No. 12 Softball Continues Home Stretch vs. No. 18 Texas A&M

April 3, 2014


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Fresh off an impressive shutout victory over in-state rival Louisville on Wednesday, the No. 12 University of Kentucky softball team quickly turns its attention back to Southeastern Conference action as it plays host to a three-game series with No. 18 Texas A&M this weekend at John Cropp Stadium.

The series gets started Friday night at 6 p.m. ET, while Saturday's game - which was originally scheduled for a 3 p.m. ET start - will also begin at 6 p.m. ET. Sunday's series finale is schedule for 1 p.m. ET start. Live stats and live radio from all three games will be available online at UKathletics.com, while live video (subscription required) will be available online for Friday night's game only.

Saturday's game will be televised live by the UK/IMG Sports Network on the CWKYT in Central Kentucky and on Fox Sports South in the state of Kentucky only. Sunday's game will be televised by Fox Sports South to the entire FSN South footprint and will be available online at ESPN3.com.

Single-game tickets into John Cropp Stadium are $5 for adults, $2 for seniors (65+) and youth (6-18). Children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge. Tickets are all general admission, and can be purchased by calling the ticket office at 1-800-928-2287. Tickets are also sold at John Cropp Stadium prior to each game, and all sales are cash only. Gates open one hour prior to first pitch.

The first 100 fans into John Cropp Stadium for Saturday's game will receive a set of 2014 Kentucky Softball Trading Cards, while the entire UK team will sign autographs following Saturday and Sunday's games.

Kentucky (29-7, 5-4 SEC) is coming off a strong 5-0 victory over in-state rival Louisville on Wednesday night at John Cropp Stadium in front of 1,402 fans. The win marked the first time in head coach Rachel Lawson's seven-year tenure that UK has posted consecutive wins over the Cardinals. Sophomore pitcher Kelsey Nunley was fantastic in the circle, throwing seven shutout innings with three hits allowed and five strikeouts. It marked only the sixth time this season UofL had been shutout and only the fourth time Louisville had been limited to three hits or less in 2014.

Offensively against the Cardinals, Kentucky was paced by sophomore infielder Nikki Sagermann, who earned a season-high three hits with three RBI, including a double and two-run single. Sagermann has posted an RBI in five of UK's last six games, including three multi-RBI games. Senior outfielder Emily Gaines, who has two or more RBI in four of her last five games played, kept her career-best nine-game hitting streak alive against the Cardinals, going 1-for-1 with two RBI and two walks.

Sophomore outfielder Sylver Samuel went 2-for-3 in the game to extend her hitting streak to five games. The speedy outfielder now has hits in 11 of UK's last 12 games, including six multi-hit games during that stretch. 

The Wildcats dropped their first SEC series of the season last weekend against top-25 ranked Auburn, falling in the first two games of the series before claiming a 2-1 victory in the series finale. This weekend's series against No. 18/21 Texas A&M is UK's fourth conference series of the season with all four opponents either ranked or receiving votes at the time UK has played them. The Wildcats have eight wins this season against teams that were either ranked or receiving votes at the time UK played them. Kentucky has 46 wins over ranked teams in Lawson's tenure.

Texas A&M enters the weekend with a 26-10 record, including a 7-5 mark in SEC games and a 10-3 record in true road games. The Aggies started the season by winning nine of their first 10 games and have won four of their last six games heading into this weekend's series. Texas A&M started league play by claiming two of three games from top-15 ranked Missouri before dropping a road series at South Carolina the following weekend. The Aggies lost its home series two weekends ago to No. 14 Georgia before sweeping Arkansas in Fayetteville last weekend. This weekend is the fifth SEC series of the season for A&M and its third against a top-15 ranked team. The only common opponent for UK and A&M this season has been Missouri, with both teams winning series against the Tigers.

Senior outfielder Emily Albus leads the Aggies in hitting at .461 (59-for-128) with five doubles, 17 RBI and a team-best 14 stolen bases. Senior catcher/first baseman Nicole Morgan is second on the team at .381 (37-for-97) with six doubles, one triple, 10 homers and 41 RBI, while senior third baseman Amber Garza is second on the team in homers with seven and third in RBI with 28. Overall, the Aggies are hitting .305 as a team this season with 232 runs scored and a .415 on-baser percentage.

In the circle, A&M is led by sophomore pitcher Katie Marks, who is 12-2 with a 2.59 ERA, striking out 54 in 94.2 innings pitched. Junior pitcher Rachel Fox is second in wins at 9-5 with a 2.74 ERA in 84.1 innings pitched, while freshman pitcher/outfielder Abby Donnell is 4-2 with a 2.40 ERA in 49.2 innings pitched.

This weekend's series marks the first time in school history the two teams have met in softball. Texas A&M is in its second year in the SEC.

For the latest on UK softball, follow "@UKSoftball" on Twitter and Instagram or like Kentucky Softball on Facebook.

Records
Kentucky - 29-7, 5-4 SEC
Texas A&M - 26-10, 7-5 SEC

Rankings
Kentucky - No. 12 in ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25; No. 12 in NFCA/USA Today Top 25
Texas A&M - No. 18 in ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25; No. 21 in NFCA/USA Today Top 25

Schedule/Results
Friday, April 4
Texas A&M vs. UK - 6 p.m. ET - Live Stats - Radio - Live Video (subscription required)

Saturday, April 5
Texas A&M vs. UK - 6 p.m. ET - Live Stats - Radio - UK/IMG Network (FSN South)

Sunday, April 6
Texas A&M vs. UK - 1 p.m. ET - Live Stats - Radio - Fox Sports South - ESPN3

Ticket Information:
Single game tickets for the series are $5 for adults, $2 for seniors (65+) and youth (6-18). Children ages 5 and under and UK students with a valid student ID are admitted free of charge. Tickets are all general admission, and can be purchased by calling the ticket office at 1-800-928-2287. Tickets are also sold at John Cropp Stadium prior to each game, and all sales are cash only.

Promotions:
First 100 fans into John Cropp Stadium on Saturday will receive a pack of 2014 Kentucky Softball Trading Cards. The entire UK team will sign autographs following the games on Saturday and Sunday.