UA softball reaches highest ranking in program history

By: Paul Boyd
Published: Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Arkansas softball coach Courtney Deifel is shown during a game against North Dakota State on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, in Fayetteville. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/David Beach)
Arkansas softball coach Courtney Deifel is shown during a game against North Dakota State on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, in Fayetteville. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/David Beach)

The University of Arkansas softball team achieved its highest ranking in school history on Tuesday, climbing to a tie for No. 8 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball ranking and tying for 10th in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll.

Arkansas (31-3) leads the Southeastern Conference with a 12-0 record and jumped three spots to enter the top 10 after sweeping No. 25 Auburn on the road over the weekend. The Razorbacks outscored the Tigers 11-1 in the three-game sweep, the fewest runs allowed in an SEC series since 2001 when Arkansas outscored Ole Miss 6-1.

The Razorbacks have now won 11 consecutive games. It is the first time in school history they have put together two winning streaks of 10-plus in the same season. Arkansas won 19 in a row earlier this season and has now won 30 of its last 31 games.

That sets the stage for the first top-10 matchup in school history at Bogle Park this weekend against No. 3 Alabama (29-4, 9-3 SEC).

Arkansas, then No. 20, took a game from the Crimson Tide last season in the only SEC series the Razorbacks played before the season was shut down because of the covid-19 pandemic. Alabama was ranked No. 9 at the time.

Nine of the 13 SEC teams are ranked in the ESPN.com poll this week, and Auburn dropped out. Arkansas, Alabama and Florida are in the top 10.

The Razorbacks are still second in the country with 63 home runs, trailing only top-ranked Oklahoma. They are two home runs shy of tying the single-season record.

Braxton Burnside, who broke the single-season school record for home runs in a season over the weekend, ranks second in the country with 19. Redshirt junior Mary Haff is tied for tops in the country with 18 victories and is second in the nation in innings pitched with 124.

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