FAYETTEVILLE — With the bases loaded and two outs in a tied ballgame, junior Tori Cooper stepped to the plate and delivered a game-winning single to lift the 25th-ranked Razorbacks to a 2-1 win over No. 14 Tennessee Saturday afternoon at Bogle Park.
The rally secured Arkansas’ first series win against Tennessee since 2002 and its first SEC series win since the 2013 season. Saturday’s game was played in front of 1,544 fans, a program attendance record.
With the win, Arkansas improves to 21-5 overall and 2-3 in league play. Freshman starter Autumn Storms picked up the win in a complete-game performance while Cooper and Autumn Russell, who had the game-tying RBI in the seventh, each had two hits to pace the Razorbacks’ offense.
With her team trailing by one, pinch hitter Haydi Bugarin led off the bottom of the seventh with a walk. After a one-out single off the bat of Madison Yannetti and a third walk of the game to Shelby Hiers, the bases were loaded. Russell tied the score with a base hit to left field, scoring Bugarin from third.
Tennessee (21-5, 2-3 SEC) was one out away from pushing the game to extra innings after a Nicole Schroeder lineout but Cooper dropped the 0-2 pitch to shallow center just past a diving effort by the Volunteers’ shortstop and pinch runner Sydney Parr, on for Yannetti, crossed the plate to clinch the win.
Featuring a pitcher’s duel between two freshmen, the game was scoreless entering the seventh inning. Tennessee had the bases loaded in the top of the inning, and scored on an RBI groundout by pinch hitter Savannah Huffstetler.
Storms limited the damage to one run with her fourth strikeout. She used the strikeout to record the final out in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
The Temecula, Calif., native allowed just the one run, scattered five hits over seven innings and struck out four in her fifth complete game of the season. In earning the win, Storms moves to 9-3 in 16 appearances. She collected a three-inning save in Friday’s opener.
Up Next Arkansas goes for the series sweep Sunday when the teams return to the field at 11 a.m. (CT). The game will be streamed live on SEC Network+ which is also available through the WatchESPN app. General admission is free for all home games.