Schaper’s Homer, Nunley’s One-Hitter Pace Kentucky Past Arkansas
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Freshman catcher Jenny Schaper hit her first career home run in the top of the second inning as part of an offensive explosion by the No. 12 Kentucky offense which helped lead the Wildcats to a 9-0 win over the Arkansas Razorbacks to open a three-game Southeastern Conference set in Fayetteville.
With Friday’s win, Kentucky improves to 28-4 overall on the season and 6-1 in SEC play, already marking more conference wins than the Wildcats had all of 2015 just three weekends into conference play. The Razorbacks fall to 13-17 overall and 0-4 in the SEC.
Kentucky scored at least one run in every inning but the first, to claim a 9-0 lead after five and end the game after 15 outs for the 10th time this season.
Senior pitcher Kelsey Nunley scored the win for UK in the circle, moving her record to 12-2 on the season and 4-1 in the SEC so far this season. Nunley tied her career high in strikeouts with 12 on the day and only allowed only one hit after retiring the first nine batters to start the game in a row – all by strikeout. The Soddy Daisy, Tenn., native did not walk a batter in the game, and threw 71 pitches with 59 of them recorded for strikes.
Saturday’s game will be televised nationally on the SEC Network with Troy Benders and Jenny Dalton-Hill calling the action at 2 p.m. ET before a 1 p.m. ET series finale on Sunday.
One. Kelsey Nunley allowed just one batter to reach base on Friday, which came in the bottom of the fourth inning off of a double to the wall in center field. Nunley retired the first nine batters in order – all by strikeout – and that was the only baserunner the Razorbacks had all afternoon.
Jenny Schaper’s two-run homer in the top of the second made it a 4-0 ballgame, and put it out of reach for UK on her first-career homer. Schaper stepped to the plate with Brooklin Hinz on base and drove one out to left.
Nikki Sagermann was the key player in the game, going 2-for-2 and also adding in a walk, scoring the eventual game-winning run. Sagermann had UK’s first hit in the game with a hard-hit rope up the middle and came around to score on an RBI double by Breanne Ray.
Sagermann singled with one out in the top of the second to get the rally for UK going. Brooklin Hinz then doubled to the wall in left center to put runners at second and third with one out for Breanne Ray. The junior roped a double into rightcenter field, scoring two and putting the Wildcats up 2-0. Freshman Jenny Schaper then homered to left to score Ray and make it 4-0 after two innings. UK 4, ARK 0
In the third, Abbey Cheek doubled to the wall in center with two outs, and was brought home on a single by Sagermann. UK 5, ARK 0
Kentucky would plate two in the fourth – with all runs coming with two outs in the inning. Christian Stokes and Maisie Steed both walked and then came around to score on a pinch-hit RBI double by Kelsey Nunley to the wall in center. UK 7, ARK 0
The Wildcats scored twice in the fifth inning after a lead-off walk to Sagermann and a single by Hinz got things going for the UK offense. An RBI single by Erin Rethlake scored Hannah Huffman, who was pinch running for Sagermann – and that made it 8-0. Freshman Sarah Rainwater, who was running for Hinz, scored on an RBI groundout to short by Stokes. FINAL – No. 12 Kentucky 9, Arkansas 0
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