FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — It was not a good day for teams lining up against SEC schools in the NCAA softball regionals.
No. 4 Arkansas wasn't about to switch up the trend while hosting Princeton in the opening game.
What started as a tight game with Princeton's Alexis Laudenschlager keeping the Razorbacks in check from the circle turned into an ugly mess once Arkansas found a way to drive her from the game in the fourth.
Without their ace on the mound, Arkansas was able to make quick work of the Tigers, 11-0, in a five-inning mercy rule game.
While pitcher Mary Haff set the tone on the defensive side with a 2-hitter, SEC Player of the Year K.B. Sides and Danielle Gibson held things down offensively.
Sides was a nightmare for Tigers' pitching, going 2-for-2 with a pair of singles, was hit by a pitch, drew a walk, and scored three runs to play a key role in finally pushing Laudenschlager from the game.
Her replacement, Molly Chambers, struggled with accuracy, allowing a run on a wild pitch, followed by a walk on four pitches to load the bases. That left her alone with Gibson, one of the most prolific hitters in the sport.
Unfortunately for Chambers, when she finally did slip a drop ball over the plate, Gibson made her pay by raking down through the pitch for a deep grand slam that made it 8-0, and put Princeton on notice for a run-rule game.
Arkansas bounced Chambers from the game also before tacking on three more runs, turning the game back over to Haff for three quick outs to move into the winners' bracket with ease.
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