3-Run 5th Lifts Arkansas Past SEMO in Friday’s NCAA Regional Opener

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 12 Arkansas 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, bases-loaded 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.

Up Next

Arkansas will clash with Arizona (25-16-1) at 2 p.m. Saturday from inside Bogle Park. The game will broadcast on ESPN2 with Noah Reed (play-by-play) and Raine Wilson (analyst) on the call. The winner will advance to Sunday’s Regional final, which is slated for 3 p.m. at Bogle Park. The loser will play the winner between SEMO and Villanova at 7 p.m. Saturday night.

Fayetteville Regional Schedule

Saturday, May 18

Game 3: Arizona vs. Arkansas – 2:00 p.m. – ESPN2

Game 4: Villanova vs. SEMO – 4:30 p.m. – ESPN+

Game 5: Winner of Game 4 vs. Loser of Game 3 – 7:00 p.m. – TBD

Sunday, May 19

Game 6: Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 5 – 3:00 p.m.

*Game 7: Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 5 – 5:30 p.m.

*if necessary

For schedule updates and other news, go to ArkansasRazorbacks.com, or follow @RazorbackSB on X, Instagram and Facebook.