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    SEC Softball Central: May 5

    SUNday Softball RESULTS
    Arkansas 5, Auburn 0
    Texas A&M 4, Mississippi State 2
    Missouri 12, Tennessee 8
    Kentucky 9, Alabama 5
    Georgia 10, LSU 5


    No. 22 Arkansas sweeps Auburn to finish regular season

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 22 University of Arkansas softball team completed a sweep of the Auburn Tigers with a 5-0 win on Sunday at Bogle Park.

    Arkansas (34-17, 12-10) benefited from back-to-back homeruns in the fourth inning from Amanda Geile and Nicole Schroeder. The two homeruns helped capture Arkansas’ first finish above .500 in SEC play since 2000.

    “We talk to our players about being great in May and hopefully June,” head coach Mike Larabee said. “Amanda Geile is stepping up for us right now, as are others. It was nice to see two bombs today.”

    Geile finished the game 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored. Also having multiple hits in the game was Clarisa Navarro, who went 2-for-3. She finished the Auburn series with a .545 batting average and scored two runs.

    “Navarro is getting comfortable in the two spot in the lineup,” Larabee said. “We have made some changes in the lineup and it has really helped us offensively. We have lofty goals this season and it was nice to see the bats come out this series.”

    Kimmy Beasley led Arkansas in the circle. The sophomore went five scoreless innings and allowed two hits. She struck out seven batters in the game after striking out a career-high 15 batters in game one. She did not allow a run in her 12 innings pitched of the series. Senior captain Chelsea Cohen came on to work the final two innings and retired all six batters that she faced.

    “It all starts in the circle,” Larabee said. “You aren’t going to be very good if you don’t have a dominant pitcher. Kimmy is pitching at a high level and is getting ahead of hitters. She is one of the hottest pitchers in the country. I also love the way Chelsea came in and threw today.”

    The game began with Beasley retiring three of the four batters she faced in the first inning. She struck out Emily Carosone and Brooke Lathan to end the frame.

    The Foreman, Ark. native also worked a scoreless second inning, striking out three Auburn batters in the process. She had tallied five strikeouts through two innings of work.

    She continued to work wonders in the circle and retired all six batters she faced in the third and fourth innings. Beasley racked up six strikeouts through four innings of play.

    Chloe Oprzedek and Jennifer Rambo notched back-to-back singles with one out in the bottom of the fourth. Sierra Bronkey continued the hit parade and hit a bloop single into shallow rightfield. The second baseman, Lathan, bobbled the ball and allowed Oprzedek to score from second. Two batters later, Geile cleared the bases with a three-run homer to leftfield. Her second of the series and fifth of the season put Arkansas up 4-0. Schroeder added to the lead two pitches later when she soared a ball over the leftfield fence.

    Beasley used the offensive momentum and worked a 1-2-3 fifth. She struck out Jade Rhodes for the second time of the game for out number two. This was Beasley’s seventh strikeout of game. Baylee Stephens grounded out to end the top of the fifth and was the ninth straight batter that Beasley retired.

    Navarro tallied her second hit of the day in the bottom of the fifth. She doubled off of the leftfield wall, but went stranded and the score remained 5-0 after five innings of play.

    Cohen came out to work the sixth inning and worked a 1-2-3 frame. She struck out Tiffany Howard to start the inning and then retired Melero and Carosone.

    She followed the scoreless sixth with a quick seventh inning. Cohen gave Arkansas its 34th win after retiring her sixth straight batter to end the game.

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    Seniors Plate Four, Strike Out 10 in Senior Day Victory

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Seniors contributed two home runs, four RBI and 10 strikeouts from the circle on Senior Day as the 14th-ranked Texas A&M softball team downed Mississippi State, 4-2, in the Aggies’ final game of the regular season, Sunday.

    A&M seniors Meagan May, Mel Dumezich and Sydney Shannon were honored after the game in a special Senior Day celebration as they ended their regular-season careers with the Aggies.

    May and Dumezich plated all four runs for A&M, and Dumezich fanned 10 hitters in a dominant effort in the circle.

