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No. 10 Softball Ends Regular Season at No. 16 Georgia

Sophomore Nikki Sagermann is on a five-game hitting streak.

Sophomore Nikki Sagermann is on a five-game hitting streak.

May 1, 2014

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Fresh off its first season sweep of in-state rival Louisville in over a decade, the No. 10 University of Kentucky softball team looks to keep its winning ways going this weekend as it heads to Athens, Ga., to complete regular-season action with a three-game series against No. 16 Georgia at Jack Turner Stadium.

The three-game series begins Friday with a 6 p.m. ET first pitch before a 4 p.m. start on Saturday and 1:30 p.m. finale on Sunday. Saturday’s game will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU with Cara Capuano, Cheri Kempf and Kayla Braud on the call. Saturday’s game can also be seen on ESPN3.com, while free video will be available at the links below for Friday and Sunday’s games. Live stats and free radio will be available for all three games at UKathletics.com.

The Last Meeting
Kentucky4
Georgia6
May 10, 2012
Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Seventh-Inning Rally Falls Short in SEC Tournament
The Kentucky softball team plated three scores in the top of the seventh, but the late-game rally was not enough to overcome a six-run Georgia lead to fall 6-4 in the quarterfinal matchup of the SEC Tournament on Thursday evening in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Wildcats rallied for a trio of scores in their final at-bat and senior Brittany Cervantes hit a solo homer in the fourth frame to help bridge the gap.

Kentucky (41-11, 13-8 Southeastern Conference) has already clinched a berth in the SEC Tournament, which will be held May 7-10 at Carolina Softball Stadium in Columbia, S.C. The Wildcats are currently fourth in the SEC standing, sitting a game better than Georgia (39-12, 12-9 SEC) and Florida (42-10, 12-9 SEC). Kentucky has sealed a winning record in conference play for the fourth consecutive season after claiming series wins over Mississippi State, who is receiving votes, No. 13 Missouri, No. 24 Texas A&M, Ole Miss and Arkansas. The five SEC series wins tie the second most in school history.

Seventh year head coach Rachel Lawson and Co. are coming off a key midweek non-conference win over in-state foe Louisville on Wednesday. The win over Louisville was the second of the season for UK over the rival, marking the Wildcats first season sweep in the series since 2003. Wednesday’s win was the first for Kentucky at Louisville since 2003 and tied the program record for wins in a season at 41. The 2013 team finished the season 41-21 en route to the program’s first ever national seed in the NCAA Tournament and second NCAA Super Regional appearance in three seasons.

Sophomore pitcher Kelsey Nunley grabbed the win over the Cardinals, going six innings, allowing two runs on five hits with a strikeout. The native of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., is 21-6 on the season and has 48 career wins at Kentucky, ranking third most all-time in program history. Freshman pitcher Meagan Prince started the game, tossing two innings, allowing one run on three hits with one strikeout to earn a no-decision.

Offensively, Kentucky hit two home runs in the game, starting with sophomore infielder Christian Stokes, who erased a 1-0 Louisville lead in the second inning with a two-run home run. The homer was the fifth of the season for Stokes, who finished the game 1-for-4 with two RBI. Fellow sophomore Maisie Steed put Kentucky up 3-1 with a solo home run in the second inning, belting her seventh roundtripper of the year over the wall in centerfield. The native of Powder Springs, Ga., finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI.

Senior pitcher/infielder Lauren Cumbess stayed hot at the plate with a 2-for-3 game, hitting a single and a double with two walks, while junior catcher Griffin Joiner went 3-for-4 with a run scored in the leadoff spot and sophomore Nikki Sagermann went 1-for-4 with two RBI. Sagermann has 42 RBI on the year, which ranks tied for sixth most in a single season in school history. Seniors Krystal Smith and Emily Jolly each had singles in the game, while fellow senior Ginny Carroll had a pinch-hit single.

Georgia enters its final regular-season weekend with a 39-12 record, including a 12-9 mark in SEC action. The Bulldogs have spent the entire season ranked inside the top 25 and are currently ranked No. 16/18 in the nation. UGA enters the weekend sitting fourth in the RPI listings with 19 wins over top-50 RPI teams. The Bulldogs are coming off a series loss to highly ranked Alabama last weekend in Tuscaloosa.

The Georgia offense has been strong this season, hitting .315 as a team with 74 doubles, 287 RBI and 315 runs scored. Junior shortstop Paige Wilson leads the team with a .398 (68-for-171) average, including 13 doubles, four triples, 10 homers and 43 RBI, while sophomore outfielder Samantha LaZear is hitting .376 (41-for-109) with a .404 on-base percentage and eight stolen bases. Sophomore third baseman Alex Hugo has a team-best 20 home runs and 54 RBI this season, while junior second baseman Anna Swafford has 10 homers and a team-best 16 stolen bases.

Sophomore pitcher Chelsea Wilkinson is the leader in the circle for UGA, sitting 24-7 with a 2.22 ERA in 185 innings pitched with 216 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting just .190 against Wilkinson, who has 19 complete games and five shutouts. Sophomore pitcher/infielder Geri Ann Glasco is 15-5 this season with a 2.55 ERA in 131.2 innings pitched. Glasco, who is hitting .282 (37-for-131) with six homers and 33 RBI, has 102 strikeouts this season with opponents hitting just .249 against her.

Georgia leads the all-time series against Kentucky 45-12 with UK dropping seven straight games to the Bulldogs in Athens. Kentucky is 4-12 against Georgia under Lawson, including the program’s first-ever win in the SEC Tournament in 2009 vs. the Bulldogs. UK and UGA last met in 2012 with UK claiming the series 2-1 in Lexington before UGA earned a 6-4 win in the SEC Tournament later that season.

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

Records
Kentucky 41-11, 13-8 SEC
Georgia 39-12, 12-9 SEC

Rankings
Kentucky – No. 11 in ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25; No. 10 in NFCA/USA Today Top 25
Georgia – No. 18 in ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25; No. 16 in NFCA/USA Today Top 25

Schedule/Results
Friday, May 2
Kentucky vs. Georgia – 6 p.m. ET – Live StatsFree RadioFree Video

Saturday, May 3
Kentucky vs. Georgia – 4 p.m. ET – Live StatsFree RadioESPNU

Sunday, May 4
Kentucky vs. Georgia – 1:30 p.m. ET – Live StatsFree RadioFree Video


 

 

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