The Arkansas softball team lost its first game of the postseason on a walk-off home run Friday to Tulsa 5-4.
Tulsa’s Haley Meinen took the first pitch of seventh inning over the right-field fence to lift the Golden Hurricane in dramatic fashion at the Norman, Okla., Regional. The previous inning, Arkansas’ Katie Warrick hit a solo home run — also on the first pitch of the seventh — to tie the game 4-4.
The win is Tulsa’s first in the NCAA Tournament since 2014. The second-seeded Golden Hurricane advance to play the winner of 1-seed Oklahoma and 4-seed North Dakota State. Arkansas will play the loser of that game at 4 p.m. CT Saturday.
Arkansas scored the first three runs of the game, but Tulsa countered with two runs in the second and two more in the fifth to take the lead.
Tulsa pitcher Emily Watson retired 11 consecutive Razorbacks hitters entering the sixth inning. Clean-up hitter A.J. Belans walked with one out and went to second on a wild pitch. Watson then struck out Nicole Schroeder and Madison Yannetti back-to-back to leave Arkansas with just three final outs.
Autumn Russell was the only Arkansas player to reach base more than once. She went 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs.
Meinen’s home run was her second of the season. It came off Caroline Hedgcock, who entered after starter Autumn Storms gave up four runs in four innings.
What’s next for Arkansas?
The Razorbacks will try to stave off elimination Saturday. Arkansas will likely play fourth-seeded North Dakota State at 4 p.m. from Marita Hynes Field.