Softball vs. Ole Miss

Junior first baseman Danielle Gibson watches a ball sail out of Bogle Park during Saturday’s game against Ole Miss. Gibson hit a walk-off home run to complete the comeback and secure the series win for Arkansas.

Junior first baseman Danielle Gibson lifted the No. 17 Arkansas softball team (22-3, 5-0 Southeastern Conference) to an extra-inning win with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to complete the comeback over the Ole Miss Rebels (18-9, 3-2 SEC), 3-2 Saturday at Bogle Park.

“I felt good all day, and I figured she was going to hammer the outside corner,” Gibson said in a Zoom postgame press conference. “So, I just kind of sat back, it was there, and I went for it.”

Ole Miss put Arkansas in a hole in the top of the third inning when senior designated player Abbey Latham hit a two-run home run into left-center field with two outs, after sophomore third baseman Paige Smith singled.

The Hog offense was silent until the bottom of the sixth inning when junior left fielder Hannah McEwen sent a shot into center to put Arkansas on the board. After graduate senior shortstop Braxton Burnside was hit by a pitch, Gibson pulled a ball down the right field line for an RBI double to tie the game, 2-2.

In the top of the seventh, right-handed senior Autumn Storms, who started for the Razorbacks, gave up a single and hit a batter. After a productive out, Storms was relieved by junior right-hander Mary Haff. She went on to strike out back-to-back batters to get out of the inning.

Storms pitched 6 ⅓ innings and allowed five hits, two earned runs, one walk and hit a batter, while striking out three batters in a no decision. In Haff’s relief appearance, she went 1 ⅔ innings, allowing one baserunner by hitting a batter. She struck out four and obtained her nation-leading 14th win of the season.

The game eventually concluded in extra innings, with Gibson sending a solo shot into left field with one out for Arkansas to finish the comeback.

“This team has a ton of fight in them, and they don’t really flinch at anything that they face,” Arkansas head coach Courtney Deifel said. “We always feel like that if we have outs left, we have a chance. I have so much confidence in this team and in this offense — and my confidence is just matched by what they have in themselves.”

Junior right-hander Savannah Diederich started for Ole Miss. She pitched a complete game through 7 ⅓ innings and allowed five hits, three earned runs, one walk and two home runs, while striking out eight. She was hit with her sixth loss of the season, evening her record on the year.

The No. 17 Hogs will conclude the three-game series against the Rebels on Sunday at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast on SEC Network+.

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