FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas softball team earned a split in its doubleheader against Southeast Missouri State Wednesday afternoon at Bogle Park. The Razorbacks (16-34) routed the Redhawks (16-25) in game one winning 13-5 in five innings and dropped game two in an eight-inning pitcher’s duel, 4-3. Arkansas set a new season-best for runs scored (13) during the game one win.
Arkansas concludes its regular season at home May 1-3 when it welcomes Alabama to Bogle Park for a three-game series.
Game One – Arkansas 13, SEMO 5 (5):
Aided by a two-out error to keep the inning alive, the Redhawks plated two unearned runs in the top half of the first to take an early 2-0 lead. Arkansas answered by equaling a season-high for first inning runs, plating five in the home half of the first. Devon Wallace walked to open the frame, Kasey Fagan beat out an infield single and Stephanie Canfield reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases. Jessica Harrison knocked in two of her three runs of the game when her single through the right side brought in Wallace and Fagan. The Razorbacks took a 3-2 lead in the first inning when Canfield took home on a double steal. Kate James, earning the start at catcher, put Arkansas ahead 5-2 with her two-out two-run towering home run to left field.
After SEMO scored a run on a wild pitch in the top of the third, Parker Pocklington helped Arkansas maintain its three-run cushion after her RBI infield single plated Harrison in the bottom of the third.
SEMO used a two-run fourth inning to cut Arkansas’ lead down to just one.
Every time the Redhawks scored in the top of the inning, the Razorbacks had a response, and the fourth inning was no different. For the second time in the game, Arkansas scored five runs in an inning. Arkansas used five hits in the bottom of the fourth, and received RBIs from Fagan, Harrison and Pocklington. Two more runs were advanced home on an error.
Leading 11-5 entering the fifth inning, Arkansas received a shutdown inning from starter Grace Moll in the top half before scoring two in the bottom half to close the game in run-rule fashion. After Wallace and Fagan reached with one out, Harrison worked a two-out base on balls to load the bases. Sierra Bronkey kept the line moving when she reached on an error that also scored a run. With the bases still loaded, Pocklington delivered the game-ending hit on her sharp liner to right field.
Grace Moll (1-7) earned the win for the Razorbacks, pitching 5.0 innings giving up seven hits and two earned runs while striking out three.
Game Two – SEMO 4, Arkansas 3 (3):
SEMO again got on the board in the first inning, scoring a pair of runs via a double and a fielder’s choice to go up 2-0.
After matching a season-high with 14 hits in game one, Arkansas’ bats were held in check for the first five innings of game two. The Razorbacks did not have a base runner until Wallace led off the fourth by reaching on an error.
Sydney Wright settled in after giving up two runs in the first. At one point between the fourth and seventh innings, the sophomore right-hander set down eight consecutive Redhawks.
Arkansas came alive in the sixth inning and knotted the score up at two. Fagan reached on a fielder’s choice following Wallace’s leadoff walk. Harrison tripled down the right field line in the next at-bat to plate Fagan and Harrison ended up scoring on the play as the rightfielder’s throw hit the field umpire and allowed the Razorbacks to score the tying run.
With the score tied 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh, Arkansas staged a two-out rally in an attempt to push the winning run across. Autumn Russell got things started with her bunt single. Wallace singled up the middle and Fagan walked to load the bases, but a fielder’s choice groundout to second ended the inning.
Headed toward Arkansas’ seventh extra innings game – and fourth at home – this season, the game was going to be decided using the international tiebreaker rule, which places a runner at second. SEMO’s first batter of the inning doubled down the left field line to break the tie and then a sacrifice fly brought in the second run.
Trailing 4-2 in the eighth, Harrison’s sac fly to the wall in left scored Canfield, who was placed at second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Needing one run to tie the game, Arkansas’ next two batters went down in order to close out the game 4-3 in favor of the visitors.
Wright (10-12) took the tough-luck loss for the Razorbacks, throwing a career-high 8.0 innings for the fourth time this season and gave up just three earned runs.
• Arkansas recorded a season-highs in runs scored (13) and matched a season-best in hits (14) during game one’s victory.
• Sophomore Jessica Harrison recorded or tied season-bests for hits (3), RBIs (3), and runs scored (3) during game one as she continues her sweltering play at the plate in recent games. In game one, Harrison finished 3-for-3 with three RBIs, three runs scored, a walk and a stolen base. In game two, she was 1-for-2 with two RBIs and a run scored. Following Wednesday’s doubleheader, Harrison is riding a six-game hitting streak and also accounted for her sixth and seventh multi-hit games of the season and her first and second multi-RBI games of the season. Consider over the team’s last five games, Harrison is batting 7-for-11 (.636) with three extra base hits including two home runs, eight RBIs and six runs scored.
• Wednesday’s game two marked the seventh extra innings game Arkansas has played this season where the Razorbacks have posted a 3-4 record. Four of those free softball games have come at Bogle Park.
• Five different Razorbacks recorded multi-hit games during game one’s victory (Jessica Harrison, Devon Wallace, Kasey Fagan, Parker Pocklington, Kate James). Wallace leads the team with her 16 multi-hit games.
• Sophomore Parker Pocklington tallied her second multi-hit game of the season and set a new-season best by tallying three hits in game one. Her three RBIs in the game matched a season-best.
• Senior Kala Crisp recorded her first at-bat as a Razorback, flying out to centerfield while pinch hitting in the fifth inning of game one.
• Sophomore Sydney Wright pitched all 8.0 innings in game two, matching her career-high for the fourth time this season by throwing that many innings.
• Junior Kate James recorded her second home run of the season during the first inning of game one. Her two hits in game one also marked James’ second multi-hit game of the season. Between their trio of catchers, the Razorbacks have a combined 10 home runs from the catcher position (Schroeder 4, Hiers 4, James 2).