– The University of Arkansas softball team shutout the Utah Valley University Wolverines, 3-0, on Friday at Bogle Park.
Arkansas (17-6) was led by Chelsea Cohen
in the circle. She faced only 16 batters in the game as the senior captain went five scoreless innings, allowing one hit, while striking out seven. This was Cohen’s eighth win of the season and she now has 78 strikeouts in 57 innings pitched. Beasley came on in relief and retired all six batters she faced, notching her second save of the season.
“Both Chelsea and Kimmy threw outstanding,” head coach Mike Larabee
said. “They were really in command tonight with all of their pitches. I am very pleased with them getting ahead of the hitters.”
At the plate it was, again, Devon Wallace
who fueled the Arkansas offense. The reigning SEC player of the week went 1-1 with three walks and a two-run homer. Her three walks give her 30 on season after she set the UA single season record last year with 53. Wallace’s on base percentage moved to a staggering .674 and a slugging percentage of 1.034.
“Devon came in and gave us some insurance runs,” Larabee said. “We talked in pregame about getting two-out hits. We had two-out rallies tonight. I was happy to see them do that tonight.”
Both teams went scoreless in the first inning as Arkansas started the game with back-to-back walks from Wallace and Sierra Bronkey
. The Razorbacks eventually loaded the bases for Jennifer Rambo
and Amanda Geile
but the two veterans were unable to plate any runners.
Utah Valley University started the second with a walk from Debra Lovell, but after a strikeout from Cohen, the senior pitcher caught a rocket off of the ground, hit right at her, from Dynasty Lauvai and then turned a double play to end the inning.
Arkansas used the defensive momentum to score a run in the bottom half of the inning. The inning began with freshman Claire Clark
reaching on an error from the second-baseman, Lauvai. She stole second and would eventually score on a two-out single from Bronkey.
Cohen continued to cruise through the third as she faced the minimum amount of batters through three innings, striking out three. Her no-hitter was broken up with two outs in the fourth when Amanda Robinson singled through the leftside of the infield. However, Cohen fought back and got the next batter, Lovell, to fly out to Wallace at first to end the inning.
Arkansas started a two-out rally in the bottom half of the fourth as Chloe Oprzedek
was nailed in the back with a pitch. The next pitch was sent into the centerfield grass by Wallace to give the Razorbacks a 3-0 lead. Her eighth homerun of the season almost hit the flagpole in center.
The great pitching continued in the fifth as Cohen mowed down the Utah Valley lineup, striking out the side on a nice mix of fastballs and off-speed pitches. This ended Cohen’s outing at five innings as she gave way to sophomore, Kimmy Beasley
Beasley picked up where Cohen left off in the sixth as she retired the last six batters of the game, striking out four and the last three batters of the contest. The Arkansas defense had a nice showing in helping its pitchers, as numerous spectacular plays were made in the field. These included a line-drive catch from the third baseman, Oprzedek. A quick double play turned by Cohen in the second inning and a ball-hawking catch in centerfield made by Claire Clark
in the third. The defense did not make an error in the game and Arkansas won, 3-0.
Next up for the Razorbacks is the second game of the series against Utah Valley University. Game two is scheduled for 2 p.m. tomorrow at Bogle Park.