No. 20 Arkansas Bested by No. 9 Alabama in Series Finale

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 20 University of Arkansas softball team fell in the rubber match of a three game SEC series to preseason conference favorite No. 9 Alabama, 9-1, in six innings at Rhoads Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Crimson Tide (14-8, 2-1 SEC) used two crooked run innings to create separation and outhit the Razorbacks (17-6, 1-2 SEC), 11-4.

Arkansas failed to capitalize in the first inning after loading the bases with nobody out. Junior Hannah McEwen drew a lead off walk for the third straight game and junior Braxton Burnside reached on an error. Senior Ryan Jackson loaded the bases by reaching on a fielder’s choice on a ball hit toward short. The next two hitters lined out into a double play and popped out to end the side.

The Crimson Tide captured the momentum of escaping the jam in the field and turned it into a run at the plate. Two singles setup a sacrifice fly and gave Alabama a 1-0 edge after the first inning. The Razorbacks responded to tie the game in the top of the second. On the ninth pitch of the at bat, senior Sydney Parr shot a one out double to left center and with two outs redshirt freshman Valerie Ventura blooped a single down the leftfield line to score the lone Razorback run.

The Tide took advantage of a two out error in the bottom of the second which scored a run and later in the inning added two more unearned runs on a base hit. The hosts blew the game open with a four run bottom of the third and were aided by another error. Alabama walked off in the bottom of the sixth inning after a two base error and a base hit.

McEwen went 2-for-2 with a walk to lead the Arkansas offense.

Senior pitcher Autumn Storms (10-3) threw 2.1 innings and allowed seven runs, however only two were earned. Junior Mary Haff tossed 0.2 frames and allowed one hit and one unearned run. Freshman Jenna Bloom impressed in her 2.1 innings out of the pen and struck out four with one unearned run. In total, seven of Alabama’s nine runs were unearned.

Lexi Kilfoyl (6-4) threw all six innings for Alabama and surrendered one earned run with two walks and two strikeouts.

The Hogs step out of conference play as they host Kansas for a doubleheader on Tuesday, March 10 beginning at 3 p.m. inside Bogle Park.

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