Hogs Split Day 1 at Bear Down Fiesta

TUCSON, Ariz. – The No. 13 Arkansas Razorbacks split their Friday twin bill at the Bear Down Fiesta at Hillenbrand Stadium. Arkansas defeated Long Beach State, 7-0, in the first game before dropping the nightcap to Arizona, 3-2.

The Hogs move to 5-2 overall. Arkansas improves to 3-4 all-time against Long Beach State and falls to 2-5 all-time vs. the Wildcats.

Arkansas looks to bounce back at 12:30 p.m. Saturday against Omaha (FloSoftball). Following a clash with the Mavericks, the Razorbacks will rematch against Arizona at 3 p.m. (Pac-12 Network).

Game 1
Sophomore RHP Nikki McGaffin and redshirt senior RHP Morgan Leinstock combined for the one-hit shutout with Leinstock (2-0) earning her second win of the season. Making her first start of the season, McGaffin tossed 1.0 inning before handing the keys over to Leinstock in the second. The Scottsdale, Ariz., product hurled 6.0 frames of hitless ball with two strikeouts. Leinstock retired 17 of 19 batters faced, allowing just two reach via walk.

Arkansas outhit the Beach at a 8-1 clip powered by junior Bri Ellis’ two-home run outburst. In her third career multi-home run game, Ellis went 2-for-2 at the dish with a team-high three RBIs while also drawing two walks. Redshirt senior Nia Carter had an outstanding game at the plate after finishing with a season-high three hits (3-for-4), including a triple, with two RBIs. Redshirt senior Cylie Halvorson was also productive offensively after smacking an RBI double in the fifth.

After a quiet first two innings by both teams, Arkansas broke it open in the third on Ellis’ solo home run for a 1-0 lead.

With two outs, the Hogs utilized a three-run fifth to increase their advantage to 4-0. It all began on Halvorson’s RBI double to left center that scored Carter. Then, Ellis rocketed her second home run of the day – a two-run shot to left center.

Arkansas added another three runs in the sixth frame. A Long Beach throwing error on Reagan Johnson’s ground ball plated Rylee Cloud from third. Carter ripped a two-RBI triple to right center to claim another two runs.

Game 2
Arkansas’ comeback bid fell short against Arizona as the Wildcats clinched a 3-2 thriller.

Despite a dominant showing by sophomore LHP Robyn Herron (2-2), the Razorbacks were unable to keep Arizona off of the board in the bottom of the seventh. After taking over in the circle in the bottom of the first, Herron pitched lights out for the Hogs and twirled 6.0 scoreless frames. The southpaw from Tampa punched out seven and held the Wildcats to just two hits.

The Razorbacks were held to a season-low two hits against Arizona. Rylin Hedgecock was responsible for Arkansas’ two runs after belting a two-run home run in the top of the seventh. Reagan Johnson accounted for Arkansas’ other hit after singling to third base in the fourth.

Arizona applied pressure early in the first. Following a leadoff double down the left field line, the Wildcats drew three consecutive walks to capture a 1-0 lead. Arizona plated its second run on a ground out to short.

After Herron and the defense fired off five scoreless frames, Hedgecock blasted a two-run home run in the top of the seventh to knot it at 2-2. In the bottom of the seventh, Arizona walked it off on a strikeout and fielder’s choice that allowed a run to score.

Quoting Morgan Leinstock
“I thought the team did really well overall in the first game. Nikki did a great job to start the game. I honestly could not have this performance without my defense. Kennedy (Miller) did a great job behind the plate and there were amazing plays made by the defense throughout the game. Our offense applied pressure and did a great job of passing the bat throughout the game.”

Up Next
The Razorbacks face Omaha at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Hillenbrand Stadium (FloSoftball). Following the Mavericks, Arkansas goes up against Arizona again at 3 p.m. on Pac-12 Network.