Arkansas (24-10, 5-5) took the first game of its SEC series against No. 18 Kentucky (21-12, 6-4) with a 1-0 win in a pitching showdown.
Junior pitcher Autumn Storms tossed a complete-game shutout, recording six strikeouts to pick up her 12th win of the season.
Kentucky’s pitcher Grace Baalman also pitched a complete game, sitting down nine Hogs on strikes in the defensive battle. Both teams left six runners on base and struggled offensively due to solid pitching performances.
The Wildcats started out the top of the sixth with a base hit up the middle, but sophomore catcher Kayla Green made a phenomenal throw, stopping Kentucky’s runner from stealing second. Arkansas allowed two more Wildcats to reach base, but Storms battled through the pressure by striking out the next hitter to finish the inning and hold the lead for the Hogs.
In her first game returning from injury, sophomore designated player Danielle Gibson connected with the first pitch for a solo homer over the right-field fence.
Gibson was a difference maker in the lineup and had the potential to change the game, coach Courtney Deifel said.
The first pitch of the second game is scheduled for 1 p.m. March 30 at Bogle Park as the Hogs look to clinch the series.