Arizona Softball advances to Regional Final with win over Arkansas

Arizona State v UCLA
Arizona State v UCLA / Katharine Lotze/GettyImages

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - Fresh off of a dominant win over Villanova, Arizona Softball (36-16-1) advanced to the Regional finals after knocking off Arkansas by a 2-1 final.

Tournament action is quickly heating up, and fresh off of their dominant win over Villanova on Friday, Arizona Softball was back in action on Saturday afternoon. 

And returning to action against host Arkansas in the semifinal round of the Regionals, Arizona would have a significant challenge on its hands. 

Getting the start on the bump for the Wildcats was freshman hurler, Brooke Mannon. Despite a rough outing on Friday, Mannon was sharp in this one, lasting three and two-thirds innings as she surrendered just one hit and one run as she struck out three Razorback batters.

She would share pitching duties with Aissa Silva who was dominant as well, surrendering just two hits and three-and-a-third innings pitched as she struck out four. Silva would pick up her third save on the season.

Unlike their offensive barrage on Friday, this game was a bit quieter for the Cats; however, Arizona got to quick work early, plating two runs as they came away with the narrow victory. 

Jumping out to an early 2-0 lead, Arizona Softball was able to hang on, coming away with the hard-fought, 2-1 win over Arkansas.

Striking early in this one, Arizona got off to a hot start before eventually escaping with the well-earned win.

Using great patience at the plate, the Wildcats loaded the bases after drawing some critical walks against the Razorbacks.

With one out in the first inning, Arizona's Olivia DiNardo would come up big, lining a 3-1 pitch to left field that scored Regan Shockey.

Not done, the Wildcats would get another timely hit when Blaise Biringer connected on a 2-2 pitch that rolled up the middling, scoring Allie Skaggs from third to make it 2-0.

Dominating on the diamond and the mound, Arizona would keep the Razorback's offense at bay for much of the game, holding on to the slim, 2-0 lead. 

Leading 2-0 heading into the seventh, and final inning, Arkansas would have one last chance to try and come back in this one.

Needing to show some sort of offensive life, the Razorbacks would answer as Arkansas' Rylin Hedgecock belted a 1-0 blast to left field to make it 2-1.

Turning back to Silva, Aissa would sit the Razorbacks down in order, humbling Arkansas' offense as she helped protect Arizona's 2-1 lead, eventually helping to deliver the win. 

With the win, the Wildcats improve to 36-16-1 (13-11) on the year and are now one win away from advancing to the Super Regionals. They will take on either Arkansas, Villanova, or Southeast Missouri on Sunday at 1 P.M. 

Next. KJ Lewis announces Arizona return three weeks after declaring for 2024 NBA Draft. KJ Lewis announces Arizona return three weeks after declaring for 2024 NBA Draft. dark

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