Errors Lift No. 8 Tennessee Over No. 9 Softball in Series Opener
April 25, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The No. 8 University of Tennessee softball team took advantage of five unearned runs in the first two innings of the game after three University of Kentucky errors, leading the Lady Vols to a 6-3 series-opening win over the ninth-ranked Wildcats on Friday night at John Cropp Stadium in Lexington, Ky.
The series continues Saturday with a 5 p.m. ET first pitch, followed by a 2 p.m. ET start on Sunday. Sunday's finale will be Senior Day at John Cropp Stadium as the UK softball program honors the dedication and excellence of seniors Ginny Carroll, Lauren Cumbess, Sarah Frazer, Emily Gaines, Emily Jolly and Krystal Smith. Live stats and free radio from both games will be available online, while live video (subscription required) will be available online at UKathletics.com.
The Southeastern Conference softball series between Kentucky and Tennessee is part of Big Blue Weekend at UK as the baseball team will host a three-game series with Ole Miss and the football team will hold its annual Blue/White Spring Football Game on Saturday, April 26 at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Due to the multi-event Saturday on campus, softball fans are encouraged to arrive early and should expect heavy traffic congestion. Parking for the day is on a first-come, first-served basis with football and softball parking using shared lots. Gates to John Cropp Stadium will open at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday. Gates will open one hour prior to first pitch on Friday and Sunday.
Single-game tickets 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. Fans can present their ticket stub from the Blue/White Football Game for free admission into Saturday's softball game. Junior Wildcat Club members can also receive free admission to this weekend's games, plus a guest.
Fans will have a chance to get involved with several different promotions this weekend. The first 100 fans into John Cropp Stadium on Saturday will receive a set of 2014 softball trading cards, while the entire UK team will sign autographs following Saturday and Sunday's game. Additionally, fans that enter John Cropp Stadium between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday will be eligible to receive a Nike prize package and will get a $1 coupon to use at the concession stand. An inflatable bounce house for kids and a poster-making station will be available to help fans cheer on the Wildcats.
Tennessee (37-8, 12-6 SEC) scored three runs in the first inning, marking the fifth consecutive game that UK has fallen behind by multiple runs to start a game. The UT runs were all scored with two outs behind the help of two Kentucky errors, two walks and a hit batter. A one-out walk started the rally, which was followed by a potential double-play ball to third base with UK only able to get the lead runner out. A hit by pitch and a walk loaded the bases with two outs for Cheyanne Tarango, who reached on a fielding error to score the game's first run. Nunley got a ground ball off the bat of Lexi Overstreet that was also mishandled by UK, allowing two runs to score and give the Lady Vols a 3-0 lead.
UT increased its lead in the top of the second inning after a UK error extended the inning to Tennessee catcher Annie Aldrete, who launched a two-run home run to put the Lady Vols up 5-0. Aldrete hit a leadoff home run in the fourth inning for the Lady Vols' sixth and final run of the game. The freshman ended the game 2-for-4 with two homers, three RBI and three runs scored.
Kentucky (39-10, 12-7) started Kelsey Nunley in the circle with the sophomore throwing seven innings, only allowing five Tennessee hits and one earned run with six strikeouts. It marked only the 11th time this season the high-powered Tennessee offense had been limited to five hits or less, while it was only the fourth time UT has been outhit and still won. Nunley received the tough-luck loss to move to 20-5 on the season.
Offensively, Kentucky posted seven hits in the game off Tennessee ace Ellen Renfroe, who went seven innings, allowing three runs - two earned - with five strikeouts. Sophomore outfielder Sylver Samuel went 2-for-4 in the game with a run scored and now has a hit in 19 of her last 25 games and a run scored in 19 of her last 26 games played. Senior outfielder Emily Gaines had an RBI single and senior infielder Krystal Smith had a two-RBI double in the second inning. Senior outfielder Emily Jolly and sophomore infielders Nikki Sagermann and Ansley Smith each had hits in the game.
For the latest on UK softball, follow "@UKsoftball" on Twitter and Instagram or like Kentucky Softball on Facebook.
Sunday - Senior Day recognition on field pregame; Alumni Weekend (free admission for UK Alumni Association members); Team autographs following the game; Junior Wildcat Club member earn free admission, plus a guest; Inflatable bounce house for kids; Poster making to help fans cheer on the Wildcats