Gaines Homers as No. 10 Softball Drops Opener at No. 16 Georgia
May 2, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky senior outfielder Emily Gaines launched her sixth home run of the season in the seventh inning, but No. 16 Georgia launched three home runs in the game, including a pair of two-run home runs to grab a 5-1 series-opening win on Friday night at Jack Turner Stadium in Athens, Ga.
The three-game series continues Saturday with a 4 p.m. ET start, followed by a 1:30 p.m. finale on Sunday. Saturday’s game will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU with Cara Capuano, Cheri Kempf and Kayla Braud on the call. Saturday’s game can also be seen on ESPN3.com, while free video will be available at the link below for Sunday’s game. Live stats and free radio will be available for every game at UKathletics.com.
Georgia (40-12, 13-9 SEC) used a three-run first inning to take control of the game while pitcher Chelsea Wilkinson tossed seven strong innings in the circle. The sophomore allowed only four hits in the game with 10 strikeouts to move to 25-7 on the year. The high-power Bulldog offense was limited to five hits in the game, but three were home runs. Sophomore second baseman Alex Hugo hit a two-run shot in the first inning, followed by a solo home run by Tina Iosefa to give UGA an early 3-0 lead. The Bulldogs added two more runs in the sixth inning when Katie Browne hit a two-run homer just fair down the leftfield line.
Kentucky’s only run of the game came in the seventh inning when Gaines hammered a ball into the trees in right-centerfield. The senior’s homer was her sixth of the season. Sophomore shortstop Christian Stokes went 2-for-3 in the game with two singles, while senior pitcher/infielder Lauren Cumbess was 1-for-3.
Cumbess started the game in the circle, throwing one inning and allowing three runs on two hits with one walk. She was replaced to start the second inning by freshman Shannon Smith, who tossed five strong innings, allowing two runs on three hits with four strikeouts. Cumbess picked up the loss – her first of the season – moving to 10-1, while Smith got a no-decision.
Kentucky (41-12, 13-9 Southeastern Conference) has already clinched a berth in the SEC Tournament, which will be held May 7-10 at Carolina Softball Stadium in Columbia, S.C. Kentucky has sealed a winning record in conference play for the fourth consecutive season after claiming series wins over Mississippi State, who is receiving votes, No. 13 Missouri, No. 24 Texas A&M, Ole Miss and Arkansas. The five SEC series wins tie the second most in school history.
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Kentucky 41-12, 13-9 SEC
Georgia 40-12, 13-9 SEC
Kentucky – No. 11 in ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25; No. 10 in NFCA/USA Today Top 25
Georgia – No. 18 in ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25; No. 16 in NFCA/USA Today Top 25
Friday, May 2
Georgia def. Kentucky 5-1