The No. 8 Arkansas softball team hit six home runs and run-ruled the Missouri State Bears, 9-1, in five innings Tuesday at Bogle Park to increase their winning streak to 12 games. The Razorbacks set another school record with most home runs in a single season with 69 bombs this season, eclipsing the previous feat of 65 in 2008.
“I think it’s just their level of confidence at the plate, more than anything,” Arkansas head coach Courtney Deifel said on breaking the school record. “They go up there knowing exactly what kind of pitch they are hunting as hitters, and when they swing, they swing to do damage.”
Arkansas struck first in the bottom of the second inning when freshman third baseman Hannah Gammill lifted a solo home run into dead center field.
In the bottom of the third, the Hogs put up two with an RBI single from junior first baseman Danielle Gibson when junior left fielder Hannah McEwen got on with a two-out double. After junior designated player Linnie Malkin drew a walk, Gammill drove in Gibson on a single down the left field line for her second RBI of the game.
Missouri State’s lone run came in the top of the fourth inning when senior catcher Darian Frost drove in a run on an RBI groundout to cut the Arkansas lead to 3-1.
The Razorbacks blasted two solo shots in the following inning by junior catcher Kayla Green to lead off the innings and by graduate senior shortstop Braxton Burnside with two out. Burnside extended her program record of home runs in a single season to 20. Burnside leads the Southeastern Conference in homers and is currently second in the nation.
The Hogs rounded out the run-rule in the bottom of the fifth with back-to-back jacks by Gibson and Malkin. After Gammill drew a one-out walk, Green smashed her second homer of the game with a blast into left-center to give the Hogs the early win. She went 2-3 on the day, recording her first career multi-home run game.
“I think we are just playing with that championship mindset,” Green said. “We’re just not going to give up, and we’re not going to take our foot off the gas pedal.”
Right-handed senior pitcher Autumn Storms started for the Hogs and picked up her fifth win of the season to remain undefeated in the circle. She pitched a complete game while allowing a hit, an earned run and a walk. She also struck out seven batters. The lone base hit Storms allowed came in the fourth on a single by junior second baseman Payton Minnis.
Eight of Arkansas’ 11 hits went for extra bases with six home runs and two doubles.
The Razorbacks home run total of 69 trails only the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners at 91. The Hogs lead the country in total wins with 32.
The No. 8 Razorbacks will stay in Fayetteville to take on the No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide from Friday-Sunday. Game one will be broadcast on SEC Network+ and first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. It will be the first top-10 matchup in Hog history.
“It’s going to be a huge battle, just like every SEC game,” Deifel said. “We have a ton of respect for every team we face in conference. We just have to study what they do and what our approach will be. Then staying within ourselves and doing what we have done so well all year.”