Joiner, Samuel Earn Multi-RBI Games as Softball Defeats SFU
March 21, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. - University of Kentucky junior catcher Griffin Joiner went 3-for-3 with four runs batted in, while sophomore outfielder Sylver Samuel earned two hits and the first two RBI of her career, leading No. 8 Kentucky to a 10-2 victory over Saint Francis on Friday night as part of the Kentucky Tournament at John Cropp Stadium.
The win was the second of the day for Kentucky (24-4) after the Wildcats defeated Kent State 9-2 earlier in the day. The Wildcats, who are in the midst of a 15-game home stretch, have won five games in a row, tying the second longest winning streak of the season for UK. Kentucky's 24 wins in its first 28 games is the most in school history.
The Kentucky Tournament, which is a 13-game, three-day event, features Kentucky, Fairfield, Kansas, Kent State and Saint Francis (Pa.). The action continues Saturday at 10 a.m. with Kent State and Fairfield, followed by Kent State and Saint Francis at Noon and Kentucky and Fairfield at 2 p.m. Kansas and Saint Francis play at 4 p.m. on Saturday, while UK concludes the day with a 6 p.m. battle against Kansas. On Sunday, Fairfield and Saint Francis start the day with a 10 a.m. game, before UK plays a doubleheader against Kansas and Kent State starting at Noon.
Live stats from every game will be available on UKathletics.com, while live video streaming (subscription required) for UK's games will also be available. Full results for day one of the event are below.
Joiner and Samuel were the stars for Kentucky offensively, with each posting multi-RBI games. Joiner led UK by going 3-for-3 with four RBI and two runs scored, including her eighth home run of the season. Samuel went 2-for-3 in the game with the first two RBI of her career, including an RBI double, while seniors Emily Gaines and Lauren Cumbess each had two hits with Gaines adding an RBI. Sophomore Maisie Steed had two doubles in the game, while senior Krystal Smith had a single and RBI, and sophomore Christian Stokes had a hit and two runs scored.
Freshman pitcher Shannon Smith started in the circle with three innings pitched, allowing two runs on two hits with three strikeouts. The rookie hurler earned a no-decision in the game after sophomore pitcher Kelsey Nunley replaced her to start the fourth inning, throwing the final three innings of the game, allowing no runs on one hit with four strikeouts. The win moves Nunley to 9-2 on the season.
Saint Francis (14-5) had three hits in the game, getting singles from Davina Kachnovitz and Samantha Thomas, while Sabrie Neeb had an RBI double. SFU started Alexis Bower, who threw four innings, allowing eight runs - seven earned - on 10 hits with two strikeouts, while Ketarah DeVries threw the final two innings, allowing two earned runs on three hits.
The Wildcats scored a run in the first inning and two more in the second inning before a five-run fourth innings broke the game open for Kentucky. Stokes started the fifth inning with a walk, moving to second when Ansley Smith was hit by a pitch. After a RBI single from Samuel put UK up 4-2, Joiner lined a single through the left side of the infield to give UK a 6-2 lead. After a foul out for the first out of the inning, Gaines ripped a double to right field, allowing Joiner to move to third and eventually score on a throwing error by the SFU right fielder. Sophomore Nikki Sagermann gave UK an 8-2 lead with a sacrifice fly.
Kentucky added two more runs in the sixth inning to seal the win, getting a solo home run by Joiner and RBI single by Gaines.
For the latest on UK softball, follow "@UKSoftball" on Twitter and Instagram or like Kentucky Softball on Facebook.
Kent State 12-11
Saint Francis 14-5
Kentucky - No. 10 in ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25; No. 8 in NFCA/USA Today Top 25
Fairfield - Not ranked
Kansas - Not ranked
Kent State - Not ranked
Saint Francis - Not ranked
Friday, March 21
Kansas def. Kent State 6-2
Kansas def. Fairfield 6-4
Kentucky def. Kent State 9-2
St. Francis def. Fairfield 6-5
Kentucky def. St. Francis 10-2
Saturday, March 22
Kent State vs. Fairfield - 10 a.m. ET - Live Stats
Kent State vs. St. Francis - Noon ET - Live Stats
Kentucky vs. Fairfield - 2 p.m. ET - Live Stats
Kansas vs. St. Francis - 4 p.m. ET - Live Stats
Kansas vs. Kentucky - 6 p.m. ET - Live Stats - Live Video (subscription required)
Sunday, March 23
Fairfield vs. St. Francis - 10 a.m. ET - Live Stats
Kentucky vs. Kansas - Noon ET - Live Stats - Live Video (subscription required)
Kentucky vs. Kent State - 2 p.m. ET - Live Stats - Live Video (subscription required)
Home team in bold
Admission to every game this weekend at John Cropp Stadium is free of charge.
The entire UK team will sign autographs following the day's last game on Saturday and Sunday.