FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas softball team proved itself on Saturday (March 16), as the Razorbacks fired up the bats in the sixth inning, scoring seven runs on a bases loaded single by Katie Warrick, an RBI walk by Kayla Green, and back-to-back home runs by Ashley Diaz and Aly Manzo. The Hogs recovered from a four-run deficit, going on to defeat South Carolina, 7-4.
Trailing 4-0 in the sixth inning, the Gamecocks would make a pitching change after Arkansas put Hogs on first and second with base hits from junior outfielder Sydney Parr and sophomore Hannah McEwen.
South Carolina’s Dixie Raley would load the bases with Razorbacks, dishing out a four-ball walk to freshman catcher, Taylor Greene. Warrick stepped up and took a 2-2 pitch into left field, dropping the hit behind third base, scoring Parr and leaving the bases loaded for Green.
Green notched her team-leading 11th walk of the season, good for another Razorback RBI. Arkansas would call on their elite pinch-running staff to add speed to the bases, bringing in Sam Torres, Keely Edwards, and Maggie Hicks.
The Gamecocks made another pitching change after, returning to starting pitcher Kelsey Oh. Oh would face only two batters, Diaz and Manzo. Diaz’ grand slam is her first of the season, but her second home run. Manzo’s blast to left-field was her first of the season, making her the ninth Hog to hit one out of the park this season.
The Razorbacks retired the Gamecock order in the top of the seventh, walking away with their first SEC series win of the season.
Junior Autumn Storms entered in the third inning for starter Mary Haff and went on to hold South Carolina completely scoreless for the final four innings. Storms faced 16 batters and gave up only two hits. The win is the tenth of the season for Storms.
The win was the second of the series for Arkansas (21-5, 3-2), clinching the series after its 3-2 win over the Gamecocks on Friday evening (March 16). The series win if the first of the Deifel-era and the first since 2010 when Arkansas swept a double-header in Columbia.
The Razorbacks and Gamecocks will be back in action tomorrow (March 17) for the finale of the three-game series. First pitch at Bogle Park is slated for 1:00 pm (CT), live stream available online via SEC Network+, live scoring links for game three are also available at ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
For all Razorback softball news and information, go to ArkansasRazorbacks.com and follow the Hogs on Twitter at @RazorbackSB, on Facebook at Razorback Softball and on Instagram at @Razorback_SB. Fans can also follow head coach Courtney Deifel on twitter at @CoachDeifel.