PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – Facing a four-run hole in the seventh inning, the University of Arkansas softball team rallied past CSUN, 8-7, Friday evening to pick up its second win of the day at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. Earlier, the Razorbacks pounded five home runs on their way to a 15-2 run-rule victory over Loyola Marymount. Pitching in her home state, freshman Autumn Storms picked up both wins in the circle.
Game 1 – Arkansas 15, Loyola Marymount 2 (5 inn.) | Box Score
The Razorbacks used a pair of six-running outbursts in the third and fifth to register their fourth run-rule win of the season. Senior outfielder Nicole Schroeder paced the offense with her second mutli-homerun game of the season while also tying her career high with five RBIs. In addition to Schroeder’s two round trippers, Arkansas posted home runs from A.J. Belans, Ashley Diaz and pinch hitter Tori Cooper.
Making her third start of the season, Storms allowed two runs on five hits in four innings of work to put herself in position for the win. The Razorbacks were held to one run through two innings before exploding for 14 scores over the last three frames. Cooper led off the fifth with a solo shot to left field. Schroeder and Diaz went back-to-back later in the inning before Rachel Box closed out the scoring with a pinch-hit RBI single.
Game 2 – Arkansas 8, CSUN 7 | Box Score
The Razorbacks faced their first deficit of the season when CSUN went ahead 3-1 after three innings. Arkansas pulled to within one with an unearned run in the third and tied the game at 3-all on an opposite field, solo shot by senior Shelby Hiers. She has reached safely at least twice in each game this season. However, CSUN responded with a run in the fifth and three more scores in the sixth to take a 7-3 lead.
The rally began with consecutive base hits by Autumn Russell and Stephanie Canfield to lead off the seventh. The bases were loaded after Hiers was hit by a pitch. With one down, Diaz reached on a fielder’s choice in which Russell scored from third and Canfield came around to score on the same play when the ball got away from the CSUN catcher. Belans came to the plate with two on and two out. The junior transfer deposited the 0-1 offering over the left-field fence to put the Razorbacks in the lead.
Storms came in relieve starter Grace Moll with a runner on second and one down in the sixth. She struck out the final two hitters—her only strikeouts in either appearance—to keep the deficit at four. Now pitching with a one-run lead in the seventh, Storms worked a perfect inning including two grounders to preserve the win.
Arkansas returns to the Big League Dreams complex Saturday for two more game, taking on Illinois at 2 p.m. (CT) and San Diego at 7 p.m. Both games are scheduled to be streamed live on FloSoftball.com through a subscription to the website. The Razorbacks will close out their weekend Sunday at 11:30 a.m. against Kent State.
For more information about Arkansas softball, follow @RazorbackSB on Twitter.