FAYETTEVILLE — No. 4 Arkansas used big fifth and sixth innings to go on and defeat No. 18 Texas 7-1 on Thursday night at Bogle Park in the opening game of the Fayetteville Super Regional.
Arkansas broke open a scoreless game in the bottom of the fifth. The Razorbacks sent nine hitters to the plate. Hannah McEwen led off the inning with a double off the fence in center field. Taylor Ellsworth sac bunted McEwen to third. Danielle Gibson then was walked. Hannah Gammill then singled to left field to plate McEwen for a 1-0 lead. Linnie Malkin singled to load the bases. Then Kacie Hoffmann hit a grounder to first baseman who threw it away at home. Both Gibson and Gammill scored.
Arkansas added to the lead in the bottom of the sixth. McEwen led off with an infield single. Ellsworth singled to center field. Gibson then hit a flyout to center, but McEwen went to third after the tag. Gammill then singled to right field to get McEwen across the plate with one out. Malkin then singled to left to get Ellsworth home. The Hogs went on to add two more runs as well.
Texas’ lone run came in the top of the seventh which by that time was too little too late.
Texas threatened in the top of the first when second baseman Janae Jefferson started the game off with a double to left field. However, Arkansas’ Chenise Delce pitched her way out of the inning.
In the Arkansas bottom of the first center fielder KB Sides, the SEC Player of the Year, doubled to center field to start the threat. However, Texas’ Hailey Dolcini pitched her way out of it as well.
The two teams kept threatening to score, but both pitchers managed to get out of each jam. The fourth inning was the first one Texas didn’t get the leadoff hitter on base. It was the third inning for Arkansas when they didn’t get the leadoff hitter on.
Delce got out of a real jam in the top of the fifth. Lou Gilbert and Lauren Burks singled to start the inning. Jordyn Whitaker then sacrificed bunted them to second and third. Arkansas then walked Jefferson intentionally. But Delce struck out Mia Scott and got Bella Dayton to ground out to second base.
Delce moved to 19-2 on the season. The Razorbacks finished with 12 hits, but left 11 on base.
The two teams will play again on Friday at 5:30 p.m. and televised on ESPN2. Texas now has to defeat Arkansas twice. Arkansas (48-9) continues to set a record for wins in a single season each time they get a victory.