NORMAN, Okla. – Junior A.J. Belans went 2-for-3 at the plate and freshman Caroline Hedgcock posted five innings of relief in the circle Wednesday evening in Arkansas’ 4-2 road loss at defending national champion and ninth-ranked Oklahoma. Belans had a double and RBI in the game on the way to her fifth multi-hit performance of the season. With the loss, Arkansas drops to 22-13 overall this season.
Final: #9 Oklahoma 4, Arkansas 2 | Box Score
With the bases loaded in the top of the first inning, Belans delivered an RBI single through the left side to score Shelby HIers from third. The senior catcher led off the game with her team-leading 33rd walk of the season. Autumn Russell reached on a fielder’s choice and Tori Cooper drew a walk to load the bases for Belans who collected her 19th RBI of the season. It also marked the 15th time Arkansas has scored in the first inning.
Oklahoma (32-7) answered immediately in the bottom of the first with three runs, all scored with two outs. The Sooners sent eight hitters to the plate and took the lead with a bases-loaded, two-run chopper off the bat of Alissa Dalton. The next four innings, however, were quiet for both teams. The Sooners had two on with two out in the fifth but Caroline Hedgcock got a ground ball to first to get out of the inning unscathed.
The Razorbacks’ deficit was down to one after back-to-back doubles by Belans and Ashley Diaz to lead off the sixth inning. Pinch runner Betina Beringhele took Belans’ place at second and came around to score on the two-base hit by Diaz. Later in the frame, Madison Yannetti drew her third walk of the game and Arkansas had runners on first and third. The home team limited the rally to one run and got out of the inning with a strikeout and ground ball.
Hedgcock pitched a career-high five innings in Wednesday’s game, entering the game in the second to relieve Grace Moll and kept an inherited runner from scoring in the frame. Overall, Hedgcock struck out four hitters and allowed a run on three hits in the outing.
The Razorbacks’ week-long road trip continues to Columbia, Missouri, for a weekend series at No. 25 Mizzou. The three-game set begins Friday at 6:30 p.m. (CT) with all three games scheduled to be streamed live on SEC Network+ and available through the WatchESPN app.
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