Arkansas softball wins Fayetteville regional

By: Scottie Bordelon
Published: Sunday, May 20, 2018
Arkansas players go through introductions Saturday, May 19, 2018, during the inning at Bogle Park at the NCAA Fayetteville Softball Regional on the university campus in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas players go through introductions Saturday, May 19, 2018, during the inning at Bogle Park at the NCAA Fayetteville Softball Regional on the university campus in Fayetteville.

Arkansas 6, Wichita State 4 - Final

Mary Haff worked an effortless seventh inning and gifted Arkansas its first NCAA regional title and super regional berth.

Autumn Buczek made a terrific diving catch in foul ground for the final out of the game.

Arkansas 6, Wichita State 4 - End 6th Inning

The Razorbacks tacked on an insurance run for Haff in the home sixth as she returns to the circle looking to secure the first regional championship in program history.

Sydney Benz scored from third on a Caitlin Bingham wild pitch.

Arkansas 5, Wichita State 4 - Middle 6th Inning

Haff struck out the side in the top of the sixth inning. She got McKenzie Wright looking on an inside pitch, Bailey Lange swinging and Laurie Derrico looking to end the top half. Haff is up to six strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings today and has 19 for the weekend.

Arkansas will send Green, Bugarin and McEwen to the plate in the home sixth.

Arkansas 5, Wichita State 4 - Middle 5th Inning

The Shockers immediately put the pressure back on Haff following a leadoff hit by pitch. Haff's wild pitch allowed Perrigan to advance to second. The freshman worked a flyball to center for the first out of the inning then hit Ryleigh Buck with a pitch to put two on. A walk to Luellen loaded the bases.

Bingham flew out to shallow center for the second out of the inning and struck out Ashton Esparza to end the threat. Big, big moment in the game there.

Arkansas will send Warrick, Belans and Krzysko to the plate in the home fifth.

Arkansas 5, Wichita State 4 - End 4th Inning

Hannah McEwen was due for a big hit, and she delivered with a two-run homer to give Arkansas the lead again. It's McEwen's 12th home run and 55th and 56th RBI of the season, which is a single-season program record.

Ashley Diaz grounded into an inning-ending double play, but McEwen's homer re-energized Bogle. We'll see if Haff – and potentially Arkansas' bullpen – can make it hold up.

Wichita State 4, Arkansas 3 - Middle 4th Inning

Bingham opened the inning with an infield single toward short. A.J. Belans made a great play to keep the ball in front, fire to first and make it close. Haff then got a groundout and pop out before issuing a four-pitch walk to Bailey Lange.

Haff later struck out Derrico to end the top of the fourth. Arkansas will send Green, Bugarin and McEwen to the plate in the fourth.

Wichita State 4, Arkansas 3 - Top 4th Inning

Bingham worked a strong inning, keeping Arkansas at bay with a flyout and two groundouts. A.J. Belans drew an 8-pitch walk with one, but consecutive groundballs got Bingham out of any potential trouble.

Haff returns to the circle for the Razorbacks.

Wichita State 4, Arkansas 3 - Middle 3rd Inning

Following a single, walk and a groundout, Storms hit Laurie Derrico with a pitch on the right leg to load the bases for Perrigan. Perrigan lifted a catchable flyball to right, but it was dropped by Hannah McEwen, cutting the Arkansas lead to 3-2.

Mary Haff, who's thrown 193 pitches over the last two days, came in to pitch for the Razorbacks in relief of Storms. Haff ran the count full on her first batter and gave up a two-run double to left-center to Asea Webber.

Haff bounced back to strike out Ryleigh Buck for the second out of the inning then got Paige Luellen to ground weakly to third.

Arkansas will send Warrick, Belans and Krzysko to the plate in the home third.

Arkansas 3, Wichita State 1 - End 2nd Inning

Caitlin Bingham worked a quick, 10-pitch second inning. After the first pitch of the inning hit Bugarin, Bingham worked three straight groundball outs.

Arkansas 3, Wichita State 1 - Middle 2nd Inning

Solid inning from Storms in the circle following an extended break as Arkansas' offense gave her some support. She added a pair of strikeouts and now has three for the day. Storms is at 34 pitches – 24 strikes – through two innings.

Arkansas will send Bugarin, McEwen and Buczek to the plate in the home second.

Arkansas 3, Wichita State 1 - End 1st Inning

McEwen led the bottom half off with an infield single, then Buczek slapped a ball to the right side and beat Shockers second baseman Kaylee Huecker to first, putting two on. Ashley Diaz followed with a single to right, scoring McEwen to knot the game.

Katie Warrick hit a sac fly to right to bring in Buczek, and Arkansas took the lead. The Razorbacks are making great contact against Lange so far. A.J. Belans knocked a single into center as well. Still just one out.

A walk to Loren Krzysko loaded the bases. Tori Cooper hit a liner to first, which was dropped. The first baseman regained control, stepped on first for the second out of the inning and fired home, but Shockers catcher Madison Perrigan failed to tag pinch runner Carley Haizlip.

Strong inning from Arkansas. The Razorbacks sent eight to the plate in the top half.

Wichita State 1, Arkansas 0 - Middle 1st Inning

Storms got the day started with a strikeout, then Shockers pitcher Bailey Lange, hitting in the 2-hole, doubled to left. Tori Cooper came on and tried to make a sliding catch, but couldn't make the play. Lange then stole third base with ease on the next pitch.

Laurie Derrico then hit a chopper over Autumn Buczek at third to score Lange and give Wichita State an early lead. It's the first run allowed by Arkansas in regional play.

Buczek later made a highlight-reel caliber stop at third to end the inning, driving toward the line on a hard hit ball. She got to her feet and delivered to first in plenty of time.

Arkansas will send Hannah McEwen, Buczek and Ashley Diaz to the plate in the home first.

Pregame

The line of fans standing outside of Bogle Park waiting for the gates to open may have been even deeper than it was yesterday. More than 2,000 fans packed the ballpark Saturday, and today, with a super regional berth on the line, attendance could be even larger.

Arkansas will start sophomore Autumn Storms (12-9, 2.37 ERA) in the circle today. Opponents are hitting .256 against Storms this season. Wichita State will again start Bailey Lange, who took the loss in Arkansas' 5-0 win yesterday. Lange then pitched a complete game against Oklahoma State last night to advance the Shockers to today's game.

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