LEX 18 True Blue Coverage

Feb 14, 2014 9:52 PM

Joiners Bomb Paces No. 7/9 Softball to Win over No. 15/16 Texas

AUSTIN, Texas - University of Kentucky junior catcher Griffin Joiner blasted a two-run home run in the fifth inning, extending her hitting streak to a career high seven games, while sophomore pitcher Kelsey Nunley threw seven strong innings to pick up her third win of the season as No. 7/9 Kentucky took down No. 15/16 Texas on Friday night at Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin, Texas.

The game was played as part of the 2014 Texas Classic. UK won both of its games Friday in the tournament with a 1-0 victory over Louisiana Tech earlier Friday morning. Kentucky (7-0) will conclude the event's round-robin play with IPFW at 11 a.m. ET Saturday, followed by seeded games Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning to conclude the five-game weekend. A detailed schedule with coverage links is listed below. Live stats from every game will be available on UKathletics.com, while every game will be aired live on the Longhorn Network. Check local listings for channel information.

Joiner delivered the knockout punch for Kentucky with her two-run home run in the fifth inning to give the Wildcats a 4-0 lead. The junior's bomb extended her hitting streak to a career high seven games after going 1-for-3 with two RBI. Sophomore shortstop Christian Stokes and senior outfielder Ginny Carroll each had multi-hit games and scored a run, while sophomore Ansley Smith had a hit and two RBI. Stokes, Carroll and Smith have reached base safely in all seven games this season.

Senior outfielder Emily Jolly had a key hit in the game when she launched her second double of the season to rightfield for an RBI, finishing the game 1-for-2. Sophomore outfielder Sylver Samuel went 1-for-1 with a run scored and her second stolen base of the season, while senior Lauren Cumbess had a hit and a RBI. Sophomore Nikki Sagermann went 1-for-3 in the game.

In the circle, Nunley earned the win to move to 3-0 on the season with two wins over ranked teams. The native of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., went the distance against Texas, allowing four earned runs on eight hits with five strikeouts. The sophomore pitcher was cruising in the game, retiring 11 straight batters before the seventh inning when she allowed four runs to score before finishing off the win.

The victory continues Kentucky's program-best start to open a season. The Wildcats are now 2-0 this season against ranked teams, haven defeated two Big 12 powers in defending national champion and then-No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 15/16 Texas, which advanced to the Women's College World Series a season ago. UK won its sixth game Friday morning against LaTech when Cumbess threw her second career no-hitter. The win was Rachel Lawson's 200th as the UK head coach.

Rightfielder Lindsey Stephens paced the Texas offense with a 2-for-4 night with two RBI, while third baseman Devon Tunning had two hits and a run scored. Holly Kern picked up the loss in the game with 4.1 innings pitched, allowing five runs - four earned - on nine hits with two strikeouts. Gabby Smith threw 2.2 innings in relief allowing one run on one hit.
Kentucky scored first in the game getting a run in the top of the first inning. Smith started the game with a single up the middle, moving to second when Stokes sacrificed her over. After Joiner flied out to deep rightfield, Cumbess singled up the middle to score Smith and give UK the 1-0 lead. After Carroll walked to put two runners on base, Krystal Smith flied out to the wall in leftfield ending the rally.

The Wildcats increased their lead to 2-0 in the fourth inning. After Sagermann kicked off the inning by hitting a deep fly out to the wall in centerfield, Samuel drew a walk and stole second to set the scene for Jolly's double to the wall in rightfield to score Samuel and give UK a two-run lead.

Joiner supplied the two-run home run in the fifth inning to put UK up 2-0 after Stokes started the inning with a single through the left side of the infield. Kentucky played another run in the fifth after Carroll hit a one-out single, moving to second on a wild pitch and third after two walks loaded the bases. Jolly then hit a pop up that the Texas first baseman dropped, allowing Carroll to score.

UK increased the lead the 6-0 after Ansley Smith started the sixth inning getting hit by a pitch. Stokes singled up the middle with the Texas centerfield fielding the ball and throwing wildly to third to score Ansley Smith.

Texas plated four runs on five hits in the seventh inning starting with back-to-back-to-back singles and a bases-loaded walk before UK recorded an out in the inning. After a two-run single made it a 6-4 game, Nunley got a fly out to centerfield and a lineout to leftfield to end the game.

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

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