Hole Digging Keeps Arkansas Softball’s Early-Season Pattern Intact + More Takeaways

Hannah Gammill, Arkansas softball, Wooo Pig Classic
photo credit: Arkansas Athletics

Sweeping a three-game series is challenging. Sweeping a four-game series is really hard. Sweeping a five-game tournament is nigh-on-impossible. Just ask the Arkansas softball team.

The Razorbacks have tried four different weekends to sweep four different tournaments and have come up just short each time. Their latest attempt was in the Wooo Pig Classic that Arkansas hosted inside Bogle Park, which followed the same pattern as the previous three classics: enough offense to survive and the pitching acting as the main course for a team that now sits at 17-4.

Here are three key takeaways from this weekend’s five games in Fayetteville 

1. Arkansas Softball Makes First Massive Comeback

With the Razorbacks winning the first three games mostly on autopilot, they looked to be in cruise control until they hit a snag against South Dakota State, losing 7-3 on Saturday. In their previous three losses on the season, the Razorbacks had always bounced back and won emphatically.

Following a loss, Arkansas softball coach Courtney Deifel’s team had outscored its opponents 23-2 in the games immediately after suffering defeat. On Sunday, though, Arkansas pitching, which had been so good for Arkansas coming into the weekend, couldn’t get out of the first inning as Southeast Missouri State scored five runs in the top of the first. The Redhawks sent eight people to the plate and played textbook softball in an inning that featured two sacrifice flies and four hits in station-to-station hitting.

Arkansas, however, slowly clawed its way back, taking advantage of a fielding error to score one in the first before scoring three in the second. Hannah Gammill led off the inning with a solo homer to left. Gammill now has five on the season, tying her for second most on the team behind Bri Ellis with seven. After tying the game in the third, the pitching held serve until a beautifully constructed run in the bottom of the eighth walked it off 6-5. Cylie Halvorson led off the inning with a grounder to short that the shortstop threw into the dugout, putting the winning run at second. Gammill then was intentionally walked before the runners were bunted over and Reagan Johnson walked it off with a sacrifice fly to deep center. 

“We haven’t had to dig out of a hole like that before,” Deifel said. “To see them just kind of scrape their way back in it just to get it back to where it was a 0-0 game was huge.  It took a lot of guts to do that.”

2. Pitching Continues to Carry the Load

Much like the Razorback baseball team, Arkansas’ success can be mainly attributed to one side of the scorecard. Not much has changed, as the Razorbacks didn’t score more than six runs in any of the five games this weekend. The pitching once again did most of the heavy lifting.

After having her worst outing of the season against South Dakota State on Thursday, lasting just one inning and giving up a solo homer to the very first hitter of the game after a perfect game, Robyn Herron pitched a complete game in the second half of a doubleheader, allowing just one run on three hits in seven innings against Florida Atlantic. Morgan Leinstock pitched a shutout of her own against the Redbirds, bringing her season ERA to 1.49.

3. Hannah Gammill Starting to Turn the Corner 

Hannah Gammill’s inconsistencies have been well documented, but it looks like at least her power stroke is back. Gammill raised her season batting average from .179 to .226 over the five games and is already one home run away from matching her season total of six from a year ago. She finished the weekend with two homers, three RBIs and two walks. 

Gammill’s homer in the weekend finale against SEMO was the candle on the cake, of course.

“It was huge,” Deifel said. “It was that first spark for us when we got down. She’s just so strong. You can tell in the look from her whether it’s going to be a good at-bat or not.”

Arkansas Softball Results at Wooo Pig Classic


  • South Dakota State – W, 4-3


  • Southeast Missouri State – W, 5-0
  • Florida Atlantic – W, 6-2


  • South Dakota State – L, 3-7


  • Southeast Missouri State – W, 6-5 (8 innings)


More coverage of Arkansas softball from BoAS…

Facebook Comments