Arkansas softball rolls to a opening sweep at Paradise Classic

By Dudley E. Dawson
on 2024-02-08 23:10 PM


Arkansas head softball coach Courtney Deifel wanted to see how her team handled adversity in its season-opening tournament in Florida this weekend and only had to wait three innings to find out.

Marshall scored a trio of runs to take a one-run advantage in the top of the third, but the Razorbacks responded with 8 unanswered runs en route to a 10-3 victory in the Paradise Classic in Boca Raton, Fla.

The Razorbacks (2-0) then run ruled host Florida Atlantic University 8-0 Thursday night with Robyn Herron pitching five shutout innings while allowing just two hits, fanning seven and walking a trio.

Arkansas, who had 11 hits in the first game and 8 in the second, jumped out to 5-0 lead in its opening at-bat and never looked back in the night cap.

“We had a lot of composure and we ‘stayed the course,’’’ Deifel said. “It was very business-like considering it was our first game out there. We had a little nerves and unexpectedness, but we handled it very well.

“Robyn Herron was outstanding. She controlled an offense that has the potential to really get going, so I was pleased with her outing.
“I thought it was huge to score early runs in the second game. The start was contagious and shows a lot of potential for putting pressure on other teams. We did a really good job of passing the bat.”
In the opening win, Hannah Camenzind not only relieved starter Reis Beuerlein on the mound in the third inning and pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings, but also had a sacrifice fly in a three-run fifth and a two-run single in her team’s four-run sixth.

“Reis gave us a good start,” Deifel said of the Southern Mississippi transfer. “Hannah Camenzind came in and complemented her and did a good job using our defense. We exhaled at the half way point and started acting like ourselves.”

Auburn transfer Bri Ellis delivered a pair of doubles, including a two-run one in the first inning that put the Razorbacks up 2-0.

Arkansas second baseman Cylie Halvorson also added a pair of RBIs, one that tied the game 3-3 and then a bases-load walk in the sixth.

Beuerelin pitched two scoreless innings before running into trouble in the third.

Marshall’s Sydney Bickel hit a two-run homer to tie and then Rielly Lucas gave her team the lead with an RBI single.

Rylin Hedgecock added a RBI single, Camenzind her sacrifice fly and Spencer Prigge an RBI double to get Arkansas ahead 6-3 before the close of the fifth.

“We definitely had contagious momentum going today,” Ellis said. “It’s fun having Reagan Johnson and Nia Carter at the top of the lineup. They’re both so fast, so you have the opportunity to hit them in.

“Overall, I felt comfortable in the box, and I saw the ball well. I felt like we entered today with good energy, and we stuck to the plan we had. Our pitchers did a great job out there as well.”
Arkansas jumped all over FAU (1-1) in the nightcap while plating five runs in its opening at bat with Ellis a again driving home a pair to begin the scoring.

Razorback freshman catcher Kennedy Miller got plunked with the bases loaded before another run scored when Prigge reached via an error.

The speedy Johnson then made it 5-0 while reaching safely on her bases-loaded single.

Kramer’s two-run single pushed the lead to 7-0 on the second and Halvorson’s sacrifice fly capped the scoring in the fourth.

Arkansas will return to action Friday morning when it faces Ohio (0-0) at 10:30 a.m. CST.

Ohio faces Michigan State to open its season at 8 a.m. CST.

Photo courtesy of Arkansas

(Last updated: 2024-02-08 23:10 PM)