Arkansas and Louisville kick off three-game series
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas No. 8 is scheduled to play a three-game series against Louisville on Feb. 27-28 at Bogle Park, replacing the previously scheduled Wooo Pig Classic. The Razorbacks and Cardinals kick off the series Sunday at 5 p.m. The series wraps up Monday with a double-header set to begin at 10 a.m. Live stats will be available for both matches.
Sunday February 27
Louisville – 5 p.m.
Monday February 28
Louisville (DH) – 10 a.m.
Arkansas is coming off the program’s first SEC regular season title (shared with Florida) last season, going 19-5 in conference play. The Razorbacks became the first team not named Florida or Alabama to win the conference regular season title since Tennessee in 2007. On the road against league competition, the Hogs went 11-1, producing the most road wins during conference play by an SEC. team since 2013 when the league adopted the current 24-game schedule. Arkansas posted a 43-11 overall record, recording the best winning percentage (.796) and second most wins in program history. In the NCAA tournament, Arkansas won the No. 6 national need and swept the Fayetteville Regional before hosting the program’s first Super Regional at Bogle Park.
Run KB Run
KB Sides makes noise at the start of Razorbacks. In 10 games, Sides had 14 stolen bases, which leads the NCAA. Arkansas’ single-season stolen bases record is 33, set by Dana Gulick in 1999. Additionally, Sides stole a program record of three bases in the Hogs’ win over Western Illinois on February 20. at the Razorback Invitational against Illinois, hitting an inside-the-park home run to start the Feb. 18 weekend before sending a solo shot to center in Arkansas’ second game with Illini February 20.
Haff on the verge of 700 strikeouts
Picher Mary Haff has 695 career strikeouts in a Razorback uniform heading into the Louisville series. Haff won Arkansas’ top SEC pitcher of the year award last season, going 26-7 with five saves and a 1.55 ERA in 198.1 innings pitched. She struck out 198 and only 39 walked. Haff was named an NFCA First Team All-American, becoming the first pitcher in program history to earn First-Team All-America recognition. USA Softball named Haff one of the top 10 finalists for college player of the year. Haff was terrific in conference play, and among pitchers who pitched at least 80.0 innings, led the league in wins (11), saves (4) and appearances (19) while ranking fourth in ERA (2.01) and strikeouts (79). Against Texas Tech, she pitched her second career no-hitter, striking out six innings for 5.0, and was one error away from a perfect game. Haff threw his first no-no against Northern Colorado in 2018 as a rookie and is the only pitcher in program history with multiple no-hits. The Winter Haven, Fla. native sits atop the program’s career record books with 81 wins and 14 saves.
Coach of the year
In his sixth season leading the Arkansas softball program, head coach Courtney Deifel was named SEC Coach of the Year last season, becoming the second skipper in school history to win the award, and the first since Carrie Dever-Boaz in 1999. The Hogs started conference play by winning 12 straight games, earning the fifth-best league start in SEC history and winning the program’s first SEC title . The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) honored Deifel and the coaching staff as the South Region Staff of the Year. Since Deifel took over in 2016, the Razorbacks have been ranked 55 times in the NFCA Coaches’ Poll after being ranked only once in program history. Deifel’s record in Fayetteville is 197-120 and 50-71 in SEC games. His Razorbacks teams have qualified for the NCAA Tournament four times, the most of any coach in program history.
Senior Redshirt outfielder Hannah McEwen has been as consistent as can be for the Hogs over the past four seasons and her name is strewn across the program’s record books. McEwen ranks second in program history in batting average (.354), and is second in on-base percentage (.456), second in runs scored (166), third in walks (99), third in doubles ( 39), seventh in slugging percentage (.535) and eighth in hits (213) and seventh in RBI (116).
Backs Back to Bogle vs. Louisville
Poor weather conditions have caused several changes to the Wooo Pig Classic schedule, but the Arkansas Razorbacks are now set to play a three-game series against Louisville on February 27-28. The Razorbacks and Cardinals will begin the series on Feb. 27 with a game at 5 p.m. before wrapping up the weekend with a double-header on Feb. 28 that is scheduled to start at 10 a.m.
Three Arkansas sluggers entered the program’s top five leaders for home runs last season. The top two single-season power marks in school history were both set last year by Braxton Burnside and Linnie Malkin. Danielle Gibson ranked fourth with 15 home runs also in 2021. As a team, Arkansas erased the school record with 95 home runs. The previous team’s high in the Deifel era was 59 homers in 2017, which ranks fifth in school history.
Sooie Sluggers Suite
Arkansas opened the 2022 Razorback Invitational Feb. 18-20, smashing 11 home runs over the weekend. The Razorbacks had seven home runs against Illinois in two games. Additionally, six different Razorbacks recorded home runs on home opener (Gammill, Gibson, Sides, McEwen, Hoffman and Ellsworth). Freshman Kacie Hoffman notched her first career home run in her first career start Feb. 18 against Illinois. KB Sides homered inside the park against Illinois on Feb. 18. The Hogs have homered in four of their five games in the Razorback Invitational. Côtés, Hoffman and Taylor Ellsworth each hit their first home runs in an Arkansas jersey over the weekend.
Last season, Arkansas finished fourth nationally and led the SEC, smashing a school-record 95 home runs. The team broke the previous program record of 65 homers hit in 2008. The total ranks 10th in the SEC Book of Records for most home runs in a single season and was the most hit in a single season hit by an SEC team since Tennessee was bludgeoned. 100 in 2015. In 2022, Arkansas returns batters who made up 50 of 95 taters last year, led by designated player Linnie Malkin’s 18 bombs.