Prince's Complete Game Leads Softball to DH Sweep over FAU
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- University of Kentucky sophomore pitcher Meagan Prince tossed a complete-game with five strikeouts and only one earned run allowed in game one, while the UK offense scored seven runs in the day's second game, lifting the No. 13 Wildcats to a doubleheader sweep over Florida Atlantic on Monday at John Cropp Stadium.
Kentucky (26-11) won the first game of the twin bill, 3-1, before a 7-1 victory in the second game to complete the sweep. The wins over FAU (26-14-1), who has been receiving votes in the national rankings a majority of the season and rank 38th nationally in the NCAA RPI, moved Kentucky's home record to 10-3 this season. The Wildcats are 7-0 in non-conference home games and will look to continue that Wednesday when they play host to Marshall at 6 p.m. ET at John Cropp Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on the SEC Network+ with Dave "Buzz" Baker and former UK great Ginny Carroll calling the action.
Prince was the star for Kentucky in the first game, tossing a complete game with only one earned run allowed. The native of Martin, Tenn., struck out five FAU hitters in the game and allowed only five hits to improve her record to 11-4 on the season with a 2.86 earned run average. The outing continues an impressive run for Prince over the last nine games. Since having her worst outing of the year in late March at Auburn, Prince has earned a win in each of her last three appearances, tossing 16.2 innings during that stretch with only two earned runs allowed and 15 strikeouts, limiting opponents to a .172 average.
Junior infielder Nikki Sagermann was impressive at the plate in game one, going 3-for-4 with three singles, while junior shortstop Christian Stokes was 2-for-4 with a run scored and sophomore outfielder Breanne Ray was 2-for-3 with a run scored. Junior outfielder Darington Richardson got a single in her first at-bat of the game and stole second, while senior outfielder Kara Howard went 1-for-3 with a double.
FAU started sophomore Amanda Wilson in the circle, who went four innings with three runs allowed -- none earned -- on eight hits with one strikeout. She was replaced by fellow sophomore Kylee Hanson, who tossed the final two innings with three strikeouts and one hit allowed. Wilson received the loss, moving to 6-3 on the season.
The Kentucky offense posted seven runs on seven hits in the second game, getting a 1-for-1 game from junior Maisie Steed, who walked three times and had a two-run double. Fellow junior Ansley Smith went 2-for-3 in the game with two RBI, while junior outfielder Sylver Samuel was 1-for-3 with a run scored and RBI and Howard was 1-for-3 with a run scored. Sagermann was 1-for-2 with two runs scored, while Stokes had an RBI on a sacrifice fly and Ray had a hit.
The UK pitching staff was also impressive in the second game with sophomore Shannon Smith starting in the circle with three hits spread throughout 3.2 innings with one earned run allowed and two strikeouts. Rethlake came on to get the final out of the fourth inning and tossed 2.1 innings to get the win with one hit allowed and one walk, moving to 4-0 on the season. Junior Kelsey Nunley tossed the final inning of the game, allowing a hit and a walk.
FAU started Hanson in the second game, who went one inning and allowed one hit before being replaced by Samantha Messer, who tossed 4.1 innings with seven earned runs allowed on five hits with five strikeouts. Tatum Buckley recorded the final two outs with one hit and one strikeout.
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