Arkansas softball loses Super Regional Game 3, Texas advances to Women's College World Series

·2 min read

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas softball will have to wait for its first Women's College World Series appearance. A historic season ended Saturday as the No. 4 Razorbacks lost Game 3 of their Super Regional to unseeded Texas.

It's the third time in program history the Razorbacks have been eliminated in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, after Arkansas got its first super regional win in program history over the Longhorns on Thursday.

But Texas battled back Friday and Saturday, winning 2-1 in Game 2 and 3-0 in Game 3. The Longhorns advanced to their sixth Women's College World Series and first since 2013.

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Chenise Delce had a strong start for Arkansas, going six innings with seven hits, three earned runs, no walks and eight strikeouts. But just as it did in Game 2, the Razorback offense failed to generate run support.

Arkansas' five hits tied for its fewest of the NCAA Tournament, and the nation's fourth-best home run-hitting team never got one against Texas pitchers. The Razorbacks had two runners on with no outs in four innings, but couldn't bring any home.

Arkansas batter Danielle Gibson (41) against Western Illinois during an NCAA softball game on Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)
Arkansas batter Danielle Gibson (41) against Western Illinois during an NCAA softball game on Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)

Freshman Sophia Simpson strong in circle

Freshman pitcher Sophia Simpson had started 15 games before Saturday, mostly against non-Power Five opponents. With ace Hailey Dolcini on the bench after throwing more than 530 pitches over the course of five games in a week, Texas turned to the freshman.

In the second inning, Simpson got out of the biggest jam she would face all afternoon. She gave up back-to-back hits to Danielle Gibson and Hannah Gammill to lead off the inning, and both runners advanced on a wild pitch that flew over the head of the Texas catcher.

But Simpson got the next two batters swinging and ended the inning with a flyout. Arkansas stranded nine runners in the game, going 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

Simpson allowed five hits, no runs, four walks and had seven strikeouts in a complete game.

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Janae Jefferson's glove, bat lift Texas

Jefferson made a difference on offense and defense, making a dazzling grab in right-center field in the fifth inning to prevent a leadoff base hit for Arkansas. In the following frame, she led off with a double off the wall.

She scored Texas' first run two at-bats later when an Alyssa Washington double scored two RBIs to give Texas a 2-0 lead. The deficit increased to 3-0 with an RBI single by Mary Iakopo.

Christina Long covers the Arkansas Razorbacks. You can email her at clong@swtimes.com or follow her on Twitter @christinalong00.

This article originally appeared on Fort Smith Times Record: Arkansas softball loses super regional Game 3, Texas advances to WCWS