FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 20 Arkansas softball team travels to Conway to play Central Arkansas for the first time in program history at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 9. The Razorbacks (16-2) are currently on a program-record 15-game winning streak and finished its two-week homestand at Bogle Park 11-0. Tuesday’s game will be broadcast on Cox Sports TV and ESPN+ with Brett Dolan (play-by-play) and Dorian Craft (analyst) on the call. Central Arkansas will make a return trip to Fayetteville on Tuesday, April 20 for the conclusion of the two-game season series.
Recapping Last Week
Arkansas (16-2) hosted the Wooo Pig Classic last week inside Bogle Park and went 5-0 to wrap up a perfect 11-0 homestand. The Razorbacks won a pair of closely contested ballgames on Thursday against Drake, 6-3 and 6-4. Catcher Kayla Green had a career-high five RBI in game one and hit the go-ahead grand slam in the bottom of the sixth. In game two, Arkansas trailed 4-1 entering the bottom of the seventh and posted five runs on infielder Braxton Burnside’s RBI single and infielder Danielle Gibson’s walk-off grand slam. The Hogs finished the weekend rolling to victories over Kansas and Northwestern State (2x) and scored a season-best 13 runs in each of the two games against the Demons. Pitcher Mary Haff went 4.0 innings on Saturday vs. NSU and faced one over the minimum (one hit), going went 3-0 for the week (1.37 ERA, 15.1 IP). Gibson’s weekend would have been a good month for most, as she hit .421 (8-for-19) with two doubles, five home runs (two grand slams), scored five runs and collected 14 RBI with a 1.316 slugging percentage. Arkansas hit five homers in game one vs. NSU tying the single-game program record (2021 vs. Texas Tech, 2017 vs. Loyola Marymount, 2017 at North Texas).
The Razorbacks have been on a power surge to begin the season, totaling 45 home runs over their first 18 games to lead the SEC and rank second nationally. Arkansas ranks third in home runs per game (2.50) behind Oklahoma (17 games, 61 home runs, 3.59 per game) and Arizona State (16 games, 44 home runs, 2.75 per game). Burnside leads the team with 11 homers, which leads the SEC and ranks second in the country behind Oklahoma’s Jocelyn Alo (13). Gibson’s eight total homers rank fifth in the SEC and 12th in the country and designated player Linnie Malkin’s six home runs rank 24th in the nation. Freshman infielder Hannah Gammill has hit five home runs and is tied for fifth nationally among home runs by a freshman and is second in the SEC (Erin Coffel, Kentucky, nine home runs). Nine-hole hitter Keely Huffine has provided pop from the bottom of the order, hitting four home runs.
Arkansas is currently riding a program-best 15-game winning streak, besting the previous record of 12 set by the 1999 and 2008 teams. Over the streak, the Razorbacks are hitting .326 as a team with 37 home runs, while scoring an average of 7.7 runs per game. The Razorbacks are surrendering an ERA of just 1.95. Arkansas’ 16-2 start to 2021 is tied for the second-best start to a season in program history.
- Pitcher Mary Haff leads the nation with nine wins and ranks fourth in shutouts (3) and 13th in strikeouts (65). Haff’s career ERA of 1.59 is currently tied with Heather Schlichtman (2001-04) for the program’s best career mark.
- Gibson leads the team with 29 hits and 29 RBI. She ranks second in the SEC in RBI and fifth in hits.
- Arkansas is third in the country and leads the SEC drawing 79 walks this year.
Central Arkansas is 11-7 this season and is slated to play non-Division I Lyon on Monday before taking on the Razorbacks. Last weekend, the Bears went 4-0 against Mississippi Valley State, UAPB (2x) and Western Michigan and outscored its opposition a combined, 39-1. UCA was picked to finish fifth in the 12-team Southland Conference in the league’s preseason poll.
Central Arkansas is 11-7 this season and slated to play non-Division I Lyon on Monday before facing the Razorbacks. Last weekend, the Bears went 4-0 against Mississippi Valley State, UAPB (2x) and Western Michigan, outscoring its opposition a combined, 39-1. UCA was picked to finish fifth in the 12-team Southland Conference in the league’s preseason poll.