Prince, Hinz Lead Kentucky to 10-7 Win Over No. 25 Notre Dame


TEMPE, Ariz. – With six runs in the bottom of the third inning and the pitching of Martin, Tenn., native Meagan Prince, the No. 18/17 Kentucky softball team powered past the No. 25 Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Friday night in Opening Day action at the 2016 Kajikawa Classic in Tempe.

Sophomore Brooklin Hinz, senior Nikki Sagermann and freshman Katie Reed all had two hits in the game, while Reed, in her collegiate debut, scored three runs to lead the Wildcats in that category. 

Prince, who picked up the win on Friday night, went 5.2 innings allowing only two earned runs on six hits while recording three strikeouts. Shannon Smith came on in the bottom of the sixth inning, going 1.1 innings and striking out four. 

Key Stat
The key stat in the game was 3-for-6, which was the combined performances for Kentucky’s freshman at the plate on Friday night. Reed, Abbey Cheek and Jenny Schaper – whom were all in the starting lineup – were responsible for four runs scored, four RBI, two doubles, two walks and three hits. 

Key Play
Sophomore Brooklin Hinz’s three-run home run in the bottom of the third inning broke things open for Kentucky to break a 2-2 tie. Cheek led off the inning with a double to deep centerfield before Ansley Smith walked to put two on with one out. Hinz then unloaded on a pitch to deep leftfield to give Kentucky a 5-2 lead at the time. 

Key Player
Katie Reed went 2-for-2 on the night in her collegiate debut – collecting a double and a single, scoring three runs, drawing two walks and driving in a run. 

Run Recap
Notre Dame scored two runs in the top of the first after back-to-back defensive miscues put two runners on to start the inning. The Irish first basemen Micaele Arizmendi would drive in one run before Prince walked in the second run. ND 2, UK 0

Kentucky responded with two in the bottom of the first as Cheek – in her first collegiate plate appearance – came to the dish with the bases loaded and no outs. Cheek would advance to first on an error, scoring Maisie Steed from third who singled to lead off the inning. An Ansley Smith sacrifice fly would tie the game at 2-2 after one. UK 2, ND 2

UK would score six runs in the bottom of the third inning. Hinz homered to deep leftfield after Cheek doubled to lead off the inning, and A. Smith walked. Reed was walked with the bases loaded, scoring Erin Rethlake, who got on base via a HBP. Senior Nikki Sagermann came to the plate and drove in Sarah Rainwater from third while Steed was cut down going for home. UK 8, ND 2

Notre Dame got two back in the fifth inning after a lead-off double and single with nobody out. After a HBP loaded the bases with nobody out – Prince got out of the jam only allowing two runs after a Caitlyn Brooks two-out double down the rightfield line. UK 8, ND 4

Kentucky would take those two runs right back in the bottom of the frame, as Sagermann drove in Reed – who led off the inning with a double that appeared to be a homer at first glance. Sagermann then was able to run to get to third base after a throwing error – and was brought home on Cheek’s sacrifice fly. UK 10, ND 4

In the top of the seventh, the Fighting Irish would tack on three runs after a collection of walks put runners on before Caitlyn Brooks launched a three-run homer. Prince re-entered the circle to make the final two outs of the game. FINAL – Kentucky 10, Notre Dame 7

For the latest on the Kentucky softball team, follow @UKSoftball on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com.