    May put the Aggies on the board with an against-the-wind home run over left field in the bottom of the third. The leadoff jack cleared the complex and landed in the street as A&M took a 1-0 lead. May was 2-for-2 with an infield single and a walk on the day.

    A&M stranded four runners in the first five innings, including two in scoring position, and was unable to stretch the one-run lead.

    Mississippi State gained the 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth when a bases-loaded, two-out single down the left-field line plated two runs.

    The Bulldogs didn’t hold the lead for long. In the bottom of the inning, junior Amber Garza led off with a hit-by-pitch and moved to second on a bunt single by freshman Cali Lanphear. A Cassie Tysarczyk sacrifice bunt moved the pair into scoring position to set up the rally.

    With two outs, Dumezich swung at the first pitch she saw and sent it soaring over centerfield for a three-run home run to push the Aggies back out to the lead at 4-2.

    Dumezich (26-6) struck out 10 batters on the way to her 26th win of the season, giving up just two earned runs on six hits and a walk. MSU’s Alison Owen suffered the loss after allowing four earned runs on five hits and a walk while striking out 5 through seven complete innings.

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    HUDSON PITCHES & HOMERS NO. 11 MIZZOU OVER NO. 2 TENNESSEE
                                                                                                                                                                                    
    Tigers led to six-inning, 12-8 win by Hudson’s big game: two home runs, one being a grand slam, for six RBI

    COLUMBIA, Mo. – No. 11 Mizzou softball was powered past No. 2 Tennessee for the series win on Senior Day by Nicole Hudson (Webb, City, Mo.), who hit two home runs for six RBI and pitched the complete game (6.0) in the six-inning, 12-8 win on Sunday at University Field. The senior’s second long ball of the day was a grand slam in the bottom of the second inning, the second hit of a 2-for-3 batting performance. Freshman 2B Emily Crane (Troy, Mo.) also came up big for Mizzou, batting 2-for-2 with two walks, while senior catcher Rachel Hay (Kansas City, Mo.) hit her fourth home run of the season, a two-run shot in the third inning.

    The Tigers improved to 33-10 and 15-8 in Southeastern Conference action with the win, while the Lady Vols dropped to 43-9 (16-6 SEC) with the loss. Mizzou previously took the Friday, May 3 game, a 2-0 victory that was the 11th career no-hitter for senior pitcher Chelsea Thomas (Pleasantville, Iowa).

    Hudson started off hot for the Tigers in the bottom of the first, homering to right field to give Mizzou a 2-1 lead. The two-run shot scored freshman 2B Emily Crane (Troy, Mo.), who previously walked. Tennessee notched a top of the first run from a solo home run from Lady Vol second baseman Lauren Gibson.

    Twelve total runs were scored in the second inning, with both the Tigers and Lady Vols scoring six runs each. Mizzou roared back in the bottom of the frame with Hudson’s grand slam providing four of the runs. Missouri started the scoring with a bases loaded walk from Crane that scored sophomore SS Corrin Genovese (East Amherst, N.Y.). Mizzou scored its next run on a fielder’s choice when Tennessee committed an error behind the plate that allowed Hay to score from third base. With the bases still loaded, Hudson’s second home run swept them clean for the 8-7 lead into the third inning.

    Mizzou scored four more runs in the bottom of the third after Tennessee tied the game at 8-8 in the initial half of the frame. Hay’s home run accounted for the first two runs of the inning, scoring junior OF Mackenzie Sykes (Blue Springs, Mo.). Back-to-back  two-out doubles from Crane and senior catcher Jenna Marston (St. Louis, Mo.) followed, with Marston’s hit bringing around Crane. After Hudson was hit by a pitch, sophomore 3B Angela Randazzo (Poway, Calif.) singled through the right side to score Marston for a 12-8 lead that would be final.

    Hudson retired the last eight Tennessee batters to finish the Mizzou’s regular season finale, improving her pitching record to 10-5. UT’s Ellen Renfroe took the loss (15-4), pitching in relief for Lady Vol pitcher Ivy Renfroe.

