With Monday night’s 4-1 victory over LSU, the #7 Arkansas Razorbacks softball team have clinched at least a share of their first SEC championship.
The SEC began sponsoring softball in 1997 and has generally been dominated by two programs since the sport’s conference inception. No team outside of Alabama or Florida has won the SEC regular season title since 2007.
Think about how long ago that is. This is a big dang deal.
Florida can grab a share of the title if the Gators sweep next weekend’s three-game series against Texas A&M. The Hogs won’t play again until the second round of the SEC Tournament on May 13.
The Razorbacks (40-8, 19-5) have improved by leaps and bounds since Courtney Deifel became the Head Hog. In 2016, her first season in Fayetteville, the Hogs won one SEC game. After that year, the Hogs have made a NCAA regional in each full season since.
This year’s team is led by ace pitching and a powerful offense.
Pitchers Mary Haff and Autumn Storms start most of the Razorbacks’ games and both have ERAs well under 2.00.
Shortstop Braxton Burnside smashed Arkansas’s previous single-season home run record of 17. Burnside has been in the hunt for the national lead with 24 HRs and is currently one behind the leader. Linnie Malkan and Danielle Gibson are also among the top 20 sluggers this year. The team, as a whole, is second in the nation, behind Oklahoma, with 89 round-trippers.
After the SEC Tournament, the Hogs will almost assuredly host a regional and, possibly, a super-regional. You should go! With their spirited celebrations, dugout rituals, and all-around great play, the Razorbacks softball squad makes a trip to Bogle Park special.