#19 Arkansas Softball 2019 Preview

Arkansas Razorbacks
Overall Rank: #19
Conference Rank: #9 SEC
 Arkansas Logo
Arkansas broke through in 2018 with their first national seed and hosted the Fayetteville Regional. The end result of that was a trip to Super Regionals where the Razorbacks fell in two games to Oklahoma. Courtney Deifel and her staff have very quietly built the Arkansas program up into one that is going to be consistent top 25 caliber program on a regular basis. Bogle Park was a fortress for visiting teams as the Razorbacks went 27-2 at home last season thanks to the great vocal support from the Arkansas fans.
2018: 42-17, 12-12
2018 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Courtney Deifel
Key Departed Players:
Autumn Buczek, INF, .314 BA, 0 HR, 19 RBI, 9 SB
A.J. Belans, INF, .259 BA, 5 HR, 20 RBI
Key Returning Players:
Hannah McEwen, OF, .339 BA, 12 HR, 57 RBI
Ashley Diaz, INF, 313 BA, 6 HR, 29 RBI
Katie Warrick, INF/P, .304 BA, 8 HR, 25 RBI
Haydi Burgarin, INF/OF, .246 BA, 4 HR, 19 RBI
Mary Haff, P, 1.51 ERA, 29-7 W/L, 213.1 IP, 44 BB, 249 SO
Autumn Storms, P, 2.67 ERA, 12-10 W/L, 152.1 IP,33 BB, 113 SO
The Razorbacks will be led by Hannah McEwen, who had an excellent freshman season where she hit .339 with 12 homeruns and 57 runs batted in. Ashley Diaz and Katie Warrick are also dangerous hitters as they both hit over .300 in 2018 and combined for 14 homeruns as well. Mary Haff and Autumn Storms will be back in the circle which should position Arkansas to win their share of weekend series. Haff displayed excellent control in 2018 as she walked just 44 hitters while striking out 249 batters in 213.1 innings of work. Storms is more of a pitch to contact type of pitcher as she allowed 161 hits in 152.1 innings last season. However, Storms did a good job of keeping opposing hitters in check by not walking batters. Storms walked just 33 batters while striking out 113 and will need to continue to have that type of control this season. The schedule is manageable in the non-conference as they have a mix of games they should win without much difficulty and a couple of tests. A neutral site matchup with Washington down in Puerto Vallarta will give Arkansas a good idea of where they stand nationally early in the season. South Carolina, LSU, Kentucky, and Auburn highlight the home SEC schedule. Trips to Tennessee and Florida highlight a tough road schedule during SEC play. They do get to avoid Georgia and Alabama, which helps the Razorbacks a bit in their quest to contend in the SEC race. Overall, look for Arkansas to win around 40 games and be in the mix to host another regional in Fayetteville this season.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament