Feb 10, 2013 5:00 PM
After taking down No. 3-ranked California in its season opener two days ago, the University of Kentucky softball team continued its winning ways against ranked foes in day three of the Kajikawa Classic by taking down No. 20/21 Stanford 3-1 behind an excellent pitching effort from freshman hurler Kelsey Nunley. UK lost its first game of the day to Portland State. Both games were played at the Tempe Sports Complex in Tempe, Ariz.
Nunley was fantastic against Stanford, going all seven innings, allowing only four hits. The native of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., allowed only one earned run in the contest, striking out eight, which was one off her career high of nine against Western Michigan on Friday.
Nunley is off to a great start in her first season with Kentucky. The true freshman is 3-0 on the year in four appearances, including two starts and two complete games. Nunley holds a 2.83 ERA in the circle, throwing 17.1 innings, allowing 19 hits, seven runs - all earned - while striking out 19. In her two starts, Nunley has gone 12 innings, giving up only eight hits and two earned runs while striking out 17.
Kentucky (4-2) got a strong offensive showing in the win by senior leadoff hitter Kara Dill, who went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. The co-captain set the table for several other Wildcats as senior outfielder Alice O'Brien went 2-for-3 with an RBI single and a run scored. Junior Emily Jolly came off the bench to go 2-for-2 for her first multi-hit game of the year, while freshman Nikki Sagermann went 1-for-3 with an RBI and Cumbess 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly. Infielder Krystal Smith was the only other Wildcat to post a hit in the game, going 1-for-2.
The victory over Stanford (4-2), who is ranked 20th by ESPN.com/USA Softball and 21st by USA Today/National Fastpitch Coach Association, was Kentucky's 33rd win over a top-25 opponent under head coach Rachel Lawson. It was UK's second of the young season after the Wildcats took down No. 3 Cal in the season opener 3-2. The win was also the first ever by Kentucky against Stanford in softball. Entering Sunday's contest, the Cardinal were 4-0 against the Wildcats.
UK started the day with a 5-3 loss to Portland State (2-3). The Vikings jumped out to a 3-0 lead early in the game and never looked back to defeat the Wildcats.
Kentucky will stay out west for its next tournament, playing in the 23rd Campbell/Cartier Classic in San Diego, Calif. The tournament is being hosted by San Diego State. UK will play five games over three days of the event, facing off against Cal Poly, San Diego State, No. 16 Washington, UC Riverside and No. 2 Oklahoma.