    The game was ended after the top of the sixth inning due a 2 p.m. deadline set for Tennessee’s travel constraints.

    Following the game, seniors Hay, Hudson, Princess Krebs (Lithonia, Ga.), Lindsey Muller (Stillwell, Kan.), Marston and Thomas were honored in the team’s Senior Day ceremony. Senior student managers Nikki D'Aurelio, Matt Guemmer and Lance McMahon were also recognized for their contributions to the Mizzou softball program.

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    Sagermann’s 6 RBI, Steed’s Catch Lead UK past No. 7 Bama 9-5

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Freshman infielder Nikki Sagermann went 3-for-5 in the game, including a game-winning, three-run home run in the eighth inning – tying the school record with six RBI in the game – while sophomore catcher Griffin Joiner posted four hits and freshman Maisie Steed hit a home run and robbed a grand slam in the eighth inning to save the game, lifting the No. 19 University of Kentucky softball team a 9-5 extra-inning victory – clinching a historic series win – over No. 7 Alabama on Sunday at Rhoads Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

    The series win is the first for Kentucky (38-17, 13-11 Southeastern Conference) over the perennial national power in school history. Entering the series, UK had two all-time wins against Alabama in school history, equaling that total this weekend alone. On Saturday, UK took down Alabama 5-0 behind a great pitching performance from freshman Kelsey Nunley, marking the first time Alabama had been shutout at home since 2010. The win Saturday was UK’s first ever in Tuscaloosa.

    Kentucky has won nine games against ranked foes this season and 40 all-time under sixth-year head coach Rachel Lawson, who has won 24 games against top 10 teams in her tenure at UK. So far this season, UK has 11 wins against teams currently ranked or receiving votes in either top 25 poll.

    Sagermann was special for Kentucky at the dish on Sunday, going 3-for-5 with a double, home run and six RBI. The native of Buford, Ga., started her career day with an RBI double in the fifth inning before a two-run single in the sixth inning and the three-run, game-winning home run in the eighth inning. Sagermann set career highs in at-bats, hits and RBI.

    Joiner also had a great game at the plate, going 4-for-5 with a home run, double, two singles and a RBI. The four hits tied a career high for Joiner, who hit her 10th home run of the season in the eighth inning to make it 9-5 Kentucky and seal the win. Junior infielder Krystal Smith went 2-for-4 in the game, while fellow junior Emily Jolly had a double and Steed, who made the catch of the year for UK in the eighth inning, had a solo home run to start the game.

    The Wildcats held a 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth inning before Alabama (41-12, 13-11 SEC) rallied for four runs to cut the Wildcat lead to 5-4. After UK went scoreless in the top of the seventh, the Crimson Tide posted a run on a sacrifice foul out to tie the game and send it to extra innings. The UK bats responded, getting four runs in the top of the eighth, all on home runs, to take a 9-5 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning.

    Alabama didn’t go quietly in the final frame, loading the bases with one out before Nunley got a lineout to third for the second out to bring up Kaila Hunt with the bases still loaded. Nunley got ahead of Hunt in the count before the Alabama second baseman launched a 2-2 pitch deep to leftfield that Steed tracked to the wall and jumped to make the catch, robbing Hunt of the game-tying grand slam and clinching the Wildcats’ win.

    The win Sunday earned Kentucky a No. 7 seed in the 2013 SEC Tournament with the Wildcats playing Wednesday, May 8 in the opening round of the event at 6:30 p.m. ET against No. 10 seed South Carolina at John Cropp Stadium in Lexington, Ky. The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU. Tickets to the event are available online at http://www.ukathletics.com/secsoftball/tickets.html.

    The Wildcats earn the No. 7 seed with a 13-11 conference record, marking the third straight winning conference season for UK. Prior to Lawson taking over the program, UK had only posted a winning SEC record one time.

