#6 Arkansas softball faces #11 Arizona in Fayetteville Super Regional
For the second time in program history and first time at Bogle Park, the No. 6 Arkansas softball team will be participating in a super regional. The Razorbacks host No. 11 Arizona with a berth to the Women’s College World Series on the line in a best two of three NCAA Super Regional beginning on Friday, May 28. All three games will air on the ESPN family of networks with Pam Ward (play-by-play) and Jenny Dalton-Hill (analyst) on the call.
Fayetteville Regional Schedule
Game 1: Arizona at Arkansas – Friday, May 28 – 6 p.m. – ESPNU – Stats
Game 2: Arizona at Arkansas – Saturday, May 29 – 4 p.m. – ESPN2 – Stats
Game 3: Arizona at Arkansas *If necessary – Sunday, May 30 – 8 p.m. – ESPN2 – Stats
Hogs in the NCAA Tournament
Arkansas is making its 10th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and is 13-18 all-time in the event, with an 0-2 mark in super regionals, last appearing in the round in 2018 at Oklahoma. The Razorbacks are in search of their first WCWS appearance in school history. Under head coach Courtney Deifel, the Hogs are 6-6 in the postseason, winning all six games at Bogle Park.
The Hogs are 0-1 all-time against Arizona and fell 9-1 on Feb. 16, 2001 in Tucson. By defeating Stanford last weekend, Arkansas improved to 2-5 against Pac-12 Conference members in the NCAA Tournament.
This season the Razorbacks went 7-6 against teams that advanced to super regionals.
Fayetteville Regional Champions
Arkansas outscored its opponents a combined 19-3 in the Fayetteville Regional last weekend and went 3-0, advancing to the program’s second super regional and first at home. Arkansas defeated Manhattan (8-0, 5 innings), South Dakota State (4-0) and Stanford (7-3). The Razorbacks hit .299/.382/.494 as a team and totaled nine extra base hits (3 HR, 6 2B) while limiting the opposition to a .243/.273/.270 line with only two extra base hits (2 2B) allowed. Designated player Linnie Malkin hit a team-best .444 (4-for-9), pounding two home runs and plating seven RBI. In the regional championship against Stanford, Arkansas scored two runs in the top of the first, before the Cardinal responded posting three runs in the bottom of the inning. After the Hogs scored two runs in the fourth, Malkin slugged a three-run homer to center, providing a much-needed cushion. Stanford brough the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh and left the bases loaded, ending the game. The Razorbacks pitching staff did not allow an earned run all weekend (19.0 IP), and Mary Haff was sensational going 3-0 throwing 17.0 IP (0 R) and allowing 11 hits and two walks with 15 strikeouts.
Diamond Sports Excellence
Fayetteville has been the diamond sports capital of the world this season, with both the Razorback softball and baseball teams claiming SEC regular season titles, the only Power 5 school in the country to do so. Deifel and baseball skipper Dave Van Horn were both tabbed SEC Coach of the Year and guided their squads to a combined 86-19 mark, leading the nation in total wins by a school’s diamond clubs. Pitchers Mary Haff and Kevin Kopps grabbed SEC Pitcher of the Year honors, making Arkansas the only school in the Power 5 to win both the softball and baseball coach and pitcher of the year awards.
Hogs Haul in Postseason Awards
Haff earned SEC Co-Pitcher of the Year honors, becoming the first Arkansas pitcher to win the award in program history. Courtney Deifel earned SEC Coach of the Year recognition, the first for Arkansas since Carie Dever-Boaz in 1999. The Razorbacks also saw Haff and infielder Braxton Burnside named to the All-SEC First Team and infielder Danielle Gibson, outfielder Hannah McEwen and pitcher Autumn Storms tabbed to the All-SEC Second Team. Additionally, Gibson earned SEC All-Defensive Team recognition and pitcher Jenna Bloom was named to the All-SEC Newcomer Team. The five total selections on the first and second team are the most in a single year in program history.
Regionally, a program record three student-athletes were named to the NFCA All-Region First Team as Haff, Burnside and Gibson picked up first team recognition, while infielder Hannah Gammill and designated player Linnie Malkin were tabbed to the second team. McEwen was selected to the third team.
The Razorbacks have been on a power surge this season, totaling a program-record 92 home runs to lead the SEC and rank fourth nationally. Burnside paces the team with a league-leading 25 homers, which places second nationally behind Oklahoma’s Jocelyn Alo (27). Designated player Linnie Malkin has hit 18 jacks to rank 17th nationally and fourth in the SEC. Danielle Gibson’s 15 homers are 41st nationally and tenth in the SEC. Four players have double-digit bombs this year, which includes catcher Kayla Green’s 12 homers.
Haff’s 26 wins leads the SEC and ranks fifth nationally. She set the Arkansas program record logging her 74th career victory in the regular season finale at LSU.
Over the last 18 games, Green leads the team in batting average (.302) and home runs (8).
During SEC-only games, pitcher Autumn Storms led the league in ERA (1.24) and was third in opponent batting average (.207).
Outfielder Hannah McEwen recorded her 200th career hit at LSU, becoming one of nine players in program history to reach the plateau.
In addition to ranking fourth in the country in homers, the Razorbacks also rank seventh in walks, drawing 204.
Arkansas’ five SEC series sweeps are the most in program history since the current conference scheduling format began in 2013. The team’s 17 SEC wins are the most in a year over that span.
Arkansas finished SEC play 11-1 on the road, the best record in league history since the adoption of a 24-game conference schedule in 2013.
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