Three-Run Second Inning Powers No. 12 UT over Softball
Season Stats (PDF)
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Junior second baseman Ansley Smith hit an RBI double in the second inning, but No. 12 Tennessee responded with three runs in the bottom of the frame on a home run, two singles, walk and hit-by-pitch, powering the Lady Vols to a 7-1 series-opening win over No. 21 Kentucky on Friday night at Lee Stadium.
The series continues Saturday with a 7 p.m. ET first pitch before a 1 p.m. ET series finale on Sunday. Saturday and Sunday's games will be televised nationally with Adam Amin and former Texas A&M All-American Amanda Scarborough calling the action. Saturday's game will be on ESPNU, while Sunday's finale will be on ESPN. Both games will also be available through WatchESPN. Live stats from both games will be available online at UKathletics.com.
Kentucky (29-21, 5-17 Southeastern Conference) scored first in the game when freshman Brooklin Hinz reached on a one-out hit-by-pitch and came home to score when Smith ripped a double just over the bag at third to put UK up 1-0. That run was the lone run of the game for Kentucky as the Wildcats posted only four hits in the game. Junior infielder Nikki Sagermann was 2-for-3 in the game with a double and single, while Hinz was 1-for-2 with a double and run scored and Smith was 1-for-2 with a double and hit-by-pitch.
Tennessee (37-13, 13-9) responded to the Wildcats' run with a three-run rally on three hits, including a leadoff home run to start the second inning by sophomore Taylor Koenig to tie the game 1-1. A walk, single and fielder's choice put runners on the corners with one out for Tory Lewis, who hit a sacrifice fly to give the Lady Vols a 2-1 lead, before freshman Meghan Gregg was hit by a pitch and sophomore Shaliyah Geathers singled to put UT up 3-1.
The three-run second inning was all the run support that junior pitcher Rainey Gaffin needed as she tossed a complete game with six strikeouts. The win moves Gaffin's record to 10-2 on the season. Sophomore pitcher Meagan Prince got the loss for Kentucky, moving to 12-7 on the year. UK used three pitchers in the game, getting two innings from Nunley, who allowed two runs on three hits, while freshman Erin Rethlake tossed two innings with two runs allowed -- one earned -- on three hits and two strikeouts. Nunley and Rethlake got no-decisions in the game.
Offensively, Tennessee got a 2-for-4 night from Koenig, who hit her 16th home run of the season, while Scarlet McSwan was 2-for-2 with a run scored and Gaffin was 2-for-3 with a run scored and two RBI. Lewis was 1-for-2 in the game with two RBI, while Geathers and catcher Annie Aldrete each had RBI.
For more information on the Kentucky softball team, follow @UKSoftball on Twitter and Instagram of Kentucky Softball on Facebook.
Kentucky 29-21, 5-17 SEC
Georgia 37-13, 13-9 SEC
Kentucky -- No. 17 USA Today/NFCA Top 25; No. 19 ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25
Georgia -- No. 14 USA Today/NFCA Top 25; No. 14 ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25
Friday, May 1
Tennessee def. Kentucky 7-1
Saturday, May 2
Kentucky at Tennessee -- 7 p.m. ET -- Live Stats -- ESPNU
Sunday, May 3
Kentucky at Tennessee -- 1 p.m. ET -- Live Stats -- ESPN