Arkansas tops Bama with long ball
Razorbacks tie school record with four HRs, dump No. 4 Tide
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Arkansas took down No.4 Alabama 8-1 on Saturday afternoon at Bogle Park. The Razorbacks broke a 30-game losing streak against Alabama that dated back to 2002.
With the win, Arkansas improved to 25-23 overall and 6-18 in the Southeastern Conference. Alabama fell to 44-5 overall and 20-4 in the SEC.
"I am so proud of our kids today," head coach Mike Larabee said. "They really deserved this win."
Arkansas began the second game of the series with spectacular defense, forcing Alabama to go three-up and three-down in the first inning.
The Razorbacks' offense looked just as sharp as their defense in the first inning. Devon Wallace collected a walk in the lead off position followed by a home run to left-center field from Clarisa Navarro to give Arkansas the early 2-0 lead. Jayme Gee collected her first hit on the day in the bottom of the first when she grabbed a single up the middle.
Alabama loaded the bases in the top of the second but Arkansas allowed only one run to come home and forced the Crimson Tide to leave three runners on base.
Freshman Megan Pearson collected her first hit of the series when she put a shot to the right-center field wall for a double, also her first double of the season.
The Razorbacks placed runners on first and second in the bottom of the third after Sierra Bronkey and Chloe Oprzedek were walked. A wild pitch advanced both runners into scoring position. Unfortunately, no runners were able to be brought home that inning keeping the score 2-1.
Alabama threatened again in the fourth placing a runner on third after a walk. Arkansas's defense held strong by retiring three batters in a row to end the inning.
Pearson got the offense going again in the bottom of the fourth collecting her second hit on the day. Tori Mort followed with patience at the plate and was rewarded a walk. Wallace then placed a ball over the right center field wall bringing home three runs and collecting her 12th home run on the season, 10 being in SEC play.
"Hitting is very contagious," Larabee said. "When you have a batter like Devon smoking the ball, it just gives everyone else confidence. They just feed off of each other."
Jennifer Rambo added to the home run hitting spree in the bottom of the fifth collecting her own and giving Arkansas a 6-1 lead.
Freshman Kimmy Beasley was a main staple in the victory. Beasley threw all seven innings while collecting her 10th win of the season. Beasley recorded three strikeouts on the day while only allowing two hits and one run.
"Kimmy didn't give in today," Larabee said. "She really stepped up for us and was in control of the game."
Mort collected her second walk of the day in the bottom of the sixth. She then placed herself in scoring position by stealing second. Wallace once again stepped up to the plate and blasted a home run over the right-center field wall giving Arkansas the 8-1 lead. Wallace now has 32 RBI on the season, with eight of them coming against Alabama.
With Wallace's home run, the Razorbacks tied the school record for home runs in a single game with four. Last time Arkansas hit four home runs in a game was in 2010 against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky.