Following last season of firsts, the No. 14 ranked Arkansas softball team travels to Lake Charles, Louisiana to compete in the Cowgirl Classic Feb. 8-10, igniting its 23 season.
The Cowgirl Classic is being played at Joe Miller Field, the home of McNeese State University, This year features teams that were selected to finish high in their respective conferences: the Cowgirls, Campbell Camels, Samford Bulldogs and Lipscomb Bison. Besides the Bulldogs, the other three teams finished 2018 with above .500 records.
In addition to going 41-21 last year, McNeese won the Southland Conference Tournament and played in the College Station regional of the NCAA tournament. The Cowgirls also gave the Razorbacks their first loss after winning their first nine games.
This marks the beginning of coach Courtney Deifel’s fourth season at Arkansas. In opening games, she is 2-1 with the sole loss in her first campaign in 2016 against Texas.
Senior infielder Haydi Bugarin, who started at second base last year, is ready for more new beginnings to close out her collegiate career, she said.
“I’m most excited to have some new firsts this year,” Bugarin said. “Every year I’ve been here we’ve made strides forward. I’m excited to keep doing the unexpected and make our university and state known in the softball community.”
The Razorbacks defeated the Camels 7-3, and the Cowgirls in a 6-0 shutout in the opening day of the tournament. Arkansas meets the Bulldogs and the Bison at 12:30 and 3 p.m respectively on day two and will end with a rematch with Campbell on Feb. 10.