at Bogle Park for a three-game set against Texas beginning Saturday, March 14, at 1 p.m.
– Senior Devon Wallace hit her third home run of the season and the 43rd of her career. Forty—three career home runs places her in a tie for the most in school history (Dixon, 43, 2007-10).
– Wallace came around to score twice, giving her 166 career runs scored and placing her in a tie for most runs scored in school history (Bachkora, 2007-10)
– Wallace finished 1-2 on the day with three walks, two of which were intentional. Her 12 career intentional walks are the most in school history.
– Arkansas pounded out a season-high 14 hits, and received multiple hits from five different players (Russell, Yannetti, Harrison, Hiers, Pocklington)
– Freshman Madison Yannetti recorded her first-career multi-hit game.
– Four freshmen were in the starting lineup for Thursday’s game (Mullen, Box, Yannetti, Russell).
– Yannetti and Pocklington accounted for three RBIs apiece.