FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Hope McLemore threw 6.1 innings of no-hit softball and the University of Arkansas softball team blanked the No. 17 Kentucky Wildcats, 4-0, on Saturday at Bogle Park.
Arkansas (30-16, 8-9) was paced by its senior captain, McLemore, in the circle. The Ringling, Okla. native went 6.1 scoreless innings and struck out 10 batters, while walking three. Her senior classmate, Chelsea Cohen, came on to get the final two outs of the game and give Arkansas its 30th win of the season. This was the first time Kentucky had been no hit since April 14, 2009, when Alabama’s Kelsi Dunne blanked the Wildcats.
“I am really pleased with Hope McLemore,” head coach Mike Larabee said. “I thought she was in command. She did a great job keeping batters off-balance. Cohen came in with the bases loaded and she stayed tough and got the job done. McLemore gave a talk to our team last night and today she walked the talk.”
The Razorbacks benefited from three homeruns in the game after hitting two in game one. Clarisa Navarro belted a two-run homer in the third inning. Jennifer Rambo crushed her fourth homerun in her last four games against the Wildcats in the fourth inning and freshman Nicole Schroeder skied a ball over the fence in the sixth.
“Clarisa Navarro got us going,” Larabee said. “Then Jennifer Rambo, the wildcat killer, hit a bomb. Then Nicole Schroeder hit one out to right-center. It was nice to see her get in hitter’s counts today. She is much better when she is not down in the count.”
McLemore came out of the gate strong and worked a 1-2-3 first inning. She struck out Alice O’ Brien and Lauren Cumbess in the top of the first.
She retired her fourth straight batter to start the second, but walked Nikki Sagermann with one out. However, she battled back and struck out Ansley Smith in the next at-bat. Two batters later she got Christian Stokes to chase a changeup and retired the side.