No. 9 Softball Drops SEC Opener in Extras at No. 20 Texas A&M
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Junior pitcher Kelsey Nunley recorded a season-high tying seven strikeouts in the circle and kept No. 20 Texas A&M scoreless for 7.2 innings, but a three-run walk-off home run by infielder April Ryan in the eighth inning paced the highly ranked Aggies to a 3-0 victory on Friday night in No. 9 Kentucky's Southeastern Conference opener.
The three-game series at the Aggie Softball Complex in College Station, Texas, continues on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET before a 1 p.m. ET series finale on Sunday. Both games will be available through WatchESPN on the SECNetwork+, while Sunday's game will be televised live on the SEC Network. Sunday's game is also available through WatchESPN.
Both teams were limited offensively in the game with UK only recording two singles and the Aggies only six hits. Texas A&M started the eighth inning with the top of the order up and Brittany Clopton delivered with a double to leftfield. After Nunley got Alex Masek to pop up on a bunt attempt for the first out, UK intentionally walked Tori Valdales, who went 2-for-3 in the game, to put two runners on for Cali Lanphear, who struck out for the second out. That set the stage for Ryan, who hit a two-strike pitch over the wall in rightfield for her fourth roundtripper of the season.
The loss went to Nunley in the circle, who tossed 7.2 innings with three earned runs allowed on six hits with seven strikeouts and three walks. Nunley is now 5-2 on the season. Offensively, junior outfielder Sylver Samuel and freshman outfielder Brooklin Hinz recorded UK's lone hits with singles. Samuel extended her season-best hitting streak to four games, while she has reached base safely in 12 straight games. The Wildcats drew three walks with junior infielder Ansley Smith drawing two base on balls and junior infielder Nikki Sagermann receiving the other free pass.
Texas A&M (18-4) tossed Rachel Fox in the circle, who tossed eight scoreless innings with two hits allowed and nine strikeouts with three walks. Fox is now 11-3 on the season. Ryan paced the A&M offense with the three-run home run, while Nunley scattered six TAMU hits throughout the game to keep the game scoreless into extra innings.
Kentucky will open its 2015 home schedule on March 11 against EKU. Season tickets for the 2015 season are on sale now for $35 per seat and are general admission tickets (no reserved seating). Season tickets include all regular-season home games, including four three-game home sets in SEC play against LSU, Alabama, South Carolina and Georgia
Tickets are available by calling the UK Ticket Office at 1-800-928-2287, in person at the Joe Craft Center Ticket Office or online at www.ukathletics.com/tickets. Single-game tickets are on sale now and are $5 for adults, $2 for seniors (ages 65 or older) and youth (ages 6-18) while children ages five and under will be admitted free of charge.
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