Offense Shines In Win Over No. 23 Nebraska
FULLERTON, Calif. – Behind three home runs and 12 hits, the Razorbacks posted an 11-10 win over No. 23 Nebraska on day two of the Easton Tournament in Fullerton, Calif. The victory marked the program’s first over a ranked non-conference opponent since the 2012 season. Arkansas (13-15) finished the day with a split after losing its second game to host Cal State Fullerton by a score of 8-1.
The Razorbacks close out the Easton Tournament Sunday with their weekend finale against Grand Canyon. First pitch of the game is scheduled for 12 p.m. (CT) with a video stream available through FloSoftball subscription and live stats available at ArkansasRazorbacks.com. It will be the first-ever meeting between Arkansas and Grand Canyon.
Game 1 – Arkansas 11, No. 23 Nebraska 10 | Box Score
In the upset win, the Razorbacks benefited from home runs by Rachel Box, Ashley Diaz and Shelby Hiers. It was Arkansas’s sixth game this season with three home runs. With her three-run blast in the fourth inning, Diaz tallied her 10th home run of the year and became the eighth player in program history and second freshman to reach double figures in a single season. The game was also the team’s fifth game this year with 10 or more runs.
After struggling through the first two innings, the Razorbacks’ offense broke through with six runs to take the lead in the top of the third. From her leadoff spot in the lineup, Hiers put Arkansas on the board with a two-run shot that tied the game in the third inning. Rachel Box plated the team’s third run with an RBI single up the middle. With the bases loaded, Madison Yannetti capped the scoring in the inning with a three-run double to right center.
Nebraska responded immediately with two runs of its own in the home half of the third, but the Razorbacks stretched its lead to 10-4 after back-to-back home runs from Diaz and Box in the fourth. Pinch runner Nicole Schroeder picked up an RBI in the fifth with a bases-loaded ground ball that scored Parker Pocklington from third base to push the advantage to 11-4 after five.
The Razorbacks loaded the bases again in the sixth inning but came up empty, leaving the door open for a near-Nebraska comeback. The 23rd-ranked Huskers cut the Arkansas lead to 11-7 with a three-run homer in the sixth. The once-seven run cushion was down to one after an RBI double and ground out but starter Grace Moll got Madi Unzicker—owner of the three-run homer in the sixth—to fly out to center to end the game and clinch the upset.
Game 2 – CS Fullerton 8, Arkansas 1 | Box Score
In a complete 180 from its first win of the day, Arkansas managed just one run on two hits against host CS Fullerton. Box registered the first hit for either side with a well-placed infield single to the Titans’ diving shortstop. However, neither team could generate much offense until the home half of the fourth inning when Fullerton busted the game open with a five spot, the final blow coming on a three-run homer by Missy Taukeiaho.
The host’s lead was up to six when the Razorbacks got on the board in the sixth inning. Hiers drew a one-out walk and was on third after an infield single by Autumn Russell and a Diaz ground ball. Box drew the second walk of the inning to load the bases and Tori Cooper, the next hitter, collected an RBI when she was walked to bring Hiers from third to home. Fullerton scored two more runs in the sixth to give the game its final score.
Following this weekend’s Easton Tournament, the Razorbacks return to Fayetteville for their conference home opener March 25-27 against No. 15 Kentucky at Bogle Park. Saturday’s game of the Arkansas-Kentucky series will be televised on the SEC Network. All games of the SEC matchup will be streamed on SEC Network+ and through the WatchESPN app.
Season tickets are now on sale for $45 through the Razorback Ticket Center. For more information about purchasing season tickets, call 800-982-HOGS (4647) or 479-575-5151, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Razorback Ticket Center located next to Baum Stadium. For more information about Arkansas Softball, follow @RazorbackSB on Twitter.