No. 9 Softball Schedules DH at Tennessee Tech on Saturday
LEXINGTON, Ky. - After its weekend plans were altered due to inclement weather in the Chattanooga, Tenn., area canceling the 2015 Frost Classic, the No. 9 University of Kentucky softball team has picked up a doubleheader with Tennessee Tech on Saturday starting at 2 p.m. ET at the Tech Softball Field.
Kentucky (11-3) was originally scheduled to play in the 2015 Frost Classic this weekend, which featured 10 teams playing 25 games across three fields at Frost Stadium and nearby Warner Park Softball Complex. However, due to the Chattanooga area getting several inches of snow Wednesday night into Thursday morning, the tournament was canceled.
UK was originally scheduled to open the Frost Classic against Tennessee Tech on Friday. Live stats from both of UK's game against the Golden Eagles will be available at UKathletics.com.
The Wildcats are coming off a strong showing in the 2015 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic last weekend, which is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the nation outside of the NCAA Tournament and Southeastern Conference Tournament. UK started the event with a victory over No. 10 Arizona, which marked Kentucky's second victory this season over a top-10 team. The Wildcats also posted wins over Oregon State and San Diego State, who both have received votes in the national rankings this season. Kentucky's lone loss at the event came to highly ranked Oklahoma.
Junior infielder Christian Stokes led Kentucky offensively at the event, going 8-for-19 with seven runs scored, one double, one homer and seven RBI. Junior outfielder Sylver Samuel and senior catcher Griffin Joiner each hit .389 with Samuel stealing three bags and scoring five runs and Joiner hitting a double, homer and posting five RBI. Freshman catcher Rachael Metzger hit the first home run of her career against LIU Brooklyn, while sophomore Breanne Ray hit her first home run of the season against highly ranked Arizona.
In the circle, true freshman pitcher Erin Rethlake tossed six innings allowing one earned run on three hits with five strikeouts and a 1.17 ERA. Sophomore pitcher Meagan Prince tossed 14 innings, going 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA and eight strikeouts, while junior pitcher Kelsey Nunley threw 18.2 innings with a 4.12 ERA and 2-1 record with 19 strikeouts.
Overall this season, Samuel leads Kentucky with a .400 average, including 16 runs scored and a team-best seven stolen bases. Joiner is hitting .364 with three homers and a team-best 18 RBI, while Ray and Stokes are each hitting over .350 with Ray adding a homer and eight RBI and Stokes launching two roundtrippers with 12 RBI. Junior Nikki Sagermann is tied for the team lead with three homers and has 13 RBI.
Nunley paces the team in the circle with a 4-1 record and 2.36 ERA, striking out 30 in 35.2 innings pitched, while Prince is 6-2 with a 2.46 ERA in 42.2 innings pitched. Rethlake's lone appearances of the season came last weekend in the MNCC, while sophomore Shannon Smith has tossed 8.1 innings with a 4.20 ERA and 10 strikeouts.
The Wildcats enter the weekend ranked inside the top 10 of both the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 and USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Top 25. Kentucky stayed put at No. 9 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25, while it moved up one spot to No. 10 in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25. The rankings mark the 35 consecutive poll the Wildcats have been ranked in, continuing a program record.
UK currently holds a 2-2 record against teams currently ranked, while it's scheduled to play 24 games the rest of the season against currently ranked teams. The Wildcats will have three-game sets with No. 1/1 Florida, No. 4/5 Alabama, No. 7/7 LSU, No. 8/8 Georgia, No. 11/16 Tennessee, No. 16/19 Auburn, No. 22/22 Texas A&M and South Carolina, who is receiving votes in both polls.
Tennessee Tech (6-7) has been led this season by sophomore Alyssa Richards, who is hitting .353 with two homers and six RBI, while senior Angi Sakamoto is hitting .295 with two doubles, one homer and four RBI. Junior outfielder Olivia Bennett leads the team with five homers and nine RBI. In the circle, sophomore Danielle Liberatore is 3-4 with a 2.37 ERA in 47.1 innings pitched, while junior Hannah Weaver is 3-2 with a 3.97 ERA in 30 innings pitched. Kentucky leads the all-time series with Tennessee Tech 4-1 with the last meeting coming in 2011.
Kentucky will open its 2015 home schedule on March 11 against EKU. Season tickets for the 2015 season are on sale now for $35 per seat and are general admission tickets (no reserved seating). Season tickets include all regular-season home games, including four three-game home sets in SEC play against LSU, Alabama, South Carolina and Georgia
Tickets are available by calling the UK Ticket Office at 1-800-928-2287, in person at the Joe Craft Center Ticket Office or online at www.ukathletics.com/tickets. Single-game tickets go on sale Monday, Feb. 16 at 9 a.m. ET and are $5 for adults, $2 for seniors (ages 65 or older) and youth (ages 6-18) while children ages five and under will be admitted free of charge.
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