Nunley Hurls No-Hitter; Carroll, Smith Homer as UK Wins SEC Opener
March 7, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. - University of Kentucky sophomore pitcher Kelsey Nunley tossed her second no-hitter of the season, while senior outfielder Ginny Carroll and sophomore infielder Ansley Smith provided the offense with home runs, as No. 8/10 Kentucky started Southeastern Conference play with a 4-0 victory over Mississippi State on Friday night at the MSU Softball Field in Starkville, Miss.
Nunley, who tossed her first career no-hitter in UK's season opener against Santa Clara in February, was dominate in the win for Kentucky (17-2), throwing seven scoreless innings with no hits allowed and six strikeouts. The native of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., allowed five base runners to reach, walking four and hitting a batter. Nunley moves to 6-1 on the year with a 2.23 ERA, striking out 50 in 60.2 innings pitched.
The no-hitter is the 12th in school history for Kentucky as Nunley becomes the third player in program history to have two or more career no-hitters. The win is the 33rd in Nunley's short career at Kentucky, moving her into fourth place on UK's all-time wins list. Nunley's gem is the third no-hitter of the year for Kentucky after senior Lauren Cumbess tossed her second career no-hitter on Feb. 14 against Louisiana Tech.
Offensively, UK was paced by Carroll, who went 2-for-3 with her third home run of the season. The native of Hendersonville, Tenn., got UK's first hit in the game with a single in the fourth inning and followed that at-bat with her solo homer in the sixth. Ansley Smith went 1-for-3 in the game with her second homer of the season and two RBI, while junior catcher Griffin Joiner was 1-for-3 with a single and sophomore Maisie Steed was 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Mississippi State (19-3) started Alison Owen in the circle with the senior throwing seven innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits with 10 strikeouts. Entering the game, the MSU pitching staff had allowed only four home runs with UK launching two roundtrippers in the series opener.
The three-game series continues Saturday with a 2 p.m. ET first pitch before the finale on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. Live stats from all three games will be available on UKathletics.com, while live video streaming for every game will be available at through hailstate.com (subscription required).
Kentucky started the scoring in the fourth inning with two runs on two hits after entering the inning hitless. Christian Stokes started the inning by hitting a high drive to centerfield that was caught at the wall before Carroll singled through the left side of the infield to get a rally started. Ansley Smith, who was hitting third in the batting order for the first time in her career, put UK up with her second homer of the season, blasting a line drive down the leftfield line. A pop up and strikeout ended the inning for Mississippi State.
The Wildcats added two insurance runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Carroll provided the power in the sixth, belting a two-out, solo shot over the wall in centerfield to put UK up 3-0. Steed gave UK a four-run lead in the final frame with a two-out RBI single that scored Sarah Frazer, who was running for Joiner, who started the inning with a single.
Ansley Smith on Two-Run Homer, Win
Mississippi State 19-3
Kentucky - No. 10 in ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25; No. 8 in NFCA/USA Today Top 25
Mississippi State - receiving votes in ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 and NFCA/USA Today Top 25
Friday, March 7
Kentucky def. Mississippi State 4-0