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Razorbacks’ softball season ends with loss in Regionals


Arkansas wins opener, loses back-to-back games in postseason

From the University of Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE – No. 12 Arkansas’ 2024 season came to an end after dropping a 2-1 contest to Arizona before suffering a 7-2 loss to Villanova in Saturday night’s elimination game at Bogle Park.

The Razorbacks finish the season with a 37-18 overall record and 14-10 conference mark, receiving the program’s fifth national seed and fourth in a row under head coach Courtney Deifel.

The Razorbacks scored three unanswered runs in the fifth to edge SEMO, 3-2, in Friday night’s NCAA Regional opener at Bogle Park.

With the victory, Arkansas moves to 37-16 overall and has won four straight NCAA Fayetteville Regional opening games.

Fifth-year RHP Morgan Leinstock made her 17th start in the circle and went 1.1 frames, surrendering two earned runs on four hits.

Sophomore LHP Robyn Herron replaced Leinstock in the top of the second with the bases loaded and one out.

Herron was a spark for the Hogs as she tossed 5.2 frames of scoreless ball in relief while punching out five. Herron did not walk a batter en route to her 12th win (12-8) on the year. Herron was most effective when she retired nine straight batters between the second and fifth frames.

After the Hogs and Redhawks exchanged zeroes in the first, SEMO captured a 2-0 lead after mashing a two-run single up the middle in the second.

The Razorbacks were able to overcome a 2-0 deficit after scoring three unanswered runs in the fifth inning. It all began with Rylin Hedgecock’s leadoff double down the right field line that gave momentum to the Razorbacks.

Spencer Prigge’s groundout to third pushed Ally Sockey, who pinch ran for Hedgecock, to third base. Reagan Johnson then lined a double into center field to score Sockey from third and trim the lead to 2-1.

Following Johnson, Nia Carter belted her second hit of the game – an RBI single through the right side – to tie the game at 2-2.

Bri Ellis cracked a single up the middle to move Carter to second. Cylie Halvorson popped up to shallow right field and caused the second baseman and right fielder to briefly collide and buy time for Carter to tag and advance to third. With two away and runners at the corners, SEMO intentionally walked Hannah Gammill to load the bases for freshman Kennedy Miller.

Miller didn’t flinch as she drew a full-count, basesloaded walk for the go-ahead run and 3-2 edge.

Herron and the defense simmered the Redhawk offense in the sixth and seventh, retiring five of six batters faced to clinch the late night win.

Sitting at the top of the lineup, duo Reagan Johnson and Nia Carter ignited Arkansas offensively. Johnson finished 2-for-3 with an RBI, run scored and a walk. Carter pieced together a 2-for-4 effort that included an RBI and run scored. Bri Ellis (single) and Rylin Hedgecock (double) rounded out Arkansas’ hits column.

Kennedy Miller drove in a run after forcing a bases-loaded, go-ahead walk in the fifth.

Game 2

The Arkansas Razorbacks fell to the Arizona Wildcats, 2-1, in Saturday’s first game.

Arizona utilized a two-run first frame to take the lead for good. Arkansas’ seventh-inning comeback attempt fell short despite fifth-year senior Rylin Hedgecock’s leadoff solo home run to left to trim the Wildcats’ lead to 2-1.

Despite a two-run first inning, sophomore LHP Robyn Herron (12-9) kept a hot Arizona offense at bay and the Razorbacks within striking distance throughout the game’s remaining six innings. Tossing her 10th complete game of the season, Herron limited Arizona to just two earned runs

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on three hits with four strikeouts and three walks across 7.0 innings pitched.

The Hogs were curbed to just three hits with Hedgecock leading charge with her 2-for-3 effort that included her fifth home run of the season – a solo bomb in the seventh. Bri Ellis was responsible for Arkansas’ other hit after chopping a oneout single to center field in the third.

The Hogs suffered a season-ending 7-2 loss to Villanova in Saturday night’s elimination game at Bogle Park.

Arkansas combined for six hits led by senior Cylie Halvorson’s 2-for-3 performance which entailed a solo home run in the fourth and an infield single in the second. Rylin Hedgecock also sparked the Razorback offense after cashing a solo home run in the fourth – her second home run of the day. Reagan Johnson, Hannah Gammill and Raigan Kramer posted a base knock apiece.

Two Razorback arms were used in the circle with fifth-year senior RHP Morgan Leinstock (13-6) tallying her 19th start on the rubber. Leinstock went 3.2 innings with gave up five earned runs on six hits while fanning three and issuing two walks. Sophomore RHP Reis Beuerlein twirled 2.1 innings in relief, surrendering two unearned runs on five hits while punching out a pair.

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