FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. The University of Arkansas softball team registered a pair of one-run wins Sunday to close out the Razorback Invitational at Bogle Park. The Razorbacks swept through its week-long, seven-game home stand to improve to 16-1 through the first month of the 2018 season. Freshman pitcher Mary Haff continued her strong week in the circle with a win and a save Sunday while juniors Haydi Bugarin and Ashley Diaz each homered in the game-two victory over Central Connecticut State.
Overall, Im happy we were able to grind out two wins today, head coach Courtney Deifel said. I think our offense pressed a little bit but credit to Northern Colorado and Central Connecticut for keeping us off balance. We have some things to work on but any time you can still get those wins and learn more about your team, its a valuable experience.
The Razorbacks play their next five games on the road beginning with a Tuesday doubleheader at Wichita State. The teams SEC schedule begins next weekend at No. 14 Georgia. The three-game series begins Saturday at 12 p.m. (CT) on the SEC Network. Arkansas returns to Bogle Park on March 16-18 to host the Wooo Pig Classic.
Game 1: Arkansas 1, Northern Colorado 0 | Box Score
Haff pitched a complete-game shutout in the Razorbacks first win of the day. She finished the game with six strikeouts and allowed just two hits. Haff gave up an infield single to the first hitter of the game and then retired 17 of the next 18 Northern Colorado hitters before giving up a two-out single in the sixth.
The Razorbacks took advantage of two errors by the visitors to score the games only run in the third. Senior Loren Krzysko led off the frame with a walk and the bases were loaded with one out after the fielding miscues. Freshman Hannah McEwen lifted a sacrifice fly to left field which allowed Krzysko to score from third and put Arkansas up, 1-0. Haff made the lead stand up for her ninth win of the season.
Game 2: Arkansas 6, Central Connecticut State 5 | Box Score
CCSU took the early lead in the weekend finale, plating an unearned run in the first inning but the Razorbacks pulled even with a solo shot by Bugarin in the third inning. The home run was her fourth of the season, surpassing the combined three she hit during her freshman and sophomore seasons. However, the tie was short lived with the Blue Devils moving ahead 2-1 with a solo home run of their own in the top of the fourth.
Arkansas responded with two runs in the home half of the inning. Pinch runners Keely Edwards and Carley Haizlip crossed the plate thanks to a dropped ball at first and sacrifice fly by Tori Cooper, respectively. The lead was 3-2 but again, Central Connecticut answered, this time with a two-run homer in the fifth. After a walk, sophomore Caroline Hedgcock entered the game in relief of starter Autumn Storms. Two ground balls later, the Razorbacks were out of the inning but trailed, 4-3.
Senior Autumn Buczek led off the bottom of the sixth with her second triple of the season and cruised home on an RBI base hit by McEwen. The freshman outfielder drove in 16 runs during the week-long home stand and leads the team with 29 RBI. Krzysko laid down a sacrifice bunt to move McEwen into scoring position and on the first pitch from Peyton Silverman, Diaz deposited a two-run blast over the outer gate at Bogle Park for the 6-4 lead.
Diazs home run was her third of the season and the 18th of her career which moves her into a tie for 10th on the programs all-time list. Arkansas hit 10 home runs in its first week playing at Bogle Park and has now left the yard 25 times this season.
The Blue Devils cut their deficit to one with another unearned run in the sixth. After a strikeout, Hedgcock gave way to Haff who entered the game with two outs in the sixth. She recorded the final out of the inning and struck out three hitters in the seventhworking around a one-out singleto end the game and pick up her second save of the year.
2018 Razorback Invitational (Sunday Results)
Dartmouth 7, Central Connecticut State 2
Arkansas 1, Northern Colorado 0
Arkansas 6, Central Connecticut State 5
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