Arizona Softball

Arizona takes first loss of season, losing 3-2 to No. 15 Arkansas

Regan Shockey went 1 for 3 for Arizona in a 3-2 loss to Arkansas on Saturday afternoon. (Arizona Athletics)

Entering Saturday’s game against No. 15 Arkansas, Arizona had only trailed after the first inning in one game this season, outscoring its opponents 13-1 in the first inning in its previous four games. However, that wasn’t the case on Saturday afternoon when the Razorbacks took a 2-0 lead heading into the second inning.

Arizona (9-1) chipped away during the remainder of the game before losing to Arkansas, 3-2, for its first loss of the season.  

Arizona’s 3-2 win over Arkansas on Friday and the loss to the Razorbacks today are the only games this season when the Wildcats haven’t won by the mercy rule.

Arizona head coach Caitlin Lowe is excited to see how the Wildcats respond to the loss when they face Omaha tomorrow.

The Wildcats run-ruled Omaha 13-2 in game two of the doubleheader Friday. 

“I think that’s going say a lot about our team. Nebraska-Omaha is a very good team. They have their ace (Kamryn Meyer), that we haven’t seen yet. We didn’t get to see her the first game. So, I’m excited to see the mentality they come with tomorrow.”

Miranda Stoddard got off to a shaky start for the Wildcats in the top of the first, allowing a leadoff single to Reagan Johnson before hitting Raigan Kramer with a pitch. They both moved into scoring position before Nia Carter reached base on a fielder’s choice, scoring Johnson and when Emily Schepp couldn’t control the throw to the plate from Tayler Biehl, Kramer scored.

“I thought that was the first day and game that we haven’t played catch well, and just handled the ball. Because I think we could have gotten two easy outs with both of those. One, the past ball, and then the play at home. We didn’t take care of the ball, and it would have been a different game,” Lowe said of the defense allowing two early runs.

Arizona got on the board in the bottom of the second with an RBI double from Schepp to narrow the gap to 2-1 for the Wildcats. 

After allowing two runs to begin the game, Stoddard steered the ship for the next two innings, allowing no hits against the Razorbacks’ next six batters.

In the top of the fourth, a one-out solo home run from Hannah Gammel ended the hitless drought for Arkansas (6-3) and put the Razorbacks up 3-1.

In the top of the fifth inning, Aissa Silva relieved Stoddard in the circle.

With one out in the bottom of the fifth, Regan Shockey singled up the middle, and Dakota Kennedy advanced her to third on a single down the right-field line. A sacrifice fly from Carlie Scupin to shallow center scored Shockey to narrow the Arkansas lead to 3-2. 

Arkansas loaded the bases off Silva in the top of the seventh following a single from Kennedy Miller, a bunt single from Rylee Cloud and a walk from Kramer, but Bri Eliis fouled out to Kennedy, who caught the fly ball on the edge of the left field grass to end the top half of the inning.

Arizona went three up, three down in the bottom of the seventh.

 Arizona closes out the Bear Down Fiesta against Omaha (6-3) on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

FOLLOW @KEVINMURFEE ON TWITTER! writer Kevin Murphy was born and raised in Tucson, and has followed Arizona Wildcats athletics since childhood. Murphy is a journalist product manager with the Green Valley News & the Sahuarita Sun. He has a bachelor’s degree from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU.

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