MO State HS Sports

No. 11 Softball Drops Series Opener at No. 19 Arkansas


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 11 University of Missouri softball team (29-9, 4-6 SEC) dropped its series opener at No. 19 Arkansas (27-9, 6-4 SEC), 5-2, Friday at Bogle Park.

Freshman Abby Hay logged her first career home run in the game, taking Razorbacks pitcher Morgan Leinstock deep in the seventh to trim the deficit to 5-2. Hay, a Columbia, Missouri, native, finished the day going a career-best 2-for-3 with two RBI.

Following Hay’s two-run homer, Kayley Lenger was hit by a pitch before a base hit by Jenna Laird put two Tigers on before Leinstock concluded the late rally with a flyout.

Arkansas went on the board early in the game Friday, using a two-run homer from Bri Ellis in the bottom of the first to take the early advantage.

Starter Cierra Harrison settled down after the homer, striking out the next two batters. She would post a clean second inning, before the Razorbacks would add two more in the bottom of the third on a two-run single from Hannah Gammill, giving the home team a 4-0 lead.

Leinstock would keep the Tigers offense at bay early, allowing just three base runners and one hit through four frames.

Arkansas would add another run in the fourth on a solo shot from Rylin Hedgecock to make the advantage 5-0.

In the bottom of the sixth, Arkansas would threaten reliever Nathalie Touchet with a pair on and one out, but the freshman from Aledo, Texas, got out of the inning unscathed as Mizzou looked to start a late comeback.

Katie Chester led off the seventh with a single before Hay launched her first career home run to pull Mizzou within three (5-2) with two outs to go. The Tigers threatened with runners on first and second, but couldn’t complete the comeback, dropping the series opener.

Sophomore Lilly Whitten and Touchet each posted scoreless outings out of the bullpen, with Whitten coaxing a strikeout in her 1.1 innings of work and Touchet inducing a pair of groundouts in one frame.


  • Freshman Abby Hay logged her third start in a row, and her fifth of the season. Her fifth-inning single marked the first baseman’s first career hit in SEC play.
  • Abby Hay‘s seventh-inning blast was the first of her collegiate career.
  • Abby Hay’s 2-for-3 day marked her first career multi-hit performance and a career-best day at the plate.
  • Abby Hay has now reached base in each of the last five games. She also posted two RBI Friday for her second career multi-RBI game.
  • Senior Jenna Laird’s third-inning single extended her reached-base streak to 12 games.
  • Jenna Laird finished 2-for-4 for her team-leading 15th multi-hit game in 2024.
  • Katie Chester added a hit, going 1-for-3.
  • Kayley Lenger was hit by a pitch twice Friday and has now reached base in each of the last six games.
  • Sophomore Lilly Whitten has now recorded a punchout in every appearance of one inning or longer this season (six games).
  • Lilly Whitten pitched 1.1 innings in relief, surrendering no runs on no hits with a K.
  • Nathalie Touchet pitched the sixth frame, throwing a scoreless inning (one hit).  
  • Friday marked the first career SEC series-opening start for sophomore Cierra Harrison.
  • Starter Cierra Harrison pitched 3.2 innings Friday, allowing five runs on seven hits with a trio of strikeouts.
  • Despite the loss, MU still leads the all-time series 16-12.
  • Head coach Larissa Anderson is now 4-4 against Arkansas.


  • Mizzou continues its series against the Razorbacks Saturday in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Game two will start at noon, and the series finale will follow on Sunday at 2 p.m.

  • The Tigers then head to Des Moines, Iowa, to face Drake at Blue Field on April 10. First pitch is set for 4 p.m., CT.

  • Missouri resumes SEC play with a home weekend series against Florida April 12-14.


This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics