Oregon softball wins first game vs. Wichita State, loses to No. 4 Arkansas

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Oregon players celebrate their win over Oregon State Saturday, April 30, 2022, at Jane Sanders Stadium in Eugene.
Oregon players celebrate their win over Oregon State Saturday, April 30, 2022, at Jane Sanders Stadium in Eugene.

The Oregon Ducks softball team began the NCAA Tournament on Friday against one of the best offenses in the nation.

While the Ducks were able to win their first game in the regional against Wichita State, they were unsuccessful in the second game.

Oregon dropped their second game of the tournament to No. 4 Arkansas 6-2 Saturday afternoon in the NCAA Fayetteville Regional at Bogle Park. With the win, the Razorbacks will play in the Regional Final where they will need only one win to advance to next week's Super Regional.

The game against Arkansas was scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning when Linnie Malkin hit a three-run home run to give the Razorbacks the lead. Arkansas wasn't done as Kacie Hoffmann followed Malkin with a solo homer to extend the team's lead to 4-0.

Hannah McEwen also added two more runs for the Razorbacks on a double.

Oregon tried to rally in the top of the seventh after a two-run home run by Tehya Bird. However, that would be the only runs the Ducks could muster in the inning.

Because of Saturday's loss, Oregon will play the winner of the Wichita State vs. Princeton game later on Saturday in an elimination game. The winner of that game will play Arkansas on Sunday with a chance to advance to the Super Regional. If the Ducks Saturday night, they would need to defeat Arkansas twice on Sunday to advance.

Oregon rolled past Wichita State Shockers 10-2 in its Fayetteville Regional opener.

Right fielder Ari Carlson recorded three RBIs on a home run in the fourth inning. Infielder Ian Delgado, Ja Williams, and Pai Sinicki finished with two hits apiece.

"Working up toward this first game, the guys worked really well in practice," Oregon softball coach Melyssa Lombardi said. "Last week was a bye, so it really forced us to have intense practices prior to and I feel like they did a really good job of preparing.

"I can't say how proud I am of them. I think that the first game is always the most important game and to see them come through, I'm just very proud."

The Ducks in total registered four home runs on the day. Oregon was also able to limit Wichita State to just two runs with the pitching performances from Stevie Hanson and Makenna Kliethermes.

Hanson pitched 2.2 innings as she allowed two runs on three hits. Kliethermes closed the day by going 2.1 innings without allowing a run and three hits.

"To have success in the postseason, you have to stay within yourself," Lombardi said. "Our team is very good with staying within our team, and we are going to go back and prepare like any other game. But right now, the focus is on us."

Contact Register-Guard sportswriter Antwan Staley at astaley@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.

This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: Oregon softball defeats Wichita State, will face No. 4 Arkansas next