Shannon Smith Named SEC Freshman of the Week
April 7, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky freshman pitcher Shannon Smith has been named the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week for her strong performance over the weekend in Kentucky’s series win over No. 18 Texas A&M, it was announced Monday.
Smith became the ninth player in school history to earn SEC Freshman of the Week honors and the sixth under seventh-year head coach Rachel Lawson. Last season, Kelsey Nunley and Christian Stokes each earned the honor. This is the second weekly honor for a UK player this season after Griffin Joiner was named SEC Player of the Week following an impressive first week of action.
The native of Milford, Mass., was fantastic for Kentucky over the weekend, throwing 6.1 scoreless innings against the highly ranked Aggies, allowing only two hits with seven strikeouts. Smith came out of the bullpen to pitch five scoreless innings Friday night, allowing two hits with five strikeouts, before recording the final four outs in Sunday’s series-clinching win to pick up her first career save. Smith entered Sunday’s game with UK up 4-3 while Texas A&M had runners on second and third with two outs. The freshman shut the door on the Aggies, getting a foul out to end the threat in the sixth before a near-perfect seventh inning to seal the win.
On the season, Smith is 2-1 with a 1.69 earned run average, striking out 32 batters in 29 innings pitched. The rookie leads Kentucky’s pitching staff with 1.1 strikeouts per inning, while opponents are hitting just .186 against her this season.
Kentucky will return to action with a pair of midweek home games Tuesday and Wednesday at John Cropp Stadium. The Wildcats will square off against Wright State on Tuesday and Mississippi Valley State on Wednesday, with both games set for a 5 p.m. ET first pitch. Live scores from both games will be available online at UKathletics.com.
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