Arkansas builds early lead, holds off late push by Ohio

Arkansas center fielder Reagan Johnson (right) speaks to Coach Courtney Deifel at third base Friday during the Razorbacks’ 7-3 victory over the Ohio Bobcats at the Paradise Classic in Boca Raton, Fla. Johnson went 4 for 4 with 2 runs scored in the victory.
(Arkansas Athletics/Meaghan Frazier)
Arkansas center fielder Reagan Johnson (right) speaks to Coach Courtney Deifel at third base Friday during the Razorbacks’ 7-3 victory over the Ohio Bobcats at the Paradise Classic in Boca Raton, Fla. Johnson went 4 for 4 with 2 runs scored in the victory. (Arkansas Athletics/Meaghan Frazier)


The No. 12 Arkansas softball team scored all its runs in the first three innings and never trailed en route to a 7-3 victory over Ohio on Friday at the Paradise Classic in Boca Raton, Fla.

The Razorbacks (3-0) led 7-0 through three innings, a margin that stood until a three-run seventh inning for the Bobcats.

Arkansas right-hander Morgan Leinstock, a graduate transfer from Southern Miss, earned her first victory as a Razorback. Leinstock allowed 4 hits, struck out 7 batters and gave up 1 earned run over 6 2/3 innings.

Auburn transfer first baseman Bri Ellis began the scoring for the Razorbacks when she hit her third double of the season in the first inning. Her hit scored Reagan Johnson, who led off the game with a single, from third base.

Johnson, a top-10 finalist for national freshman of the year honors in 2023, went 4 for 4 to lead all hitters and scored two runs in the game.

In the next at-bat, Rylin Hedgecock extended the Razorbacks' lead to 2-0 with an RBI double to score Ellis.

Arkansas pieced together a four-run second inning to increase its lead to 6-0.

Outfielder Nia Carter singled with the bases loaded to score Raigan Kramer and Lauren Camenzind, who each walked to reach base. Hannah Gammill hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Johnson from third, and after an Ellis walk, Hedgecock hit an RBI single to drive home Carter.

Both Carter (3 RBI) and Hedgecock (2) had multiple run-scoring hits.

The Razorbacks scored their final run in the third inning when Carter singled to score Kramer with the bases loaded.

Ohio (1-1) had just one hit entering the final inning, but chased Leinstock after her third hit allowed -- an RBI single -- brought the Bobcats within 7-3 with two outs.

Hannah Camenzind entered the circle and recorded the final out with a ground out to second base.

Arkansas finished with 10 hits, 2 errors and 7 runners stranded.

The Razorbacks are scheduled to face Penn State (8 a.m. Central) and Michigan State (10:15 a.m.) in a doubleheader Friday to complete their stay at the invitational. Both games will be streamed on the subscription service FloSoftball.