@RazorbackSB Falls in Home Opener, 5-4

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Playing its first game of the season at Bogle Park, the University of Arkansas softball team lost to visiting Tulsa on Tuesday night, 5-4. The Razorbacks fell behind early and their spirited comeback fell short as the potential tying run was stranded at second in the home half of the seventh. Arkansas slips to 12-11 overall and hits the road to Springfield, Mo., to face Missouri State on Thursday at 5 p.m.

Tulsa, improving to 12-7 on the season, got on the board in the first inning, tallying two runs off starter Allison Stewart. The Golden Hurricane got a single from their second batter of the game and then plated two via back-to-back two-out doubles. Tulsa stretched the lead to 3-0 after piecing together a leadoff base hit and a two-out single for a run in the third.

Arkansas struck in the bottom of the third, putting together a two-out two-run rally. Senior Devon Wallace tripled to right to start the rally and was brought home on a Kasey Fagan base knock to right center. Stephanie Canfield kept the inning alive by singling to left before Shelby Hiers brought Fagan around to score and cut the Tulsa lead to 3-2.

The Golden Hurricane scored twice more in the fifth, extending the lead to 5-2. Both runs in the inning came with two outs on a single up the middle from Kate Myers.

Wallace trimmed the lead back to two as she led off the bottom of the fifth with a solo home run to center. The Double Oak, Texas, native belted her 42nd career home run, which leaves her one shy of tying the school’s all-time record of 43.

Trailing by two entering the seventh inning, Fagan got the Razorbacks’ rally going with a one-out single. Fagan was cut down at second as Canfield reached on a fielder’s choice in the next at-bat. Canfield would come around to score on a Shelby Hiers double to left. Jessica Harrison worked herself on board with a walk after she fell behind 1-2 in the count. With runners on first and second with two outs, Claire Clark grounded to third to end the game.

The Razorbacks pounded out nine hits on the night, led by three from Fagan and played errorless defense. Three different pitchers threw for Arkansas: Stewart took the loss (4-4) after giving up two earned runs in one and two-thirds innings.

Following Thursday’s road contest, Arkansas returns home to play a three-game set against Texas at Bogle Park March 14-16.