FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas pitchers Hope McLemore and Layne McGuirt threw 12 shutout innings on Saturday to lead the Razorback softball team to a sweep of a pair of Southeastern Conference games over Ole Miss at Bogle Park on Saturday.
McLemore and McGuirt combined to blank the Rebels in a 5-0 victory in Game One, while McLemore returned in the second game of the double header to throw a complete-game, five-inning shutout on the way to a 9-0 win.
The back-to-back shutouts are the first for Arkansas (28-24, 10-14 SEC) since the Razorback pitching staff combined to throw three straight shutouts back in February.
Ole Miss (25-25, 6-17) out-hit Arkansas in the series opener but left a total of 10 runners on base through the two games.
In the first game of the doubleheader, Arkansas mustered only three hits but made the most of them, producing three runs in the first and a pair of runs in the fourth to claim the victory.
UA senior Jessica Bachkora turned the momentum in the Razorbacks favor early as she made a spectacular running catch in center field with a runner at third to record the final out of the first inning.
Arkansas jumped in front 3-0 in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI double by designated player Miranda Dixon and a two-run home run to left field by second baseman Courtney Breault, her fifth of the year.
The Razorbacks added a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 5-0 lead. Pinch hitter Emily Jones drove in the first run with an RBI double down the left-field line followed by an RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of shortstop Brittany Griffiths.
McLemore (13-9) gave up four hits through six innings while striking out five and issuing only one walk. McGuirt pitched a scoreless seventh to close out the game.
Ole Miss starting pitcher Brittany Barnhill (9-9) allowed five runs on three hits through 3-1/3 innings while walking four and striking out five.
In Game Two, pitching was again the story as McLemore picked up her fourth shutout of the season. The offense exploded for nine runs on nine hits in a run-rule shortened victory. Breault led the push, finishing the game 2-for-2 with a home run and four RBIs.
The Razorbacks again took the early lead with a three-run bottom of the first to go ahead 3-0. Back-to-back RBI hits from Dixon, a two-run double, and Breault, a run-scoring single to center, accounted for the scoring.
Arkansas added to its lead with a pair of runs in the home half of the third on an RBI triple by McGuirt and a sacrifice fly by Brittany Robison.
UA went in front 9-0 after a four-run bottom of the fourth, highlighted by a three-run home run by Breault, her second homer of the afternoon. Third baseman Sandra Smith added an RBI single.
McLemore (14-9) scattered six hits over five innings while striking out one. The Ringling, Okla., native did not issue a walk.
Ole Miss junior Lindsey Perry (8-5) allowed three runs on three hits with one walk in one-third of an inning. Becky Nye worked the final 3-2/3 innings in relief, surrendering six runs on six hits with three strikeouts and four walks.
The two teams return to action on Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. at Bogle Park. Senior Day activities will begin at 1:30 as the Razorbacks honor their five seniors.
Sunday’s game will be broadcast on KXUA Fayetteville (88.3 FM) and ArkansasRazorbacks.com, which will also carry live stats for the Ole Miss series finale.