Arkansas softball pulls out series win versus No. 15 Alabama, Leinstock shines from the circle

May 6, 2023; Arkansas  Reagan Johnson (23) in acton against Missouri during a softball game.
May 6, 2023; Arkansas Reagan Johnson (23) in acton against Missouri during a softball game. / Jeff Le-USA TODAY Sports

Arkansas softball moves to 5-1 in the SEC series with an 8-0 run rule over No. 15 Alabama.

The first game of the series was a good, ol'-fashion pitcher's dual, going into extra inning tied at zero a piece. Arkansas pitcher Morgan Leinstock was spectacular from the circle, pitching all nine innings and allowing just four hits and a walk. 

Robyn Herron was great through four innings in game two. She threw seven strikeouts and allowed just one hit. But in the fifth inning, Herron imploded. After giving up consecutive hits to start the inning, a fielding error from Nia Carter in right field brought Alabama's Kendal Clark home. Emma Broadfoot reached home a couple of at-bats later, bringing the Tide's lead to 2-0. Herron retired the next batter, but Arkansas opted to bring Leinstock in to get out of the inning.

Unfortunately, she gave up a 3-RBI homerun on a 3-1 count and walked the next batter. Righty Reis Beuerlein got the nod and finished the game without further damage.

Again, Leinstock was given the task of closing the series out, and she was no disappointment. After shutting out the Tide in game one, Leinstock threw another one to help complete the run-rule on Sunday. She recorded three hits, a walk, and five strikeouts.

Arkansas' offense, on the other hand, started the series as cold as ice. The Hogs played into the ninth inning in game one without scoring a run. Nine-hole hitter Lauren Camenzind finally showed life at the plate with a walk-off RBI single. Reagan Johnson scored on a wild pitch in the first of game two, but that was the only offense of the weekend before Sunday. However, the rubber match was all but over by the second inning.

Arkansas' offense exploded after scoring only two runs in the first two games combined. In the bottom of the first inning of game three, the Razorbacks reached base on ten straight at-bats. Big hitter Bri Ellis started the scoring frenzy with a 2-run bomb to left field. Five of the following six base runners were brought home, giving Arkansas a 7-0 lead. The Razorbacks scored again in the fourth to initiate the run-rule. All the Hogs had to do was get through the top of the fifth without damage, and they did just that.

Arkansas is now fourth in the SEC standings with an 11-7 record. The Razorbacks have No. 7 LSU and Ole Miss to round out their season. The Tigers have fallen since entering SEC play, going nearly .500 in conference games, including this weekend's loss to No. 4 Tennessee. And Ole Miss finds itself in the conference basement with a 3-15 SEC record. 

The Hogs are in a favorable spot only two weeks from the SEC Championship. With a nice run to end the season, Arkansas can solidify its spot as a regional host for the NCAA tournament.