BY DUDLEY E. DAWSON
A new bunch of Bogle Bombers backed by a bevy of big-time arms took their act out West on Friday and simply dominated at Eller Media Stadium in Las Vegas.
Duke transfer Kristina Foreman, South Dakota State transfer Cylie Halvorson and Spencer Priggie all homered and ace pitcher Chenise Delce fired a three-hit shutout as No. 6 Arkansas bashed host UNLV 11-0 late Friday night in a five-inning victory at the Rebels Kickoff.
Foreman also homered, Priggie had a three-run double and Halvorson two hits earlier in the day when the Razorbacks routed Weber State 8-0 in their season opener.
Halvorson joined Foreman and Priggie in combining for nine RBIs in the second win, which was played before a hearty contingent of Razorback fans.
“We had great energy in both games today,” Halvorson said. “You could tell everybody was excited for game day to finally be here. We were focused and played loose today which resulted in two big wins against strong programs.
“We had each other’s backs in both games. Nobody felt like the pressure was on their shoulders.”
Arkansas plays its first 10 games on the season on the road before its home opener against Arizona on Feb. 23 at 3 p.m. inside Bogle Park.
The Razorbacks, who scored 19 runs on 15 hits while allowing no tallies on five hits during the day, have games Saturday against Weber State (11 a.m. CST) and Southern Utah (1:30 p.m.) and a Sunday 11 a.m one versus Baylor in the event.
Arkansas looked poised to have a big first inning against UNLV when it loaded the bases with no one out against the Rebels (1-1), who had downed Southern Utah 13-3 earlier in the day.
But Arkansas would only go up 1-0 on a bases-loaded walk to Kacie Hoffman.
Faced with a similar situation and two outs in the second, Halvorson took matters into her own hands as her blast brought home Atalyia Rijo and Raigan Kramer to surge the Razorbacks ahead 4-0.
“I felt loose and knew which pitch I was looking for,” Halvorson said. “Practice over the last month prepared me for the moment. My teammates provided me with key information on the opposing pitchers, so I felt really calm stepping into the box.”
Priggie’s two-run homer in the third made it 6-0 and then Foreman’s three-run round-tripper pushed that to 9-0 later in the inning.
Priggie’s RBI single in the fourth scored pinch-runner Cally Kildow and then she crossed the plate herself on a bases-loaded walk to Reagan Johnson that gave Arkansas an 11-0 edge.
Delce, an All-American that was 19-3 and the SEC Pitcher of the Year last season, fanned five, walked two and stranded five.
She finished the shutout by working out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth when she gave up two of her three hits allowed.
In the opening win over Weber State, Arkansas pitcher Callie Turner allowed two hits in four innings while walking four, fanning three and stranding six runners.
Turner turned the fifth inning over to Robyn Herron, who had a perfect frame with a strikeout to end the contest.
The Razorbacks scored five runs on five hits in their first at-bats of the season and added single runs in the second, third and fourth innings.
Photo courtesy of Arkansas softball