Blossoms lose pitching duel

MONTICELLO — Central Arkansas pitcher Kelsie Armstrong struck out 18 batters to lead the Bears past the Arkansas-Monticello softball team 2-1 on Wednesday at Farris Field.

Armstrong faced just three over the minimum number of batters and allowed just one unearned run in the top of the seventh, while UAM freshman starter Katie Slaughter kept UCA to two runs off six hits with one strikeout and no walks in her complete-game losing effort.

UCA (29-15) scored both of its runs in the bottom of the sixth on a solo homerun from Amy Gunnells and an RBI single from Lissa Avitia. UAM (26-21) responded in the bottom of the seventh and finalized the scoring on an RBI single from senior Maggie Sands to score junior Hannah Pendley, who led off the inning with a single and moved into scoring position on error by the UCA left fielder.

Armstrong earned the win an improved to 22-9 on the season, while Slaughter fell to 13-8. Armstrong retired UAM in order in the second through the sixth innings. Slaughter tossed three perfect innings.

The Cotton Blossoms close the regular season this weekend on the road against Southwestern Oklahoma State for a four-game Great American Conference series. The first double-header is set for Saturday at noon.