The University of Kentucky softball team’s historic start to the 2016 season continued to build momentum Friday.
Senior pitcher Kelsey Nunley matched her career high by striking out 12 batters in throwing a one-hitter as the 12th-ranked Wildcats blanked Arkansas 9-0 at Fayetteville, Ark.
The victory was the fifth in a row and 12th in 13 games for Kentucky, which is off to its best-ever start at 28-4. The Wildcats, at 6-1 in the Southeastern Conference, already have more league wins this season than they did all of last season. Arkansas fell to 13-17 overall and 0-4 in the SEC.
Freshman Jenny Schaper jumpstarted UK’s three-game series in Fayetteville with her first career home run, a two-run shot in the second inning Friday that extended the Cats’ lead to 4-0
Nikki Sagermann went 2-for-2 for Kentucky, also adding a walk and scoring the eventual winning run.
Kentucky scored at least one run in every inning but the first, to claim a 9-0 lead after five and end the game by mercy rule for the 10th time this season.
Nunley (12-2) struck out Arkansas’ first nine batters. The Soddy Daisy, Tenn., native did not walk a batter, and threw 71 pitches with 59 of them recorded for strikes. The Razorbacks’ only hit was a double by Shelby Hiers in the fourth inning.
Kentucky at Arkansas
2 p.m. (SEC Network)