Samuel's Three-Hit Game Lifts No. 8 Softball Past Kansas, 4-2
March 22, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. - University of Kentucky sophomore outfielder Sylver Samuel extended her hitting streak to a career-best six games, collecting three hits and a run batted in, while senior pitcher/infielder Lauren Cumbess had a two-run double and sophomore Maisie Steed a solo home run, lifting No. 8 Kentucky to a 4-2 victory over Kansas on Saturday night at John Cropp Stadium as part of the Kentucky Tournament.
The win for Kentucky (26-4) is its seventh straight, marking the second-longest winning streak this season for the Wildcats. UK is a perfect 4-0 so far in the Kentucky Tournament after starting the event Friday with wins over Kent State and Saint Francis, before a 5-0 victory over Fairfield earlier Saturday and the victory over Kansas. UK's 26 wins this season is its most in the first 30 games of a season in program history.
The Wildcats will conclude play in the three-day Kentucky Tournament on Sunday, playing Kansas at Noon ET and Kent State at 2 p.m. ET. The Kentucky-Kansas game will start 25 minutes following the Saint Francis-Fairfield game, which begins at 10 a.m. ET. Live stats from every game and live video streaming (subscription required) for UK's games only will be available online at UKathletics.com. Completes results from the first two days of the event and Sunday's schedule is listed below.
Samuel was the leader for Kentucky offensively, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. The sophomore extended her career-best hitting streak to six games, including five multi-hit games during that stretch. The native of Simpsonville, S.C., is hitting .615 (8-for-13) on the weekend, including a double and three RBI. Cumbess delivered the big hit in the third inning, launching a two-run double into the gap in left-centerfield. The senior finished the game 1-for-3 with two RBI, while Steed went 1-for-3 with her third home run of the season. Sophomore infielder Christian Stokes went 1-for-3 with a single and run scored, while senior Emily Gaines had a hit in three at-bats.
The Wildcats started sophomore pitcher Kelsey Nunley in the circle with the hurler going seven innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits with six strikeouts. The win moved Nunley's record to 10-2 this season. Nunley retired 12 of the first 13 batters she faced and ended the win by retiring nine of the last 11 batters that came to the plate.
The loss for Kansas (23-10) was its first of the weekend. The Jayhawks started sophomore pitcher Kelsey Kessler in the circle, who went all six innings, allowing four runs - two earned - on seven hits with five strikeouts. Kessler picked up the loss in the game, moving to 13-7 on the season.
Offensively, Kansas was paced by junior infielder Chanin Naudin, who went 1-for-3 with a two-run homer in the top of the seventh inning. Junior infielder Maddie Stein, freshman catcher Harli Ridling, senior outfielder Taylor Hatfield and freshman outfielder Taylor McElhaney each had singles.
For the latest on UK softball, follow "@UKSoftball" on Twitter and Instagram or like Kentucky Softball on Facebook.
Kent State 14-11
Saint Francis 14-7
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 def. Fairfield 7-0
Kent State def. St. Francis 8-3
Kentucky def. Fairfield 5-0
Kansas def. Saint Francis 10-2
Kentucky def. Kansas 4-2
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.