Nunley Sparkles as Kentucky Sweeps No. 8 LSU in Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE, La. – Hours after being named the Southeastern Conference’s Pitcher of the Week, senior pitcher Kelsey Nunley sparkled again in the circle, throwing a complete-game shutout, her second of the series, to cap off a road sweep of the No. 8 LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge, La., for the first time in program history as the Wildcats downed LSU 2-0 on Monday night.
The 15th-ranked Wildcats came into Baton Rouge over the weekend and shutout the No. 8 team in the country on the road for three-straight games – marking the first time in program history that Kentucky has ever shutout a team in an SEC series.
Nunley was nothing short of sensational in the circle, going the full seven innings in 138 pitches, allowing just two four hits and striking out two. The Soddy Daisy, Tenn., native now has a 15-4 record on the season and improved her candidacy for the Senior CLASS Award, which fans can go on and vote at SeniorClassAward.com.
Kentucky moves to 34-8 on the year overall and sits at 11-4 overall in SEC, just one game out of first place in the conference. No. 8 LSU falls to 29-12 in 2016 and sits at 5-10 in the league.
UK’s season continues on Wednesday night at John Cropp Stadium in Lexington, Ky. The Wildcats will host the Eastern Kentucky Colonels out of the Ohio Valley Conference at 6 p.m. ET. Due to the baseball game being rescheduled with Louisville – there will be no television or online video streaming of the game. Kentucky returns to SEC play on Friday in a series opener against No. 16 Missouri at 6 p.m. ET.
Three. Kentucky’s pitching staff recorded its third-straight shutout on Monday night of the No. 8 LSU Tigers. The three-straight shutouts mark the first time in program history that Kentucky has ever held an SEC opponent scoreless in a three-game series. The previous low was two runs in the 2014 series against Mississippi State.
In the bottom of the sixth with two outs and the bases loaded for LSU, Kelsey Nunley got Tigers’ designated player Allie Walljasper to strikeout swinging on a change-up to end the inning. It was the first time all game that LSU had a runner on second base.
Nikki Sagermann was the key player in the game, scoring the eventual game-winning run in the most unusual of ways – scoring from third on a walk to Abbey Cheek and coming home after time was not recognized by the home plate umpire, and the LSU battery went to the circle, with Sagermann stealing home.
In the top of the third inning, Kentucky scored both of its runs. Nikki Sagermann and Brooklin Hinz both drew two-out walks to get the rally going for the UK offense. Then right fielder Abbey Cheek walked on five pitches, and Nikki Sagermann scampered home from third after the LSU battery went out to the circle to talk – and time was not called. That was the game-winning run it turned out – and Breanne Ray drove in another run on a first-pitch RBI single to right field to score Hinz from third. FINAL – No. 15 Kentucky 2, No. 8 LSU 0
For the latest on the Kentucky softball team, follow @UKSoftball on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com.