Nunley SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week for Second Time in 2015
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After an impressive 13-plus innings in the circle over the weekend against No. LSU -- one of the nation's best offensive teams -- University of Kentucky junior pitcher Kelsey Nunley has been named the Co-Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week, it was announced Monday by the league office.
This is the second SEC Pitcher of the Week honor this season for Nunley, who was also named Co-SEC Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 9 after a strong start to the season. This is Nunley's third such honor in her career, becoming the only pitcher in school history to earn the honor three times. Nunley joins UK great Chanda Bell as the only pitcher to be named SEC Pitcher of the Week twice in the same season. The native of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., who was named SEC Freshman of the Week in 2013, now has four SEC weekly honors in her career, tying Bell for the most in program history.
Nunley was amazing for Kentucky in both a starting role and out of the bullpen against the top-ranked Tigers, who entered the series ranked fifth nationally in batting average and seventh in scoring. Overall, Nunley tossed 13.2 innings with only two earned runs allowed and 13 strikeouts. In the first game of the series, Nunley tossed a complete game, allowing only one run on a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning with three strikeouts and only one walk allowed. The win was Kentucky's first over a No. 1 ranked team.
In game two of the series, Nunley came on in the seventh inning with a runner on and two outs and got a three-pitch strikeout to end the game and earn her third save of the season and sixth of her career -- tying the school record for career saves. Nunley picked up a tough-luck loss in Sunday's series finale, tossing 6.1 innings with only one earned run allowed and a season-best nine strikeouts with no free passes.
The impressive numbers for Nunley came against a team that has had strong offensive showings all season. Entering the series, LSU had scored two or less runs only once all season with Nunley limiting the Tigers to two runs or less in both games she started. Nunley's nine strikeouts Sunday marked the first time this season a pitcher has posted nine strikeouts against LSU's high-powered offense.
Kentucky will return to action Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET when it travels to in-state rival Louisville for the first of a home-and-home series against the Cardinals. The game comes in the middle of nine home games for the Wildcats, who will return from the midweek showdown and host No. 4 Alabama for a three-game series at John Cropp Stadium, before three midweek games the following week against FAU (DH) and Marshall.
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