FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- No. 14 Tennessee's comeback attempt came up just short in a 4-3 loss to No. 25 Arkansas in Friday night's series opener at Bogle Park.
The Volunteers (21-4, 2-2 SEC) battled back from a 4-0 deficit after a grand slam by Arkansas' A.J. Belans in the third inning. UT scored a pair of runs in the top of the fourth and added another in the sixth, but went down in order in the seventh to end the game.
Megan Geer went 2-for-2 and scored a run while Taylor Rowland brought in two runs with a two-out single. Matty Moss suffered her first loss of the season, falling to 11-1 after giving up four runs on seven hits over six innings.
Grace Moll improved to 8-1 on the year for the Razorbacks (20-5, 1-3 SEC) after giving up two runs in four innings of work. Autumn Storms closed the door by pitching the final three innings, allowing one run on three hits to earn the save.
UT let a great chance to take the lead slip away in the top of the third. CJ McClain led off the inning with a bunt single and stole second before Aubrey Leach reached on a walk. With runners on second and third and only one out, Belans caught a high fly ball in foul territory and threw out McClain at home for an inning-ending double play.
Arkansas used a two-out rally in the bottom of the third to jump out to a 4-0 lead. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Belans, who crushed a grand slam to straightaway center field.
The Vols finally got a hit with runners in scoring position in the fourth, as Rowland drove in a pair of runs with a two-out single to center field to cut the deficit in half.
Tennessee narrowed the gap again in the top of the sixth with a pinch-hit RBI single by Katie Weimer. Chelsea Seggern avoided the tag at home with a great slide after doubling with two outs one batter earlier.
Unfortunately, the Vols were unable to put together a seventh-inning rally and dropped the series opener for the second straight weekend.
WEIMER AGAINST THE HOGS: Katie Weimer's pinch-hit RBI single was just the latest big hit for her against Arkansas in her career. As a freshman with the University of Buffalo last season, Weimer homered and drove in a career-high five runs in a 15-14 loss to the Razorbacks. Her clutch single tonight was just her second hit and second RBI of the season.
LONG BALL HURTS VOLS AGAIN: For the second straight series opener, Tennessee gave up a grand slam that proved to be the difference. The Vols have run into trouble with home runs this season, having given up 13 in 25 games.
UP NEXT: Tennessee and Arkansas continue their series tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET. The game will be streamed on SEC Network +/WatchESPN. Fans can also listen to the game on UTSports.com. The game will not be carried on WNML due to the women's basketball NCAA Tournament game tomorrow afternoon.