FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – As soon as the announcers said it, a collective groan reverberated from Dallas to Memphis as Arkansas fans all wanted nothing more than a mic outage or a sudden burst of phlegm.
"This Arkansas team hasn't lost a series all year. They haven't even lost back-to-back games."
They were describing the SEC regular season and tournament champions who handled their super regional opponent easily in front of a rowdy home crowd during the opening game.
A magical Razorback team that jumped out to a lead that immediately felt like enough because of strong pitching that was immediately erased by back-to-back home runs leading to a loss.
It's a nightmare that has given Razorback baseball fans who have crossed over as softball fans immediate PTSD. However, this time is a little different.
Sure everything appears to perfectly align with the shocking fall of what appeared to be an unstoppable No. 1 Arkansas team. However, there is one variant in this equation that should give Razorback fans hope that they won't relive the nightmare all over again.
You see, Hailey Dolcini appears to be the only Texas pitcher who can hold Arkansas hitters at bay long enough to give her team a little bit of a chance. Yet, even she gave up close to a dozen home runs Friday night that just happened to carry foul.
During what was the iconic moment of the game, Dolcini threw 21 pitches to Gammill. The determined third baseman fouled of 15 pitches as the pair locked in an epic battle that had the crowd frothing for that break-through moment that was going to put the game away.
However, when it finally came, All-American Janae Jefferson made a diving stop and then hurled her body across the dirt to drape her glove across second base just in time to save her pitcher and the inning.
At that point, every 90s kid knew what was happening on the Texas sideline. It was that rush of adrenaline that caused them to walk into the mall food court after watching Karate Kid with energy pulsing through their bodies and an overwhelming desire to crane kick every person in the place from the cashier at Arby's to the guy in line at Sbarro's.
Those back-to-back home runs had nothing to do with Mary Haff. It didn't matter who was on the mound.
That giant burst of adrenaline is a mutant power that provides the gift of super strength. Those young ladies, especially Jefferson, were hulked up on pure emotion and no one in the country was going to be able to stop them from going yard back-to-back.
However, while Gammill may have lost the battle, there's a good chance she might have won the war. If Arkansas get the win today, her at-bat will be a major reason why.
You see, adrenaline is a super power with serious side effects. Dolcini, who is at the half millennium mark on pitches over the past week, had to use heart and adrenaline to keep her arm from falling off.
She was in a lot of pain after taking on Gammill. When she woke up in Fayetteville this morning and rolled over to get out of bed for her 3 p.m. rubber game against the Hogs, that arm probably felt it had been dislocated and every muscle ripped from the bone.
All that adrenaline that turned Jefferson and Katie Cimusz is now gone. What is usually left is a tired, empty feeling where normal energy to function throughout the day was once stored.
It takes a lot of hotel waffles and scrambled eggs to try to bring that much lost energy back.
One of two things will happen. Either Texas will have a quick burst to start the game and then fall off from an energy perspective, or the Hogs will pour it on early against a flat Longhorn team and hope to ride that lead long enough to slide into the Women's College World Series.
Gammill may have lost an inspiring at-bat, but a super regional series is about the long game. If Arkansas wins today, everyone will be able to point back to the moment the third baseman delivered the damage that made history possible.
• Want to join in on the discussion? Click here to become a member of the allHOGS message board community today!