Cumbess' Bomb, Nunley's Pitching Gives UK Win vs. No. 16 UW
Feb. 15, 2013
SAN DIEGO - Behind another strong pitching effort from true freshman Kelsey Nunley, who went six innings, allowing one run on six hits, and a two-run first innings homer from junior pitcher/infielder Lauren Cumbess, the No. 22/24 University of Kentucky softball team took down its third ranked opponent of the season, defeating No. 16/18 Washington 3-2 on Friday. The game was played as part of the 23rd Campbell/Cartier Classic in San Diego.
The win for Kentucky (7-2) was its third of the season against a ranked foe and the 34th over a top-25 team under head coach Rachel Lawson. UK started the season with a win over then-No. 3 Cal before taking down No. 20 Stanford in the final game of the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. The win over Washington on Friday improved UK's all-time record against the Huskies to 2-0.
Nunley was again terrific for the second consecutive game for the Wildcats. After throwing a complete game shutout last night against host San Diego State, who is receiving votes one poll, the freshman returned to the mount Friday afternoon to face another quality opponent in Washington. The native of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., silenced UW's bats in the first four innings before giving up a run in the fifth inning. Nunley would be relieved by junior Ellen Weaver in the fifth inning before returning to the mound for a quiet seventh inning to clinch the victory.
In the circle, Nunley went six innings, allowing one run - none earned - on six hits with three strikeouts. On the season, Nunley is 5-0 with a team-low 1.62 ERA. In her four starts, Nunley has thrown 25 innings, allowing only three runs - two earned - while striking out 27 and walking seven.
UK also got several solid performances at the plate against UW, led by Cumbess, who launched her second homer of the season in the first inning. After two quick outs to start the inning, senior Alice O'Brien walked, bringing up Cumbess, who blasted the second pitch she saw over the bleachers in left field for a two-run homer.
Cumbess, who is now on a three-game hitting streak, finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. On the season, Cumbess leads the team in batting average with a .400 (12-for-30) mark with two doubles, two homers and eight RBI. Junior Krystal Smith also had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-3, while senior Kara Dill had a hit and RBI and freshmen Christian Stokes and Sylver Samuel also gathered a hit.
UK increased its lead to 3-0 in the top of the fifth inning after Samuel started the inning with a bunt single. Samuel then stole second before Dill singled up the middle, scoring Samuel and giving UK the three-run lead.
Washington closed the gap in each of the next two innings, getting runs in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings. The bottom of the fifth started smooth for Nunley, who got the first batter to line out but would drop a foul ball during the next at bat extending the at bat and lead to a double by Shawna Wright. Kimberlee Souza then grounded out, advancing the runner to third before Jennie McNeill hit an infield single to put runners on the corners. Victoria Hayward then hit a soft liner that feel into right field to score a run and make it a 3-1 UK lead.
Washington's second run came in the sixth inning after Coach Lawson went to the bullpen and brought in junior pitcher Ellen Weaver. Weaver got the first batter to pop up before walking the second batter and giving up a single to put runners on the corners with one out. Hooch Fagaly then hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Washington's final run of the game.
Nunley reentered in the seventh inning, allowing a single before striking out a pinch hitter to end the game and seal the UK victory.
The Wildcats will conclude play in the event Saturday with a doubleheader, starting with UC-Riverside at Noon ET and ending with No. 1/2 Oklahoma at 4:30 p.m. ET. Live scores will be available on UKathletics.com.
Kentucky will play host to the SEC Tournament this season for the first time in school history. The event, which is considered one of the most prestigious softball tournaments in the nation, will be May 8-11 in Lexington. The championship game will be featured on ESPN2, while all other games will be shown on ESPNU. Ticket information for the tournament will be released soon on UKathletics.com.
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