Strong Pitching Lifts No. 5 Alabama to Series Win over Softball

April 5, 2015

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LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The No. 13 University of Kentucky softball team could not get the bats going Sunday as No. 5 Alabama got a complete-game shutout from freshman pitcher Alexis Orsorio to claim the series finale, 2-0, and clinch the three-game Southeastern Conference series at John Cropp Stadium.

Kentucky (25-11, 4-8 SEC) defeated highly ranked Alabama (29-9, 10-5 SEC) to start the series Saturday, 2-1, marking the Wildcats sixth win this season over a ranked opponent, including their fifth over a team ranked inside the top 10 at the time UK played them. The Crimson Tide evened the series with a 7-3 victory in game two Saturday, getting four runs in the seventh inning.

The Wildcats will return to action Monday with a doubleheader against Florida Atlantic starting at 3 p.m. ET at John Cropp Stadium. Both games will have free admission. Game one will be available on the SEC Network+ with Dave "Buzz" Baker and former UK star Ginny Carroll calling the action. The game can be seen through WatchESPN.

Orsorio was impressive in picking up her 12th win of the season, tossing seven scoreless innings with only two hits allowed and nine strikeouts with one walk.  Lost in her performance was a strong outing by UK junior Kelsey Nunley, who threw a complete game with only two runs allowed -- both earned -- on six hits with five strikeouts. Nunley received the tough-luck loss, moving to 11-7 on the season with a 1.89 ERA. It marked the third time this season Nunley has received the loss in a game where she allowed two earned runs or less.

Alabama rallied for two runs in the top of the sixth inning to grab the win, getting a two-out, two-RBI single from outfielder Chandler Dare. The inning started with a one-out walk to infielder Danae Hays before Nunley got pinch hitter Jadyn Spencer to strikeout for the second out. Chaunsey Bell followed with a single to leftfield before infielder Leona Lafaele walked to set the scene for Dare, who placed one into shallow centerfield to give the Tide a lead it would not relinquish.

Freshman infielder Demi Turner and Bell each had two hits in the game, while Dare and outfielder Andrea Hawkins had singles. Offensively for Kentucky, junior infielder Nikki Sagermann went 1-for-3 with a hard-hit single, while senior outfielder Kara Howard was 1-for-1 with a single and hit by pitch.

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