The No. 22 Arkansas Razorback softball team (12-3, 0-0) was unable to shut down the No. 23 Baylor Bears (15-2, 0-0) in the top of the seventh inning when leading by a run as the Bears earned a 3-2 road victory in Fayetteville at Bogle Park last Thursday to kickoff the Wooo Pig Classic.
The Hogs surrendered the lead when senior pitcher Autumn Storms (7-1, 1.38 ERA) gave up a single and a double to start off the top of the seventh inning while the Hogs led 2-1. Junior Mary Haff came in for relief and gave up an RBI single to Baylor catcher Taylor Ellis, who came back into the game after injury, to tie the game, 2-2.
Bears’ junior outfielder Maddison Kettler hit a double into left field to give the Bears the lead. With runners on second and third, Arkansas freshman Jenna Bloom came in to replace Haff after not being able to record an out. Bloom was able to keep the runners at bay as she made the next batter popout and struck out the next two batters.
The Hogs came to bat in the bottom half of the inning needing a run to draw even. After both junior right-fielder Linnie Malkin and senior designated hitter Ryan Jackson flied out to center to start off the bottom of the seventh, junior catcher Kayla Green got on with a base hit single to give the Hogs hope.
Junior Nicole Duncan came in to pinch run for Green. Freshman Rylin Hedgecock came in as a pinch hitter. During the at-bat, Duncan advanced to second after a wild pitch by freshman Aliyah Pritchett (5-0, ERA 2.17). However, Hedgecock struck out looking on a 2-2 count.
Storms pitched six innings and struck out three in 95 pitches (67 strikes). All three of the runs given up were earned and she allowed seven hits while also being given her first loss of the season.
Baylor’s starting pitcher Gia Rodoni went five innings with seven strikeouts in 73 pitches (58 strikes). Pritchett switched from shortstop to the mound in the sixth inning and finished as the winning pitcher.
Scoring started in the top of the third inning when junior Alyssa Avalos hit a solo home run in deep center field to give Baylor a 1-0 lead. It was her first career home run.
The Hogs were able to respond in the bottom of the fourth when junior shortstop Braxton Burnside hit her third home run of the year on a two-run home run into left field to give Arkansas the lead, 2-1.
During the bottom of the third inning, Ellis took a bunt foul ball off of her knee cap. She went into the dugout and was replaced by sophomore Casey Shell. Eliss came back in the top of the seventh and delivered the RBI single that tied the game.
Arkansas finished the Wooo Pig Classic 3-2, losing both of its matchups against ranked opponents. The Razorbacks will return to the field Friday in Tuscaloosa against Alabama.