LEXINGTON, Ky. – Despite a home run by Tori Cooper and a solid pitching effort by Autumn Storms, the No. 22 University of Arkansas softball team suffered a 2-1 road loss to 17th-ranked Kentucky on Friday evening. With a fourth-inning single, Stephanie Canfield moved into sole possession of third place on the program’s career hits list. The Razorbacks fall to 22-7 overall and 2-5 in SEC play.
Final: #17 Kentucky 2, #22 Arkansas 1 | Box Score
With her team trailing by one after one, Cooper took the first pitch she saw from Kentucky starter Meagan Prince and hit it over the fence in left field to lead off the second inning. The solo shot was her sixth home run of the season and the team’s 36th round tripper, a mark that already stands as the eighth most in a single season.
Kentucky (20-6, 2-2 SEC) regained the lead with an RBI ground out to short in the third. Including the last out of that inning, Storms retired 10 of the final 12 hitters she faced. The home team threatened with two on and one out in the sixth but the freshman responded with a strikeout and ground ball. Storms, now 10-5 after Friday’s loss, allowed two runs on four hits and struck out six UK hitters, her high in five SEC appearances.
After going down in order in the first, Arkansas had at least one runner on base in each of the next five innings with runners on first and second in the fourth, fifth and sixth frames. Each time, however, Prince worked out of trouble to keep Arkansas behind on the scoreboard. In the sixth, the Razorbacks had a runner on first and second with one out but a fielder’s choice and ground out ended a potential rally.
Arkansas Career Hits List (Top 5)
1. Jessica Bachkora (2007-10) – 227
2. Danica White (1999-02) – 224
3. Stephanie Canfield (2013-pres) – 220
4. Rachel LeMaster (2004-07) – 219
5. Jennifer Cirigliano (1997-00) – 218
Game two of the weekend series is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. (CT) and will be streamed live on SEC Network+ which is also available through the WatchESPN app. Dave Baker and Carol Bruggeman will handle the play-by-play and color commentary duties, respectively. Arkansas’ next home game is Wednesday, March 29 when it hosts Oklahoma State at Bogle Park.
For more information about Arkansas softball, follow @RazorbackSB on Twitter.