Robyn Herron

Arkansas freshman Robyn Herron throws a pitch during the Wooo Pig Classic earlier this season at Bogle Park. The Florida native has thrived on and off the field during her first year in Fayetteville.



When freshman pitcher Robyn Herron set foot on the UA campus on her first visit, it felt like the right move for her future as a student and an athlete.

She visited over the summer to tour the campus facilities and her possible new home on the softball field, Bogle Park.

"Once I saw it in person, I just knew that I loved it," Herron said.

The Tampa native had a host of schools vying for her services in the circle, as she was one of the top-rated pitchers in Florida. Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Florida State and Florida all recruited the highly regarded pitcher.

Herron kept an open mind with her recruitment. When the Arkansas staff attended her games in high school, she loved talking to head coach Courtney Deifel and assistant coaches Matt Meuchel and Yolanda McRea.

“At that point, I just knew that there was nowhere that I could go that would feel like how I feel about Arkansas,” Herron said.

Florida head softball coach Tim Walton made an excellent recruiting pitch to Herron and wanted to keep her from slipping to an in-state rival or a conference opponent outside the state.

Ultimately, Deifel made the most meaningful impact in her time with Herron as they discussed her role as a student and softball player for the Razorback program. That made her choice easy to sign with the Hogs.

"She's like a family-based coach, and that's what I really loved," Herron said. "She's like a mother figure almost, but we all just love her so much. We just know she cares so much about us, and that was just a really important part of my recruitment and what I wanted to commit to."

When Herron moved to Fayetteville, she felt the changes that most college students do in adjusting her life to life on campus. It was a quick change as fall softball kicked off in September, less than a month after she arrived.

“It was definitely a little bit of an adjustment just being far away from home and adjusting to it by myself, but I really like it here now,” Herron said.

Freshman catcher Lauren Camenzind, Herron’s roommate, was familiar with her from their travel softball days before they got to campus.

“I just love the energy that she brings every day on and off the field,” Camenzind said.

“She is always so positive and we all feed off of that.”

Herron found out that pitching in Division I softball was all about the details of perfecting her craft in the circle during the Razorbacks’ fall softball scrimmages.

The college game has presented new challenges for Herron. There is not a lot of room for error. The coaching staff helped her work on spinning her pitches through the zone, because batters at this level do not chase many pitches out of the zone, she said.

The upperclassmen on the team gave her encouragement early in the fall, which helped her confidence. They have made a deep and positive impression on Herron and the other freshmen on the team, making the adjustment to college softball easier for them.

“They were just all really excited for me, and they all just had full confidence in me,” Herron said. “So that made me feel confident in myself, knowing that they had faith in me. They were so excited for me to get out. They really made me feel excited”

The lefty got a chance to return to her old stomping grounds early in her freshman campaign during the Clearwater Invitational in Florida. In her second start as a Razorback, she recorded her first complete game shutout, struck out 12 batters and allowed four hits against the Indiana Hoosiers for a 7-0 victory.

"It was like a full-circle moment, ‘cause I grew up there playing travel ball on those fields,” Herron said, “so it was really cool to go back and throw a shutout and my first complete game, and it just felt good."

Her regular season Bogle Park debut was a little delayed, because the Razorbacks were on the road for the first two weekends, but she said the wait was worth it for her.

"(It was) definitely more rewarding knowing that I made it here,” Herron said. “I was able to start and see all the fans and just get the whole environment.”

She has shown dominance in the circle as one of Deifel’s young core group of players in a freshman class that most recruiting services in the country ranked in the top 10 in 2022.

In her short time on the Hill, Herron has drawn praise from the staff, teammates and local media for striking out batters at a high rate.

Deifel said she has been very happy with how the freshman has helped the team so far. The Hogs were in a tight game early in the season against Drake, and Herron shut the door, striking out 14 batters over 5 ⅔ innings without allowing a hit or a run in her appearance. Only 13 times before had a Razorback pitcher struck out that many hitters.

"For Robyn to go in that situation when I think we kind of felt deflated with the giving up the three, our offense wasn't really vibing,” Deifel said, “so for her to just keep us there and give us a chance to fight back, I think that's huge. I think it shows a ton of maturity and I think it shows a ton of trust in her pitches."

Herron has appeared in 17 of Arkansas’s 36 games this season. She has amassed a 6-3 record and 87 strikeouts over 54 innings pitched with a 2.33 ERA, the third-best mark on the team.

As Arkansas eyes its third straight Southeastern Conference regular season title and its elusive first trip to the Women’s College World Series, Herron figures to remain a critical asset to the squad.

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