FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 25 University of Arkansas softball team dropped a 5-1 decision to No. 14 Tennessee in the series finale Sunday afternoon at Bogle Park. The Razorbacks scored in the first inning but couldn’t take full advantage of a bases-loaded situation. Tennessee (22-5, 3-3 SEC) took the lead in the fifth on its way to the win. With Sunday’s result, Arkansas drops to 21-6 overall and 2-4 in SEC play.
Final: #14 Tennessee 5, #25 Arkansas 1 | Box Score
The Razorbacks jumped on Tennessee starter Caylan Arnold who lasted just three hitters, all of which reached base. Shelby Hiers led things off with a four-pitch walk and Autumn Russell followed with a single up the middle. After Nicole Schroeder was hit with the first pitch of her at-bat, the bases were loaded and Tennessee turned to Matty Moss out of the bullpen. Tori Cooper reached on a fielder’s choice which allowed Hiers to score the game’s first run.
The bases were loaded again with two outs after Stephanie Canfield dropped a base hit in to shallow left field. However, Moss got out of the jam with a groundball to shortstop. Arkansas had additional scoring opportunities in the third and fourth with runners on first and second but came up empty in both situations. In the fourth, Hiers came up with one out and hit the ball hard but right at the third baseman who flipped to second to complete the inning-ending double play.
Freshman Autumn Storms made her second start of the series, and kept the Volunteers off the scoreboard through the first four innings. She allowed just two hits through four before Tennessee broke through in the fifth frame. Brooke Vines had a two-run single which gave the visitors their first lead of the game. Grace Moll came in to get the last two outs of the fifth but the Volunteers padded their lead with two more tallies in the seventh.
Despite Sunday’s loss, Arkansas came away from with the weekend with the series win having taken games one and two. The series win was the program’s first against Tennessee since the 2002 season and first in SEC play since 2013. During the weekend, Russell and Cooper led the offense with five and four hits, respectively, while Storms earned the win Saturday and picked up a save Friday.
The Razorbacks embark on a week-long road trip beginning with midweek games at Missouri State on Tuesday and Saint Louis on Wednesday, followed by an SEC series at No. 18 Kentucky. Arkansas’ next home game is March 29 when it hosts Oklahoma State on the SEC Network.
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