FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas softball team defeated the UMKC Kangaroos, 9-1, in five innings on Wednesday at Bogle Park.
Arkansas (22-13) was led by Clarisa Navarro in the game. She hit two homeruns at the plate and finished the game with four RBI. This was the first time a Razorback homered twice in a game since Devon Wallace did it against No. 4 Alabama on April 28, 2012. Navarro was also great in the field as she made an inning-ending catch over the third-base fence in the fourth inning. She flipped over the fence in the process of running down the out.
“She is amazing,” head coach Mike Larabee said. “I wouldn’t trade her for any shortstop in the country. An outstanding effort today from Clarisa. She went deep twice tonight, she is getting hot at the right time of the year.”
Nicole Schroeder also had a big day at the plate as she went 2-for-3 with a solo-homerun and garnered two RBI. Also homering was Jayme Gee, she hit a solo-shot in the fourth inning. Arkansas homered four times in the game.
“The homeruns were awesome to see,” Larbee said. “Jayme Gee did a nice job at the plate today. Schroeder’s was also nice to see. A great day at the plate for those three individuals.”
In the circle it was freshman Kelly Young picking up the win for the Hogs. She went four scoreless innings and only allowed two hits, while striking out three. This moves Young to 5-0 this season.
“Kelly was really good today,” Larabee said. “We talked about getting ahead in counts and she did. She didn’t walk a batter tonight.”
Arkansas started the scoring in the bottom of the first as Wallace kicked off the inning with her SEC-leading 42nd walk of the year. She came around to score two batters later when Navarro belted the first homerun of the game for the Razorbacks. Her two-run blast was the second of the year for the junior.
Young retired the first nine batters that she faced in the game and struck out Jenna Rangel to end the bottom of the third inning. This was the freshman’s third strikeout of the game against the ‘Roos.
Wallace again started the scoring in the third as she walked to lead off the inning. Stephanie Canfield followed the walk with a bunt single and two runners were left on for Nicole Schroeder. After working a 3-2 count, she lined a changeup into rightfield that scored Wallace from second. Her 23rd RBI of the year gave Arkansas a 3-0 lead. Chloe Oprzedek added to the lead two batters later when she blooped a two-run single into rightfield. Canfield and Schroeder both scored on the two-out hit to give Arkansas a five run lead.
Young’s streak of retired batters came to an end when Brooke Parker reached on a hard hit, infield single. However, she was doubled up the next play when Katie Kelly lined out popped out to Canfield in rightfield. Canfield then fired the ball to first for a double play. Navarro ended the inning with more excellent defense as she caught the third out while falling over the third-base fence.
Gee led off the bottom of the inning with a solo-homerun. Her fifth homerun of the year eclipsed her 2012 total of four. Navarro also went deep in the fourth inning as she rocketed a two-run blast over the leftfield fence to give Arkansas an 8-0 lead. Schroeder followed the bomb with a solo-homerun of her own. This was Schroeder’s second RBI of the day and it sent Arkansas to a 9-0 advantage after the fourth.
Hope McLemore came out to work the fifth and gave up a solo-homerun to Caitlin Christopher. This was the only run scored for UMKC and Arkansas took the game, 9-1, in five innings.
Next up, the homestand continues with a weekend series versus No. 22 Georgia. Game one is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday in Bogle Park. The Friday game is also the pink game this season. Arkansas fans wearing the official pink t-shirt will be admitted free to the game. The first 250 fans will also receive free pink can coozies.