The No. 16 Arkansas Razorback softball team (34-11, 9-9) held rival Ole Miss Rebels (28-18, 5-13) to a low-scoring 3-0 win during the opening game of the team’s final home series of the regular season April 28. A record crowd of 3,448 people at Bogle Park saw the Hogs win.
Razorback freshman pitcher Mary Haff allowed only a single hit from the Rebels. She walked two batters and had six strikeouts. After the win, Haff is now 22-4 when starting.
“It’s great to allow only one hit,” Haff said. “My defense really had my back this game.”
Haff is the first Razorback pitcher to have 200 strikeouts in a season since 2007.
“It is definitely a milestone,” Haff said. “I don’t try to look at stats too much, but it is definitely a proof of all the hard work I’ve been doing.”
Freshman right fielder Hannah McEwen scored two runs on three hits, including a home run during the first at-bat for the Hogs.
“It was pretty exciting,” McEwen said. “[I was] just doing anything to get my teammates going.”
McEwen hit the home run to right field, giving the Razorbacks a quick 1-0 lead over the Rebels.
Arkansas senior center fielder Loren Krzysko gave the packed crowd more to cheer for in the bottom of the second after scoring off a single from senior infielder Autumn Buczek. The Razorbacks went up 2-0 over Ole Miss.
The last run of the game would come in the bottom of the sixth from McEwen. She gave her team a 3-0 advantage after a booming hit from senior shortstop A.J Belans.
The Ole Miss defense was struck down after the Hogs made eight hits and the Rebels made four errors. Senior pitcher Kaitlin Lee walked five batters and threw five strikeouts. Freshman Anna Borgen stepped in during the bottom of the sixth.
Even though the Ole Miss defense looked bad statistically, the Rebels survived multiple grand slam opportunities from the Hogs.
Offensively, the Rebels’ only hit came from sophomore right fielder Kaylee Horton, who made it to right field in the top of the first.
Arkansas coach Courtney Deifel knew that after the game got going, it was going to be a slow one, she said.
“Today was a game where I felt like we kinda grinded it out,” Deifel said. “It wasn’t our prettiest game. We made the most of what we got.”
Haff’s performance and the defense was the best part, she said.
“Mary did an excellent job in the circle, and our defense played really tough behind her,” Deifel said.
Game two of the Razorbacks and the Rebels is scheduled for 4 p.m on April 29 at Bogle Park. The game will air on ESPNU.