The University of Arkansas softball team closed out its 2012 non-conference regular season with a 4-0 no hitter victory over Missouri State. The Razorbacks improve to 26-24 on the season heading into its last series this weekend at Georgia.
The Razorbacks began strong on defense in the top of the first with freshman Kimmy Beasley striking out the first batter. One batter made it to base off a walk, but the next two were retired by the Razorbacks not allowing the runner to score.
Both teams went scoreless in first two innings with Missouri State only placing one runner on base from a walk.
Arkansas placed its first runner on base in the top of the third after Tori Mort was rewarded a walk. After Devon Wallace was walked, Missouri State's catcher made a throwing error to second base allowing Mort to eventually advance home and giving Arkansas to 1-0 lead.
The Bears placed a runner on third base after a walk and back-to-back sacrifice bunts, but the Razorbacks would not allow them to score, ending the inning with a throw from Sierra Bronkey to Megan Pearson at first base.
Arkansas collected three walks against Missouri State's pitcher, Natalie Rose, who averages less than one walk a game and is ranked seventh in the nation in walks allowed.
Chloe Oprzedek recorded her first hit on the day when she hit a ball into the right field. She now has 33 hits for her sophomore campaign.
Clarisa Navarro collected her first hit of the game in the top of the sixth placing the ball out to the left field giving her a single.
Arkansas retired 11 straight batters behind stellar defense and the pitching of Chelsea Cohen. Cohen and Beasley combined, recorded the no hitter for the Razorbacks, the first in many years for the program.
"Cohen came in to the game and just mowed them," said head coach Mike Larabee. "We also play awesome defense behind her that really impressed me."
Arkansas went on a hitting spree in the top of the seventh with two outs. Ashley Martindale got the Razorbacks going with a bunt for a single. Pearson followed her with a single to left field. Mort then collected two RBI when she hit a triple out to right field. Mort was brought in with a single from Wallace to give Arkansas the 4-0 lead.
"Tori played great defense and was solid at the plate tonight," said Larabee. "You expect your seniors to step up this time of the year and Tori has really risen to the challenge. You can tell she really wants to make the NCAA tournament for her senior year."