FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Winners of 30 of its last 31 games and its last 11 straight, the No. 11 Arkansas softball team (31-3, 12-0 SEC) steps out of conference action to host Missouri State (16-13, 7-4 MVC) at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 6. The game will air on SEC Network+ with Josh Haley (play-by-play) and Dorian Craft (analyst) on the call.
Last Time Out
Arkansas swept its fourth SEC series of the season, sweeping No. 25 Auburn on the road. Infielder Braxton Burnside had a huge weekend, slashing .571/.750/1.714 and became the school’s single-season home run record holder. She hit her record 18th homer of the year on Thursday with a three-run blast, and followed hitting another, her 19th of the year, on Friday. Burnside accounted for all three RBI in Friday’s 3-0 win, doubling twice and hitting a solo homer. She totaled four hits and six RBI for the series and also walked five times and was intentionally walked three times. Outfielder Sam Torres led the team with five hits. The pitching staff was electric and allowed just one run all weekend. Mary Haff went the distance on Thursday, fanning four and scattering three hits. Autumn Storms picked up a save, and her first complete game shutout of the year and Jenna Bloom earned a win throwing 5.0 innings in a game three starting assignment. The staff walked just two batters all series. Arkansas recorded back-to-back shutouts against an SEC opponent for the first time since 2010 against Ole Miss (5-0, 9-0). Arkansas outscored Auburn a combined 11-1, it’s the fewest runs the Razorbacks have allowed in a three-game SEC series since 2001 against Ole Miss (6-1).
After sweeping Auburn, the Razorbacks are 12-0 in SEC play for the first time in program history. Previously, the best start to conference action was a 5-0 mark in 2009. Arkansas is the only undefeated team in league play and the first team to start conference play 12-0 since Florida went 13-0 in 2009.
The Razorbacks have been on a power surge this season, totaling 63 home runs to lead the SEC and rank second nationally. Burnside leads the team with 19 homers, which leads the SEC and ranks second in the country behind Oklahoma’s Jocelyn Alo (22). Malkin has added 12 homers, fifth-best in the SEC and 15th nationally. Gibson has hit 10 homers to rank eighth in the SEC and 31st nationally. The Razorbacks are one of two teams in the country (Oklahoma) that have three or more players with 10 or more homers. Infielder Keely Huffine has hit five total homers, including four from the nine-spot in the order.
Burnside’s 19 home runs this season are the most in a single season in program history. She broke the record with her 18th shot of the year on April 1 at Auburn, launching a three-run bomb in the fifth inning. Burnside broke Nicole Shroeder’s record of 17 set in 2017. Burnside has also reached base in 28 straight games.
- Pitcher Mary Haff leads the nation with 18 wins and ranks 12th in strikeouts (137). Haff’s career ERA of 1.54 is currently the best mark in program history.
- Torres is on an 11-game hitting streak, the longest of her career, and any Razorback this season.
- In addition to ranking second in the country in homers, the Razorbacks also rank tied for third in walks, drawing 132.
- Arkansas ended a 19-game win streak on Tuesday, March 16, which was the longest in program history. It bested the prior record of 12 set by the 1999 and 2008 teams and was the only one of the three streaks to encompass a conference series sweep. This year’s squad is the only team in school history to have two 10+ game winning streaks in the same season.
- Arkansas’ four SEC series sweeps are the most in program history since the current conference scheduling format began in 2013. The team’s 12 SEC wins are also tied for the most in a year over that span.
- The Razorbacks 31 total wins are the most in the country ahead of Alabama (29) and Oklahoma State (29).
Missouri State (16-13, 7-4 MVC) has lost its last four games, including a three-game conference series at Bradley. The Bears have one win over a ranked team this year when they beat then-No. 23 Iowa State, 3-1, on March 7 in Arlington, Texas. Infielder Daphne Plummer leads the team hitting .337 while catcher Alex Boze has hit a team-best four home runs. Senior Madison Hunsaker leads the Bears with a 1.75 ERA in 60.0 innings pitched. Arkansas has a 21-19 all-time lead in the series and has won five of the last six meetings.
Arkansas dives back into conference play hosting Alabama for a three-game series from Friday, April 9 through Sunday, April 11. The first game of the series begins at 6 p.m. on Friday.