Went Down Fighting
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Stanford softball came out fighting with a three-run first inning, but sixth-seeded Arkansas rallied in the fourth inning to down the Cardinal, 7-3 on Sunday at Bogle Park. The loss in the regional final eliminates Stanford (33-22) from the NCAA Tournament.
Stanford fell behind early with the Razorbacks (43-9) hitting a two-run home run to dead center in the top of the first. Showing the same resilience it had all season, the Cardinal didn't break to escape the inning without allowing any additional runs.
That momentum carried into the bottom of the first, with Stanford scoring three runs to take a 3-2 lead. A dropped foul ball, on what would have been the second out of the inning, extended the inning to bring Emily Young to the plate with two outs. The shortstop singled to the pitcher to bring Taylor Gindlesperger across the plate to cut into Arkansas' lead.
Emily Schultz doubled into left center to push Eleni Spirakis across the plate to tie the game. Young scored on a Sydnee Huff single, but Schultz was thrown out at the plate trying to add another run – ending the inning.
Young ended the day 2-for-2 for her best performance of the postseason. The three-run inning was enough to chase starter Autumn Storms after an inning of work.
The Razorbacks scored five runs in the fourth and fifth innings to take a 7-3. The Cardinal put together a rally in the bottom of the seventh to load the bases, but an infield pop-up would end the game.
Stanford ends the season 33-22, having concluded a remarkable campaign. Despite not holding a team practice until Feb. 4, the Cardinal posted its best Pac-12 season since 2013, and advanced to a regional final for the first time in the same time span.