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Razorback softball breezes past Princeton 11-0 in Fayetteville Regional opener

An eight-run fourth inning propelled Arkansas to the win on a windy night at Bogle Park.
Credit: Arkansas Athletics/@RazorbackSB

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — On a windy night at Bogle Park, Arkansas softball breezed its way to a win in its NCAA Tournament opener.

The Razorbacks cruised past Princeton 11-0 to advance to the winners' side of the Fayetteville Regional. They will face the winner of Friday night's meeting between Wichita State and Oregon.

Mary Haff tossed a shutout in five innings, while Arkansas used an emphatic offensive performance in the fourth inning to down the Ivy League champions.

Haff came out firing in the circle, beginning the game with a three-pitch strikeout of Lauren Sablone. Princeton put a runner on via a two-out walk, but a line drive back to Haff in the circle ended the top of the first in scoreless fashion.

The Razorbacks then struck first in the bottom of the inning. 

After a leadoff walk from KB Sides, Hannah McEwen sent a chopper to the shortstop. McEwen was out at first, but a throwing error to third allowed Sides to score all the way from first, and put Arkansas up 1-0.

Sides got the action going for the Hogs when she came back to the plate in the third inning.

The SEC Player of the Year sent a leadoff single up the middle, then advanced to second on an error from Princeton's Cate Bade at second base on a McEwen grounder.

Taylor Ellsworth followed at the plate, and launched one all the way to the wall in right center, enough for an RBI double that scored Sides. 

Danielle Gibson added to the Hogs lead with a sac fly to score McEwen, making it 3-0 Arkansas.

Haff continued to deal with the extra run support, delivering her first 1-2-3 inning of the game in the fourth inning. Through four innings, she had five strikeouts.

Arkansas' offense produced again in the fourth inning. Walks from McEwen and Audrie LaValley along with a single from Sides loaded the bases for the Hogs with one out. 

A wild pitch made it 4-0 Arkansas, but the game's biggest moment came immediately after.

With bases loaded again after an Ellsworth walk, Gibson absolutely crushed the first Bogle Bomb of the Fayetteville Regional, a grand slam to center that put the Hog fans on their feet while giving the Razorbacks the 8-0 lead.

A hit by pitch to LaValley and Sides made it 10-0 Arkansas, while McEwen extended the lead to 11-0 with an RBI single.

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