By Jacob Pavilack
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – No. 11 Arizona scored first and never trailed as it downed No. 6 Arkansas, 10-4, in game one of the NCAA Tournament Super Regional at Bogle Park in Fayetteville on Friday evening. The Razorbacks (43-10) and Wildcats (40-13) came in as two of the nation’s top home run hitting clubs and combined to score 11 of 14 total runs via the longball.
Arizona wasted no time and took a 2-0 lead before Arkansas came to the plate. Outfielder Janelle Meono led off the game singling to center, and catcher Dejah Mulipola drove her in by hitting her 20th home run of the season to left field.
A leadoff error to start the third set up the Wildcats 3-0 lead. With two outs and runners on first and second, designated player Sharlize Palacios singled to left, plating Meono.
Outfielder Hannah McEwen slugged Arkansas’ first hit of the night over the right field wall, bringing the Razorbacks within two in the fourth frame. Arizona got its run back plus one more in the fifth on Palacios’ 18th home run of the year to dead centerfield.
The Wildcats added to their lead with a two-run double by infielder Malia Martinez and a two-run home run from infielder Jesse Harper. Mulipola added her second homer of the night, a solo shot in the sixth.
The Razorbacks had three home runs of their own on the night as outfielder Aly Manzo launched her first of the year in the fifth and infielder Hannah Gammill went yard for the ninth time. Gammill’s two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth prevented Arkansas from being run-ruled.
Pitcher Mary Haff (26-7) worked 4.1 innings allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits and two walks with three strikeouts. Relievers Jenna Bloom surrendered five runs in 0.2 innings, while Allie Light worked 2.0 scoreless frames out of the pen, recording two strikeouts. Hanah Bowen (10-3) went the distance for Arizona, yielding four runs on four hits and a walk while fanning eight.
Arizona outhit Arkansas, 12-4, and totaled four home runs. All four of Arkansas’ hit went for extra bases, which included Braxton Burnside’s double in the fourth inning.
Arkansas is in a must-win situation for game two of the best of three S uper Regional, with first pitch set for 4 p.m. Saturday on ESPN2.
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