Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Heisman Trophy.
Arizona takes first super regional game at Arkansas
Arizona's Sharlize Palacios (18) and Janelle Meoño (6) wait as Dejah Mulipola (8) runs toward home plate after Mulipola hit a home run during an NCAA super regional game against Arkansas on Friday, May 28, 2021, in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE — Arizona homered four times and defeated Arkansas 10-4 on Friday in the first game of the NCAA Fayetteville Super Regional in front of 2,700 at Bogle Park.
The Wildcats (40-13) moved within one victory of advancing to the Women’s College World Series. Arkansas (43-10) must win games Saturday at 4 p.m. and an if-necessary game Sunday at 8 p.m. to win the super regional.
Arizona led almost from the outset Friday when Dejah Mulipola homered with two outs in the top of the first inning to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead. Arizona added a run on Sharlize Palacios’ two-out RBI single in the top of the third inning.
Arkansas pulled within 3-1 when Hannah McEwen homered to lead off the bottom of the third, but the Razorbacks missed on a chance for a bigger inning. Braxton Burnside doubled in the at bat following McEwen’s home run, but she was stranded at third base.
Arizona followed with a four-run top of the fifth inning when Palacios hit a two-run home run and Malia Martinez added a two-run double to put the Wildcats ahead 7-1.
Aly Manzo hit a solo home run to pull Arkansas within 7-2 in the bottom of the fifth, but Arizona answered with back-to-back home runs by Jessie Harper and Mulipola in the top of the sixth to go ahead 10-2.
Harper’s 91st career home run pulled her within four of the NCAA record. Mulipola homered twice and finished 2 for 3 with 2 walks and 3 RBI.
Hannah Gammill hit a two-run home run for Arkansas in the bottom of the sixth. It was the Razorbacks’ 95th home run of the season, which tied Arizona State for third-most nationally.
Hanah Bowen (10-3) pitched a complete game for the Wildcats. Bowen allowed 4 hits, walked 1 and struck out 8.
Mary Haff (26-7) took the loss with a 4 1/3-inning start for the Razorbacks. Haff allowed 4 earned runs on 7 hits and 2 walks, and struck out 3. The Wildcats also scored an unearned run against Haff.
Arkansas used three pitchers. Jenna Bloom allowed 5 runs on 5 hits while recording just 2 outs. Allie Light did not allow a base runner in two innings of relief.
Arizona improved to 4-0 this postseason, including 3-0 against SEC teams. The Wildcats defeated Ole Miss twice by scores of 12-6 during the NCAA Tucson Regional last weekend.
Arizona is attempting to advance to the Women's College World Series for the 24th time.
Arkansas fell to 0-3 all-time in super regional games. The Razorbacks were swept in their only other super regional three years ago at Oklahoma.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed Saturday's game time.
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