FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – For the second-straight year, Bogle Park will be hosting a Super Regional. No. 4 Arkansas and No. 18 Texas will meet in Fayetteville with a trip to the Women’s College World Series on the line. Game one is scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m. on ESPN2. Friday’s game is slated for 5:30 p.m. on ESPN, and Saturday’s game info, if necessary, will be announced at a later time. The Razorbacks are seeking their first-ever trip to Oklahoma City.
Thursday, May 26 – 6 p.m. – ESPN2 – Beth Mowins (pxp), Michele Smith (analyst), Jess Mendoza (analyst), Holly Rowe (sideline)
Friday, May 27 – 5:30 p.m. – ESPN2- Beth Mowins (pxp), Michele Smith (analyst), Jess Mendoza (analyst), Holly Rowe (sideline)
Year of the Hog
Coach Deifel and the Razorbacks are putting together a historic season. So far in 2022, the Hogs have strung together the most single season wins in progam history (47) after taking down Oregon in the regional championship. The Razorbacks recorded the first outright SEC regular season crown and SEC Tournament championship in program history, becoming just the fourth league team to do so in the last 10 years (not including 2020). The Razorbacks have won nine-consecutive conference series, including every series in 2022, which is the longest win streak in program history. Arkansas achieved the program’s highest overall seed (No. 4) in the 2022 NCAA Tournament.
6th Inning Magic
In back-to-back games against Oregon during the Fayetteville Regional, Arkansas produced a six-run sixth inning, propeling them to 6-2 and 9-3 wins. Five of Arkansas’ six hits in the first matchup between the Ducks were recorded in the sixth.
Big League Bound
Senior Danielle Gibson was one of 13 college players chosen in the 2022 Athletes Unlimited Draft a few weeks ago. Gibson was selected fifth overall. Embarking on its third championship season, Athletes Unlimited and ESPN have recently reached a new multi-year rights agreement for pro softball and lacrosse. Last Friday during Arkansas’ game vs. Princeton, senior catcher Taylor Ellsworth was drafted 10th overall by USSSA Pride as a catcher/utility player, marking the second Razorback to be drafted this season.
Callin’ the Hogs
Arkansas saw its highest-attended regional last weekend with a total of 9.174 in attendance across the Hogs’ three games. All three games were in front of sellout crowds.
No Place Like Home
Arkansas is 27-4 at home and a 16-2 since March 26 (first SEC home series), dropping its only two games to LSU and Kentucky at Bogle Park.
Home Run Queens
On May 12 against Ole Miss, senior slugger Linnie Malkin became the Hogs’ all-time home runs leader after tallying the 48th of her career. Malkin’s home run count currently sits at 50. Senior Danielle Gibson sits at second all-time in Razorback history with 48.
A Top 10 Talent
Senior infielder Danielle Gibson was named a Top 10 Finalist for USA Softball’s Collegiate Player of the Year. Nationally, Gibson ranks sixth in batting average (.445). sixth in RBIs (69), seventh in RBI per game (1.23), seventh in total bases (151), 10th in slugging percentage (.873), 10th in hits (77) and 12th in home runs (20). Gibson sits at sixth in the NCAA Division I active career leaderboard in hits with 278.
Talkin’ Top 25
The Razorbacks’ (18-5) 18 wins against top 25 opponents lead all SEC programs. Arkansas’ five losses are also the fewest of all league teams.
Senior Linnie Malkin has proven to be one of the nation’s biggest threats at the plate. Malkin is second in the country in RBI per game (1.40), fourth in home runs per game (0.63), tied for eighth in home runs (22) and ninth in RBIs (67).
The Arkansas pitching staff duo of Chenise Delce and Mary Haff have displayed why they’re a 1-2 punch six games into post season play. In three postseason appearances (19.0 IP), Haff has compiled a 3-0 record, 0.37 ERA, two shutouts, three complete games, 19 strikeouts while surrendering just one earned run and curbing opponents to a .188 batting average. Delce has tallied a 3-0 record with a 1.00 ERA in 21 IP, three complete games, one shutout, 21 strikeouts and limiting opponents to a .173 batting average. Additionally, Delce has walked zero in postseason play. Combined, the duo has notched a 0.70 ERA throughout six games, including four games against ranked opponents (Florida, Missouri, Oregon, Oregon).
Arkansas Dominates SEC Awards
KB Sides became the first Razorback to be named SEC Player of the Year. Head coach Courtney Deifel earned her second-straight SEC Coach of the Year honor and Chenise Delce picked up SEC Pitcher of the Year. The Hogs tabbed a conference-best 12 accolades and led with six first-team selections. Delce solidified the Razorbacks’ second-consecutive SEC Pitcher of the Year award after Haff won it in 2021. Sides and Delce join Hannah Gammill, Danielle Gibson, Mary Haff and Linnie Malkin on the first team while Hannah McEwen was named to the All-SEC Second Team. Gibson and Gammill were named to the SEC All-Defensive Team for their stellar play at first and third all season. Deifel is one of two conference coaches to claim back-to-back SEC Coach of the Year honors, joining Florida’s Tim Walton, who won the award in 2008-09.
The Shutout Master
In a 11-0 win against Princeton last Friday, senior Mary Haff became the program’s all-time shutout leader after hurling her 27th.
Despite being old Southwest Conference rivals, Arkansas and Texas have only played each other six times previously. The Longhorns hold a 6-0 series edge over the Hogs. Thursday’s meeting will be the first since Feb. 13, 2016.
Let’s Get Statistical
Reached Base Streaks: KB Sides (12 games), Hannah McEwen (5 games), Danielle Gibson (5 games), Audrie LaValley (5 games), Taylor Ellsworth (4 games).
Hitting Streaks: Danielle Gibson (5 games), Hannah McEwen (4 games), Linnie Malkin (3 games).