State sports briefs: No. 20 Arkansas takes series over No. 3 Georgia; Stephens named NAIA All-American

Arkansas third baseman Hannah Gammill is shown after hitting a home run, Friday, March 22, 2024, at Bogle Park in Fayetteville. (NWA Democrat Gazette/Caleb Grieger)
Arkansas third baseman Hannah Gammill is shown after hitting a home run, Friday, March 22, 2024, at Bogle Park in Fayetteville. (NWA Democrat Gazette/Caleb Grieger)


No. 20 Arkansas takes series over No. 3 Georgia

A grand slam by Hannah Gammill in the seventh inning put an exclamation mark on the Arkansas softball team's series-clinching victory at No. 3 Georgia on Monday.

Gammill homered twice and tied a career-high 5 RBI to lift the No. 20 Razorbacks (26-9, 5-4 SEC) to an 8-2 victory at Jack Turner Stadium in Athens, Ga.

The series victory was Arkansas' first on the road over a team ranked in the top three.

With Arkansas leading 3-2 entering the final inning, a bases loaded hit-by-pitch coupled with Gammill's grand slam blew open what had been a tight game. The five-run seventh was the Razorbacks' highest-scoring inning in SEC play.

It was the first series loss for Georgia (29-6, 6-3), which had a chance to pull within one game of Tennessee for first place in the SEC. Those teams are scheduled to play later this week.

The Razorbacks responded from an 8-2 loss Sunday that followed a series-opening 3-2 victory Saturday. Arkansas has not lost back-to-back games this season.

Arkansas left-hander Robyn Herron started and pitched for the first time since a 2-1 loss at Auburn on March 17. She suffered an injury to her throwing arm during the first inning of that game.

She combined with right-hander Morgan Leinstock, who pitched the final 3 2/3 innings, to limit an explosive Georgia offense to five hits.

Herron tossed 3 1/3 innings but was not given the win because she exited with the score tied 2-2. The sophomore from Tampa, Fla., gave up 3 hits and struck out 4 batters with 1 walk. Of her 63 pitches, 41 were strikes.

Leinstock did not allow any runs and struck out three batters, including a game-ending swinging strikeout of Sydney Chambley. She gave up 2 hits on 42 pitches against 13 batters faced.

Of the Razorbacks' eight runs scored, six were via home runs.

The Razorbacks moved into sixth place in the SEC standings. The Bulldogs dropped to fifth.

Arkansas is scheduled to host No. 13 Missouri in the opener of a three-game series beginning at 5 p.m. Friday.


JBU's Stephens named second-team All-American

John Brown University senior Tarrah Stephens was named to the NAIA All-America second team for her efforts during the women's basketball team's 2023-24 season, the NAIA national office announced Monday.

Stephens was the Sooner Athletic Conference Player of the Year after leading the Golden Eagles to the program's first-ever league regular-season and tournament championships and a single-season program record win total of 29. She averaged 16.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. The Wyandotte, Okla., native shot 45% (181 of 401) from the floor and 79% (122 of 154) from the free-throw line.

Stephens became the second player in program history to break the 2,000 career points threshold in her final season, and later set the program's career scoring record with 2,223 points, averaging 17 a night in her 131 career games played. She also pulled down 894 career rebounds – a 6.8 per game average – to also finish the program's career rebounding leader.

-- Democrat-Gazette Press Services

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