    UK started its conference slate by taking two of three games from Ole Miss before dropping all three games at highly ranked LSU the following weekend. Lawson and Co. responded the following weekends with consecutive sweeps of Mississippi State and South Carolina, tying the longest SEC winning streak in school history. The Wildcats then took one of three from Florida, Arkansas and Missouri before winning the series against Alabama to conclude the season.

    This appearance marks the fifth-consecutive in the SEC tournament for Kentucky and its seventh all-time. The Wildcats hold a 1-8 record all-time in the event. This is the first time the tournament has hosted 10 league teams.

    This is the first time in school history that Kentucky has played host to the SEC Tournament. The event, which is considered one of the most prestigious softball tournaments in the nation, will begin with two first-round games Wednesday, followed by four quarterfinals games on Thursday. Friday will feature two semifinal contests before the championship game on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. The championship game will be featured on ESPN2, while all other games will be shown on ESPNU. A detailed schedule is below.

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    Georgia Rallies to Defeat LSU, 10-5

    ATHENS, Ga. --- The No. 24 University of Georgia softball team came from behind for a 10-5 victory over the No. 8/7 LSU Tigers on Sunday afternoon at Jack Turner Stadium to sweep the shortened, two-game series. Paige Wilson went 3-for-4 with 4 RBI to lead the Bulldogs as they improved to 37-18 for the season and 14-9 in Southeastern Conference play. The Tigers fell to 40-13 overall and 15-8 in league play.

    Donning their pink jerseys for breast cancer awareness, the Bulldogs raised $5,800 for the Athens Regional Breast Health Center. LSU wore teal jerseys for ovarian cancer awareness, as both teams took part in a Strike Out Cancer inititive.

    Morgan Montemayor (12-6) recorded the win for the Bulldogs, after coming in at the start of the sixth inning as relief for Geri Ann Glasco. Montemayor pitched two innings, giving up just three hits, no runs and two walks. Glasco got the start for Georgia, and allowed six hits and five runs, three of which were earned, in five innings of work. Glasco also struck out a game-high four batters.

    Ashley Czechner (10-1) suffered the loss for LSU, after giving up 10 hits and 10 runs, nine of which were earned, in 5.1 innings in the circle. Rachele Fico also threw for the Tigers, after coming in as relief in the sixth inning. Fico faced two batters and recorded a walk before the inning ended.

    With two outs, Georgia took a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Niaja Griffin scored first, crossing home while LSU attempted to catch Anna Swafford stealing second. Swafford then came home when Wilson laced a double to the right field wall. A strikeout ended the inning before Wilson could score.

    LSU tied the score 2-2 in the fourth inning when Rikki Alcaraz hit a two-run double to drive in Bianka Bell and Kellsi Kloss. A fly ball and strike out ended the inning before the Tigers could score again.

    The Tigers took the lead, 3-2, in the top of the fifth, when Sandra Simmons was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score Simone Heyward. LSU increased its lead to 5-2 after Kloss hit a double to bring home A.J. Andrews and Bell. Simmons was thrown out at third base on the play to record the second out of the inning. The Bulldogs ended the scoring streak when Christine Olney jumped up to catch a fly ball at the top of the left field wall.

    Trailing 5-3 after Swafford’s home run in the fifth, Georgia rallied in the sixth inning to take the lead, 10-5, after scoring seven runs. Samantha LaZear and Olney tied the game at 5-5 after coming home off of a double to the gap in center by Katie Browne. Pinch runner Tiesha Reed scored on a fielding error by the LSU third baseman that made it an 6-5 game. Wilson put Georgia up 9-5 after she sailed a homerun over the center field wall to bring in Griffin and Swafford. Glasco followed with a round-tripper of her own to round out the scoring and increase the Bulldogs’ lead to 10-5. After the back-to-back home runs, LSU called the bullpen and brought Fico to the circle. With one out already recorded, Fico walked Tina Iosefa, Puailoa hit a fly out to right field and Katie Sowers, who was pinch running for Iosefa, was caught stealing second to end the inning.

    The Tigers loaded the bases late in the seventh inning, but a ground out to Montemayor ended the game and kept LSU from a comeback of its own.