Stokes HR, Rethlake's First Win Lift Softball in Home Opener
March 11, 2015
By: Chris McChesney | UK Media Relations
LEXINGTON, Ky. - University of Kentucky junior shortstop Christian Stokes hit her fourth home run of the season in the bottom of the fifth inning, breaking a scoreless tie and leading No. 12 Kentucky to a 2-0 victory against EKU on Wednesday in Kentucky's 2015 home opener at John Cropp Stadium.
Kentucky (15-5) starter Meagan Prince held EKU hitless for the first three innings before running into trouble in the fourth inning, allowing a double to centerfield Paige Murphy and a single to leftfielder Sarah Fobbs, leaving two runners in scoring position with zero outs. Prince bounced back by getting Shannon McQueen to ground out and forced Kayla Joyce to ground into a fielder's choice where Murphy was thrown out at home. The sophomore hurler followed the fielder's choice by striking out infielder Johnkyria Alston to keep EKU scoreless.
Prince, starting her eighth game of the season, finished with four innings pitched, allowed two hits, one walk and zero runs allowed to go along with three strikeouts, lowering her ERA to 2.54 for the season.
Kentucky left multiple runners on base on three separate occasions, the first inning, third inning and fourth inning, before Stokes finally broke the tie with her solo homerun in the fifth inning. The native of Chesterfield, S.C., is tied for the team lead in home runs this season.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Kentucky was able to add an insurance run when freshmen outfielder Brooklin Hinz doubled to score Maisie Steed, who reached base on a bunt single.
Junior centerfielder Sylver Samuel led Kentucky with two hits, going 2-for-3. The native of Simpsonville, S.C, also had a stolen base in the game, raising her team leading total to 10. Samuel has 51 stolen bases in her career at UK, which ranks seventh most all-time in school history.
Kentucky freshmen pitcher Erin Rethlake picked up the first win of her career, replacing Prince in the fifth inning and finishing with three innings pitched, allowing three hits, zero walks and recording three strikeouts.
EKU (9-12) started Leanna Pittsenbarger in the circle, who went 5.1 innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits with four strikeouts. Pittsenbarger was replaced with one out in the sixth inning by Shaylon Robb, who recorded the final two outs of the inning.
Kentucky continues its first homestead of the season Saturday when it hosts Ohio University for a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. ET. 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.
For the latest on UK softball, follow @UKSoftball on Twitter and Instagram, or like Kentucky Softball on Facebook.
Kentucky - No. 14 in NFCA/USA Today Top 25; No. 12 in ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25
Wednesday, March 11
Kentucky def. EKU 2-0