March 20, 2013
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LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Iowa softball team scored a run in both the first and second innings to grab ahold of a lead it would not relinquish, defeating the No. 21 University of Kentucky softball team 3-1 in a midweek non-conference game on Wednesday at the UK Softball Complex.
Kentucky (20-8) will return to action this weekend when it plays host to a three-game Southeastern Conference series with Mississippi State at the UK Softball Complex. The series will begin Friday night at 6 p.m. ET before 1 p.m. ET start times Saturday and Sunday. Sunday’s game will be televised live on Fox Sports South as part of the SEC regional TV package. Check local listings for channel information.
Admission to all three games is free of charge due to the continued construction of the new UK Softball Complex. The new stadium is nearly completed, but until construction in the seating areas is fully complete, admission to games will be free of charge. Fans can contact the UK Ticket Office with any questions prior to attending a game at 1-800-928-2287.
Fans attending games this weekend will have countless promotions to get involved with starting Friday as the first 100 fans in the stadium will a free package of UK softball trading cards. Fans will also be able to register to win a free Nike FuelBand on Friday. Saturday and Sunday will be Little League Day at the complex as all little league coaches and players are invited to wear their team uniforms. The entire UK team will also sign autographs following the games on Saturday and Sunday.
True freshman pitcher Katie Henderson received the loss in the game after throwing two innings, allowing three hits, two runs – both earned – with two strikeouts. The loss is the first of the season for Henderson, who is now 2-1 with a 1.00 earned-run average. Henderson was replaced in the top of the third inning by fellow freshman Kelsey Nunley, who threw the final five innings of the game, allowing one earned run on four hits with five strikeouts.
Senior Alice O’Brien recorded the only RBI of the game for Kentucky with her run-scoring single in the fourth inning. Freshmen Sylver Samuel and Ansley Smith each had a hit in the game, while sophomore catcher Griffin Joiner was 1-for-2. Freshman Darington Richardson scored the only UK run after pinch running for Joiner in the fourth inning.
Iowa (19-8) scored single runs in the first, second and seventh innings to earn the win. Iowa pitcher Kayla Massey earned the winning decision, throwing a solid seven innings, allowing only four hits and one earned run. Shortstop Meagan Blank went 2-for-4 in the game with two RBI, while third baseman Michelle Zoeller was 2-for-3 with a run scored. Massey went 1-for-4 at the plate on top of her strong pitching performance, while leftfielder Ashley Akers was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.
Iowa, who is receiving votes in both the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 and USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Top 25, has won five of their last seven games, including a win over No. 11 Louisville earlier this week.
This was the third-ever meeting between Kentucky and Iowa in softball with Iowa now owning a 2-1 lead in the series. UK lost to Iowa in the first meeting in 1997 in Bloomington, Ind., before defeating the Hawkeyes in Iowa City, Iowa in 2003. This was the first meeting in Lexington.
Kentucky will play host to the SEC Tournament this season for the first time in school history. The event, which is considered one of the most prestigious softball tournaments in the nation, will be May 8-11 in Lexington. The championship game will be featured on ESPN2, while all other games will be shown on ESPNU.
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