Softball Razorback Invitational

Senior right-handed pitcher Autumn Storms looks for a sign from her catcher. Storms earned her first win of the season during the Razorback Invitational as Arkansas picked up six victories in the event. 

 

The No. 20 Arkansas softball team (11-2) went undefeated in the Razorback Invitational from Thursday-Sunday at Bogle Park. The Hogs faced off against the North Dakota State Bison, the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks.

The Hogs started off the weekend with a doubleheader against NDSU on Thursday. The Razorbacks made quick work of the Bison in game one with a 9-0 win in five innings.

Right-handed senior Autumn Storms started on the mound for the Razorbacks and dominated by only allowing two hits on 45 pitches through four innings to earn her first win of the season. Freshman right-hander Jenna Bloom entered in the fifth to blank NDSU and grab the early victory.

Game two saw much of the same as Arkansas went on to win, 5-0. Razorback right-handed junior Mary Haff proved to be superb, shutting out the Bison with two hits, two walks and 10 strikeouts to earn her fourth win of the season.

Arkansas kicked off another doubleheader with a win over Texas Tech on Friday. The Hogs run-ruled the Red Raiders in five innings, 9-0.

Haff pitched a no-hitter and struck out six batters. The Hogs committed a fielding error in the top of the second that prevented it from being a perfect game.

"I feel like I was really commanding the strike zone and throwing balls when I needed to throw balls and strikes when I needed to throw strikes," Haff said in a Zoom postgame teleconference. " I think they were on their toes the whole game and didn't really know what they were swinging at."

Five of the six hits for the Razorbacks were for extra bases, with four home runs and a double. The Hogs also drew five walks.

Arkansas continued to shine in game two, with a 9-3 win over Southeast Missouri State.

Arkansas graduate senior shortstop Braxton Burnside went 2-for-3 with two home runs, a walk and five RBIs. Her second home run was a grand slam that came in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Bloom started the game for the Hogs and went 4 ⅓ innings while allowing two earned runs, three hits, a walk and struck out four. Right-handed freshman Lauren Howell finished off the rest with two hits, an earned run and three strikeouts.

The Razorbacks and the Redhawks met again Saturday with the Hogs winning 6-3. Arkansas was down 3-2 going into the bottom of the fifth, before freshman third baseman Hannah Gammill tied the game with a sacrifice fly. In the bottom of the sixth, junior left fielder Hannah McEwen drove in senior center fielder Keely Huffine to give the Hogs a 4-3 lead. Burnside followed up with a two-run home run.

On Sunday, the Hogs obtained another mercy rule win over Texas Tech, 8-0 in six innings. Haff pitched six innings and allowed three hits, stuck out four batters and threw 59 pitches.

In the bottom of the sixth, while leading 7-0 with the bases loaded, sophomore second baseman Audrie LaValley was hit by a pitch to end the game.

Burnside hit two home runs in the game and had a total of five home runs in the tournament and D1Softball named her Player of the Week.

With the smashing performance of offense, the Hogs lead the SEC in home runs at 33.

The Razorback softball team will stay in Fayetteville to host the Wooo Pig Classic from Thursday, March 4 to Saturday, March 6. Arkansas kicked off the tournament with a doubleheader against the Drake Bulldogs.

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