FAYETTEVILLE - The Razorbacks blanked their opponent for the eighth time this season, as the University of Arkansas softball team defeated No. 17 Kentucky in game one of the weekend series with the help of sophomore Danielle Gibson, who connected on her first pitch in the fifth inning for a solo shot to right field.
Starting pitcher junior Autumn Storms gave up only three hits in the victory, striking out six Wildcats in her sixth complete game of the season and second shutout. Storms forced 11 ground outs from the Kentucky offense, facing only six batters more than the minimum and retiring the first nine batters of the game in order.
Kentucky's lead-off hitter, catcher Jenny Schaper singled up the middle in the sixth inning and was pinch-ran for, but the Wildcat was caught by sophomore catcher Kayla Green during the next batter - saving the Hogs from what could have been the tying run, as Kentucky doubled before the inning was over.
Besides Gibson's long ball, two other Razorbacks recorded hits in the victory, with a lead off single by Hannah McEwen to start the game, and two base hits from senior Katie Warrick in the first and third innings. Her multi-hit performance is the 18th of her career.
The Hogs are now 24-10 overall and 5-5 in conference play, a win tomorrow (March 30) will put the Razorbacks in the same spot they were last season, 11 games into the SEC season.
Arkansas and Kentucky are anticipated to play game two on Saturday, starting at 1:00 p.m. (CT).