SEARCY - Harding freshman Autumn Humes doubled twice and pitched her second no-hitter of the season in the Lady Bisons' 8-0 victory over Missouri Western State on Thursday in both teams' opening game at the NCAA Division II Central Region 1 Tournament. The game ended in the fifth inning due to the NCAA's 8-run rule.
The tournament's No. 1 seed, Harding (55-6) advanced to meet Southern Arkansas in the winner's bracket Friday at 11 a.m. Southern Arkansas defeated Winona State 5-0 in the tournament's opening game.
Missouri Western, the No. 8 seed and now 38-19, will play Winona State in the loser's bracket at 1:30 p.m.
Humes doubled in the first inning to drive in Courtney Derrick with the only run Harding needed. The Lady Bisons added three more runs in the third with Alexus Lawellin scoring two on a single to left, and Amanda Berdon accounting for the other run with a single to center that plated Lawellin.
Humes (31-1) had six strikeouts over five innings. The only baserunner she allowed came on a 3-2 walk to Kailey Green in the top of the fifth. Humes retired the first 13 hitters she faced prior to the walk.
Humes' 31 wins are the most by a Division II freshman since Kirsten Frame of Rollins won 31 in 2010. It also tied the record for the most wins by a Great American Conference pitcher, matching the 31 victories of Kayla Jackson of Arkansas-Monticello in 2012.
Humes first no-hitter was a five-inning perfect game against Ouachita Baptist on March 13.