The University of Central Arkansas pitching staff shut down Arkansas-Pine Bluff en route to a double-header sweep on Wednesday at Farris Field. The Bears (3-2) had a 14-strikeout, five-hits allowed performance from freshman Kelsie Armstrong in a 4-1 victory in the opener. Three UCA pitchers combined for a one-hit, 9-0, five-inning shutout in the nightcap.
In game one, the Bears took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when senior left fielder Sarah Garcia led off with a double and scored on a single up the middle by senior second baseman Rachel Baucom. Junior designated player Shayleen Ristau made the game 3-0 in the third when she crushed a two-run homer over the center field fence. Ristau also drove in sophomore firstbaseman Kasey Britt on a base hit in the fifth to give UCA a 4-0 lead.
An error and a RBI-single from third baseman Stephanie Tubby led to UAPB’s only run of the day in the top of the sixth inning.
Ristau went 2-for-3 with three runs batted in, while Britt was 2-for-2 with a walk and two doubles to lead the UCA offense. Pitcher Ce Ce Kolesar was 2-for-2 with a double for the Lady Lions.
Armstrong (2-1), a native of Hot Springs, tied for the second most strikeouts in UCA history, and was two shy of teammate Holli Hill’s record of 16 set last year. Kolesar (0-1) gave up seven hits, four walks and struck out two in six innings.
In game two, sophomore Kelley Martino (1-0), freshman Bradie Baker and sophomore Cassidy Rash combined to strike out five batters and allow just one hit in seven innings. UAPB starter Heather Leigh (0-1) gave up six hits, six earned runs, two walks and recorded a strikeout in two innings. Kolesar limited UCA to one hit in two innings of relief.
The Bears got off to a fast start, scoring three in the first inning when freshman catcher Melanie Bryant was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Baucom followed with a two-run double to left field. UCA made the game 4-0 in the second when freshman shortstop Preslie Long led off by being hit and scored after an error and a base hit by Ristau.
UCA crossed the plate five times in the third inning, taking advantage of three hits and three UAPB errors. Sophomore Paige Burke, freshman Candice Gauntt, freshman Lindsey Barsoum and Ristau had an RBI each during the inning.
Seven different players had one hit each for the Bears. First baseman Misti Cosby was responsible for UAPB’s only hit.
UCA will travel to Waco, Texas this weekend to take part in the QTI Invitational hosted by Baylor. The Bears first game will be on Friday against UTEP at 10 a.m.