Arkansas softball wins 4 on opening weekend

By: Scottie Bordelon
Published: Monday, February 10, 2020
Arkansas coach Courtney Deifel talks to players during a game against Auburn on Sunday, May 5, 2019, in Fayetteville.
Photo by J.T. Wampler
Arkansas coach Courtney Deifel talks to players during a game against Auburn on Sunday, May 5, 2019, in Fayetteville.

The Arkansas softball team opened its 2020 season with four wins in Las Cruces, N.M., over the weekend.

The Razorbacks defeated Texas-El Paso, Bradley, New Mexico State and Nebraska, and three wins were five-inning games in which Arkansas won by 10-plus runs. Its lone loss of the weekend, a 3-2 decision, came against Bradley on Friday.

In Arkansas’ 5-4 win over New Mexico State, it trailed 3-2 entering the top of the seventh inning. The Razorbacks plated three runs and received a timely two-run home run from first baseman Danielle Gibson, earning a come-from-behind win.

Senior outfielder Sydney Parr turned in a strong showing at the plate, finishing the weekend with a team-high 10 hits in 18 at-bats. Junior infielder Linnie Malkin added seven more hits, including two home runs, and drove in six runs.

Sophomore infielder Audrie LaValley plated six runs on three hits as well, and Braxton Burnside, an Arkansas native and junior infielder who transferred from Missouri, finished with six RBI, too.

As a team, Arkansas batted .392 and hit seven home runs.

In the circle, Autumn Storms, a preseason All-SEC selection, finished the trip 3-0 in three appearances - two starts. Over 9 2/3 innings pitched, she allowed one unearned run on seven hits, walked one batter and struck out eight.

Storms earned wins over UTEP, Bradley and New Mexico State. Junior Mary Haff went 1-1 in three appearances and gave up six runs, four earned, in 8 2/3 innings. Haff allowed four home runs.

Freshman pitcher Jenna Bloom faired well in her first college action. Bloom, over 8 2/3 innings in four appearances, surrendered eight hits, four runs, three earned, and struck out 15 against just one walk. She wrapped up the weekend with a 2.42 ERA.

Arkansas returns to play Feb. 14-16 for another five-game weekend at the Florida Gulf Coast Invitational. The Razorbacks will face FGCU and Memphis on Friday, Illinois-Chicago and Furman on Saturday, and FGCU on Sunday.

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