Balanced Hitting, Pitching Help Softball Sweep LIU, Oregon State
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – University of Kentucky junior outfielder Sylver Samuel posted five hits on the day, including a 4-for-4 showing against LIU Brooklin, while the Wildcat offense scored 11 runs in the two games combined on 20 hits, propelling No. 9 Kentucky to a sweep of LIU Brooklyn and Oregon State on Friday at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
Kentucky (10-2) started the day with a 5-3 victory over LIU Brooklyn before taking down Oregon State, who has received votes in both national rankings, 6-5 to pick up its 10th win of the season. Kentucky will conclude action in the event Saturday vs. No. 3 Oklahoma at 8:30 p.m. ET before facing San Diego State at 11 p.m. ET. Live stats from both games will be available online at UKathletics.com.
Sophomore pitcher Meagan Prince picked up the win for Kentucky against the Blackbirds, throwing the final 5.2 innings in the circle. The native of Martin, Tenn., did not allow a run in the game, but gave up four hits with five strikeouts. The win moved Prince to 5-2 on the season. Fellow sophomore Shannon Smith started the game and allowed three runs – one earned – on two hits in 1.1 innings pitched.
Offensively, Samuel and senior catcher Griffin Joiner were the stars. Samuel went 4-for-4 in the game with two runs scored, while Joiner was 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored. Joiner hit her third home run of the season in the game to tie the score 3-3 in the second inning before Kentucky added a run in the fifth and sixth innings to seal the victory. Junior infielder Nikki Sagermann was 1-for-4 in the game with an RBI, while freshman Rachael Metzger hit her first home run of the season in a 1-for-3 outing.
LIU Brooklyn tossed Shelley Procter in the circle, who went six innings allowing five earned runs on 13 hits with two strikeouts. Offensively, LIU was paced by Lauren Morizi, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Junior pitcher Kelsey Nunley earned the win over Oregon State, going the distance with five earned runs allowed on 10 hits. The native of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., had five strikeouts in the game to get the win, which improved her record to 4-0 this season.
Five different Wildcats recorded RBI against the Beavers, including an RBI double by Joiner, which was her fourth two-bagger of the year. Junior Christian Stokes, Samuel and Sagermann each went 1-for-2 in the game with a run scored and RBI, while the fifth RBI came from freshman Brooklyn Hinz, who had an RBI groundout. Juniors Maisie Steed and Ansley Smith also had hits and scored a run, while senior Kara Howard went 1-for-3.
The Beavers tossed Beverly Miller, who picked up the loss to move to 4-4 on the season. Miller went all six innings for OSU, allowing six runs – five earned – on seven hits with five strikeouts. Offensively, Ya Garcia was 2-for-4 with a run scored, while McKenna Arriola went 2-for-4 with a RBI and Sammi Noland 2-for-3 with an RBI.
The Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic is one of the largest and most competitive Division I softball tournaments outside of the NCAA and Southeastern Conference tournament. This year's event features 35 teams, including 18 that made last season's NCAA tournament and three of the eight Women's College World Series teams. The entire tournament is held at Big League Dreams Park across five fields. This is Kentucky’s first year to play in the event.
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