In the first game of the NCAA Super Regionals, Arkansas got the better of the Texas Longhorns, securing a 7-1 win in Fayetteville.
The Arkansas win means that tomorrow’s 5:30 p.m. matchup will now be a win or go home situation for the Longhorns.
Here are three thoughts I was left with after Texas’ 7-1 loss to the Razorbacks.
Arkansas Breaks Through in the Fifth
For 4.5 innings, the Horns and Hogs were deadlocked at zeros, but that would change in the bottom of the fifth. The Razorbacks broke the 0-0 tie with a RBI single from Hannah Gammill, and then added two more runs just two plays later on a throwing error from the first baseman to home plate, making the score 3-0. Postseason softball is particularly momentum driven, and once the Razorbacks got things going, and their fanbase was behind them, Texas all but folded up its tent. Four insurance runs in the sixth gave Arkansas a 7-1 lead and the final tally of the game. Now, up 1-0 in the series, they will need just one more win to punch their ticket to OKC
Hailey Dolcini Ran Out of Gas Late
The Longhorns’ biggest weapon in the Seattle was arguably pitcher Hailey Dolcini, who appeared in all three games against the Huskies. She was the clear answer for who would start tonight against Arkansas, and in 4.1 innings of work, she was terrific, until she wasn’t. Dolcini was in a groove, but before you knew it, the box score showed she had walked four (one intentional), given up seven hits, and three runs (2 ER). Mike White opted to pull her in the fifth and things immediately got worse, a bad sign for the Longhorns pitching staff. This Arkansas lineup is inevitable, and they are going to get their shots but the problem is, I don’t know that Texas has another arm to turn to at this point in the season.
Can Texas Do What No Team Has Done in 2022?
In the 2022, no team has beaten the Arkansas Razorbacks in a three-game series, nor have they lost back-to-back games on the year. Now, Texas will have to change both of those facts in the next two days, and in Fayetteville no less. Can they get it done? Well, anything can happen in postseason softball and tonight might have just been Arkansas’ night, but if the effort that we just saw from Texas is the best they can muster against the Hogs, we will likely see the first Big 12 team eliminated from the postseason tournament tomorrow night.