Nunley, Sagermann Pace No. 12 Softball to Shutout vs. Louisville
April 2, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. - University of Kentucky sophomore pitcher Kelsey Nunley threw seven scoreless innings allowing only three hits, while fellow sophomore infielder Nikki Sagermann posted three hits and three runs batted in, leading No. 12 Kentucky to a 5-0 victory over in-state rival Louisville on Wednesday night in front of 1,402 fans at John Cropp Stadium.
The win for Kentucky (29-7) was its second straight over Louisville (20-15) marking the first time UK has won consecutive games against the Cardinals in head coach Rachel Lawson's seven-year tenure. The Wildcats are now an impressive 24-3 this season in non-conference games and 10-3 in home games. UK is in the midst of a 15-game home stand, holding a 7-3 record so far during that stretch. UK is 10-3 overall this season at home.
Nunley was fantastic in the circle for Kentucky, shutting out Louisville for just the sixth time this season. The sophomore limited the Cardinals to three hits over seven innings, striking out five and only walking two batters. Nunley, who gave up all three hits in the first three innings, retired the last 13 batters she faced to earn the win. It marked only the fourth time this season that Louisville has been limited to three hits or less.
Offensively, Kentucky was paced by Sagermann, who earned a season-high three hits with three RBI, including a double and two-run single. Sagermann has posted an RBI in five of UK's last six games, including three multi-RBI games. Senior outfielder Emily Gaines, who has two or more RBI in four of her last five games played, kept her career-best nine-game hitting streak alive against the Cardinals, going 1-for-1 with two RBI and two walks.
Sophomore outfielder Sylver Samuel went 2-for-3 in the game to extend her hitting streak to five games. The speedy outfielder now has hits in 11 of UK's last 12 game, including six multi-hit games during that stretch. Sophomore infielder Ansley Smith was the only other Wildcat to post a hit in the game, going 1-for-3 with a run scored.
Louisville started Maryssa Becker in the circle with the freshman going four innings, allowing two runs - one earned - on five hits with two strikeouts. She was replaced to start the fifth inning by Rachel Le Coq, who faced five batters but did not record an out. Le Coq allowed three runs to score - two earned - on two hits and was replaced by Caralisa Connell, who threw the final two innings allowing no hits with two strikeouts. Offensively, outfielder Kelsi Jones went 2-for-3 in the game for Louisville, while Taner Fowler was 1-for-3.
Kentucky started the scoring in the first inning after Samuel reached on a single over the shortstop's head, advancing to second on a wild pitch and eventually scoring on a two-out RBI single from Gaines.
The Wildcats tacked on another run in the third inning after Ansley Smith singled to right-centerfield to start the frame, moving to second when Samuel put down a perfect sacrifice bunt and was safe at first on a fielding error. After junior catcher Griffin Joiner reached on a fielder's choice with all three runners safe on the play, Gaines drew a bases-loaded walk to give the Wildcats a 3-0 lead before Sagermann hit a single up the middle to score two more runs and give the Wildcats a 5-0 cushion.
UK will be back in action this weekend as it plays host to Southeastern Conference foe No. 18 Texas A&M for a three-game series at John Cropp Stadium. Friday and Saturday's games will begin at 6 p.m. ET before a 1 p.m. ET series finale on Sunday. Saturday's game will be televised by the UK/IMG Sports Network on the CWKYT in Central Kentucky and Fox Sports South in the state of Kentucky only. Sunday's game will be televised by Fox Sports South to the entire FSN South footprint. Live stats and free live radio to all three games will be available online at UKathletics.com.
Single-game tickets into John Cropp Stadium are $5 for adults, $2 for seniors (65+) and youth (6-18). Children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge. Tickets are all general admission, and can be purchased by calling the ticket office at 1-800-928-2287. Tickets are also sold at John Cropp Stadium prior to each game, and all sales are cash only. Gates open one hour prior to first pitch.
The first 100 fans into John Cropp Stadium for Saturday's game will receive a set of 2014 Kentucky Softball Trading Cards, while the entire UK team will sign autographs following Saturday and Sunday's games.
For the latest on UK softball, follow "@UKSoftball" on Twitter and Instagram or like Kentucky Softball on Facebook.
Kelsey Nunley on Win
Sagermann on Three-RBI Night
Gaines on Nine-Game Hitting Streak
Kentucky - No. 12 in ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25; No. 12 in NFCA/USA Today Top 25
Louisville - not ranked
Wednesday, March 2
Kentucky def. Louisville 5-0