SEC SOFTBALL:

Arkansas pounds No. 9 LSU, wins series

By: BRANDON DAVIS Special to the NWA Democrat-Gazette
Published: Saturday, April 20, 2019
Arkansas starter Autumn Storms delivers to the plate Wednesday, April 10, 2019, against Wichita State during the first inning at Bogle Park in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas starter Autumn Storms delivers to the plate Wednesday, April 10, 2019, against Wichita State during the first inning at Bogle Park in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The No. 18 University of Arkansas softball team won its eighth straight game in run-rule fashion by pounding No. 9 LSU 11-1 on Friday at Bogle Park.

The win clinched the series for the Razorbacks (34-14, 8-9 SEC), the first time since 2006 Arkansas has taken a series from the Tigers.

The Razorbacks scored seven runs in the first inning and four more in the fourth to secure the five-inning win. Senior Ashley Diaz's two-run home run and junior Keely Edwards's two-RBI single started the early assault.

Hannah McEwen, who was 4-for-4 on the day, added a two-run single to give Arkansas a 7-1 lead.

The Razorbacks put the game away with another McEwen RBI-single and a three-run homer by sophomore Danielle Gibson, her 11th of the season.

After some tough losses over the season against SEC foes, McEwen said her team needed this series win heading down the stretch of the regular season.

"This (game) was a validating statement," McEwen said. "We knew we were here all along, and we needed to fire on all cylinders and we got that going."

Junior pitcher Autumn Storms (18-5) walked only two LSU batters, struck out one and gave up three hits.

Storms pitched to contact and relied on her defense to make the plays.

"To have my defense behind me, they were a huge part of our win," Storms said. "Our offense was explosive and amazing. I'm proud of every aspect of my team."

LSU (36-11) junior Aliyah Andrews scored the only Tiger run after her single, a stolen second base and an Arkansas error.

Tigers pitcher Maribeth Gorsuch (10-2) did not make it out of the first inning, allowing four hits and seven runs before being replaced.

Arkansas coach Courtney Deifel said her team is playing at a high level at just the right time.

"LSU is a very good team and for us to take the series and be in the position going into tomorrow to potentially sweep, I'm really proud of the way they're playing," Deifel said.

SHORT HOPS: Arkansas moves to 21-1 when scoring in the first inning. ... After collecting her 200th career hit in game one, Diaz is 13 away from moving up to No. 5 in career hits. ... Arkansas became the first team to put up 10 or more runs in a game against LSU this season.

ON DECK: Arkansas and LSU will close out the series at 1 p.m. today. Admission is free to the public.

ON THE WEB: www.arkansasrazorbacks.com

Sports on 04/20/2019

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