The No. 8 Arkansas softball team was struck with its first Southeastern Conference loss of the season at the hands of the No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide, 5-3, Friday at Bogle Park. The loss snapped the Razorbacks 12-game winning streak.
The Crimson Tide opened up the scoring in the top of the third inning with a four-run rally. Senior right fielder KB Sides drove in two on a double and graduate senior catcher Bailey Hemphill followed up with a two-run home run into left field.
Arkansas struck back in the bottom half with two-out hitting. After a bunt single by sophomore center fielder Sam Torres and a walk by graduate senior shortstop Braxton Burnside, junior left fielder Hannah McEwen reached on a throwing error that allowed Torres to score and advance Burnside and McEwen in scoring position.
After junior first baseman Danielle Gibson was intentionally walked, junior designated player Linnie Malkin roped a two-run single through the left side to cut the Alabama lead to 4-3.
The Crimson Tide came back with a two-out solo home run by sophomore second baseman Savannah Woodard to put Alabama back up by two.
Arkansas left the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth and sixth. The Razorbacks went down in order in the bottom of the seventh to end the game.
“I think they capitalized on opportunities,” Arkansas head coach Courtney Deifel said in a postgame press conference through Zoom. “I actually feel like we had more and we just didn’t get the timely hits. I just look at the game as a good SEC battle that we were on the wrong side of tonight.”
Right-handed junior pitcher Mary Haff started for the Razorbacks. She was hit with just her third loss of the season. The nation leader in wins went 3 ⅔ innings while allowing six hits, five earned runs and no walks. She struck out three batters.
Freshman righty Jenna Bloom came in for relief in the top of the fourth. She pitched 3 ⅓ innings, allowing two hits and a walk. She struck out one.
Junior right-hander Montana Fouts threw a complete game for Alabama in her 12th win of the season. She gave up five hits, three runs with none of them being earned, hit a batter, walked six and struck out 12.
The Bogle Bombers’ lone extra-base hit came in the bottom of the fourth when junior catcher Kayla Green doubled with one out. She advanced to third on a wild pitch, but the Hogs were not able to bring her home.
The No. 8 Razorbacks and the No. 3 Crimson Tide will face off for game two Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m., and the game will be broadcast on ESPN2.