BY DUDLEY E. DAWSON
Arkansas tossed a twin dose of Camenzind at Mississippi State on Saturday and the result was a run-rule victory that clinched the Razorbacks’ 10th straight road series.
Pitcher Hannah Camenzind allowed just four hits and fanned five while firing five shutout innings to her catching twin sister Lauren in an 11-0 series-clinching rout on Saturday.
The Razorbacks (26-9, 7-4), who won 4-2 on Friday, jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first despite just having one hit in Kacie Hoffman’s two-run double.
That hit came off losing pitcher Josey Marron (7-2), who loaded the bases on two walks and a hit batter to start the game and recorded just one out before being taken out.
“It was really big to start the game with a 4-0 lead in the first inning,” Hannah Camenzind said. “Our offense continues to put pressure on throughout the game. The hitters came out and punched early, and that allowed me to settle in on the mound. I trusted my stuff and my break felt good.
“The defense had my back the entire game. Our middle infielders, Atalyia Rijo and Kristina Foreman, came up with a big double play in the fourth. I’m proud of this team for securing the series with today’s shutout.”
Arkansas outhit the Bulldogs 9-4 with Razorback lead off hitter Reagan Johnson having three of those and scoring a trio of runs whle Cylie Halvorson added two hits and three RBIs.
Mississippi State (23-12, 3-4) appeared to have cut that lead to 4-2 in the third on Chloe Malau’ulu’d’s two-run homer, but it was wiped out because umpires ruled Macy Graf left first base to early.
The call enraged Mississippi State assistant coach Tyler Bratton, who was ejected.
The Razorbacks added four runs in third and three more in the fifth to enforce the 10-run rule.
Bulldogs head coach Samantha Ricketts lamented her team’s early gifts to Arkansas.
“We have to be able to give ourselves a chance early in the game,” Ricketts said. “It’s hard to constantly play from behind and there were too many free passes and opportunities for their offense before we even had a chance to come to the plate,” Ricketts said.
“We know we need to come out stronger, and we need to be sharper all around – pitching, defense, and hitting. We just didn’t show that today.”
The two will finish series with a Sunday 2 p.m. game.
“That’s the best part about our sport, is we get a chance to bounce right back the next day and we don’t have to wait a week like football or other sports,” Ricketts said, “so it’s fun in a way to use it to fuel us and understand that we need to focus on what we do well and come out and play our game tomorrow.
“It’s a great team, and we’re going to have to play well throughout all three phases.”
Photo courtesy of the University of Arkansas