A. Smith Homers as No. 9 Softball Drops Series at No. 20 Texas A&M
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Junior infielder Ansley Smith launched her second home run of the season in the second inning, but it wasn't enough for No. 9 Kentucky as No. 20 Texas A&M posted four runs in the third inning to earn a series-clinching 6-3 victory on Saturday at the Aggie Softball Complex.
The three-game series concludes Sunday with a 1 p.m. ET series finale. The game will be televised live on the SEC Network and available through WatchESPN. Texas A&M has won each of the first two games of the series, including a 3-0 walk-off victory on Friday. The Aggies lead the all-time series between the two teams, 3-2.
The score went back and forth until the third inning when the Aggies rallied for four runs in the bottom of the frame to take control of the game. The inning started with UK turning to sophomore pitcher Meagan Prince in the circle after true freshman Erin Rethlake had started the game and allowed two runs in the first two innings.
Prince allowed a hit-by-pitch, single and walk to start the inning, loading the bases with no outs. It appeared UK was going to get out of trouble when Prince started a 1-2-3 double play, but the Aggies answered with a walk and single to take a 3-2 lead. With the bases loaded and two outs, TAMU turned to Breanna Dozier to pinch hit, prompting UK head coach Rachel Lawson to bring Rethlake back in to pitch. Dozier answered the call by looping a doubled into leftfield to clear the bases and put the Aggies up 6-2.
Prince received the loss in the circle, going 0.2 innings allowing four earned runs on two hits with two walks. Rethlake tossed the other 5.1 innings in the game, allowing five hits and two runs - only one earned - with four strikeouts and three walks. Rethlake is yet to have a decision this season, sitting 0-0, while Prince moves to 7-3.
Offensively for Kentucky, Smith was the leader, going 2-for-3 with a home run and a double. Smith launched her second home run of the season in the second inning, working a 0-2 count to a full count before hammering a bomb over the leftfield fence. In the seventh inning, sophomore Breanne Ray hit a leadoff double to left-centerfield before Smith hit a line drive to the wall to score a run. Junior Nikki Sagermann recorded an RBI in the game, while Christian Stokes, Rachael Metzger and Maisie Steed each had hits.
The Aggies turned to Rachel Fox in the circle for the second straight day after she picked up her 11th win in Friday's walk-off victory. Fox tossed all seven innings to earn the win on Saturday, allowing three earned runs on seven hits with one walk and six strikeouts. For the series, Fox has tossed 15 innings allowing nine hits with 15 strikeouts.
Offensively, A&M got a 2-for-2 day from Kristen Cuyos, while Dozier was 2-for-2 with three RBI and Cali Lanphear and Brittany Clopton also recorded RBI in the game.
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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