|THURSDAY SOFTBALL SCHEDULE/RESULTS
|Kentucky 10, Long Beach State 0
|Kentucky 6, Santa Clara 0
|Auburn 5, Troy 5 (Rain)
|Florida 10, USF 3
|Texas 6, LSU 1
Nunley’s No-Hitter Headlines UK Softball's Wins Over SCU, LBSU
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- University of Kentucky sophomore pitcher Kelsey Nunley tossed the first no-hitter of her collegiate career, while the Wildcat offense had a great day at the dish with 16 runs scored on 20 hits, including seven doubles, one triple and three home runs, en route to a 6-0 victory over Santa Clara and 10-0 victory over Long Beach State on Thursday at the 49er Softball Complex in Long Beach, Calif.
Kentucky (2-0) continues its West Coast swing Friday when it travels to Cal State Fullerton to play a doubleheader at Anderson Family Field against Loyola Marymount at 1:30 p.m. ET and No.2/2 Oklahoma at 6:30 p.m. ET. The weekend concludes back in Long Beach with a Noon ET game vs. George Washington. Live stats from every game will be available online at UKathletics.com.
Kelsey Nunley was the story vs. Santa Clara, throwing her first career collegiate no-hitter. The no-hit bid was the 10th in school history for Kentucky and the first since Katie Henderson last season vs. North Carolina.
Nunley was flawless in the game with seven scoreless innings, striking out a career-best 11 batters en route to the win. The native of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., only allowed two base runners the entire game hitting two batters. After a hit-by-pitch in the first inning, Nunley retired 15 straight batters to sail to the victory.
The UK offense provided Nunley all the support she needed against Santa Clara with six runs on 10 hits, including a two-homer game from Joiner. The junior catcher ended the game 2-for-2 with two bombs and three RBI, tying the school record for most homers in a game. The star also had two homers against North Carolina last season.
Sophomore shortstop Christian Stokes went 3-for-4 against the Broncos with two doubles, one triple and one RBI, while senior outfielder Emily Gaines also had a multi-hit game going 2-for-2 with an RBI. Fellow senior Emily Jolly and sophomore Ansley Smith each had a double and an RBI, while senior Lauren Cumbess had a double and run scored.
Kentucky started its scoring against Santa Clara with two runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Doubles got things going in the fourth inning as Jolly doubled to rightfield and later scored when Ansley Smith doubled to leftfield to give UK a lead it did not relinquish. Stokes gave UK the 2-0 lead with her second double of the game, scoring Ansley Smith.
In the fifth inning, Joiner started the scoring with a home run to rightfield, followed by a Cumbess double. Cumbess was then pinch ran for by senior Sarah Frazer, who came home to score when Gaines singled to rightfield.
The Wildcats put the game away in the sixth inning behind a two-run homer by Joiner. The inning started with a one-out triple by Stokes to leftfield and after a flyout for the second out, Joiner hammered a homer to leftfield to put the Wildcats up 6-0.
Pitching was again strong in game two Thursday as Cumbess dominated in the circle against Long Beach State, going five scoreless innings with only four hits allowed and four strikeouts. The senior allowed a base runner in the first and second innings before only allowing one more base runner the remainder of the game.
The UK offense was impressive against the 49ers, recording 10 runs on 10 hits with two doubles and a home run. Nine of the 10 UK batters that came to the plate against LBSU recorded a hit with Ansley Smith belting her first home run of the season and Steed and Stokes each recording doubles. Steed had the lone multi-hit game going 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored, while Stokes and Ansley Smith each recorded two RBI as well.
Kentucky scored first against Long Beach State on a two-run homer from Ansley Smith in the third inning. The frame started with a one-out double by Steed to centerfield before a sharp groundout by Stokes for the second out. Ansley Smith then delivered on her first homer of the season and fourth of her career down the leftfield line, putting UK on top 2-0. Joiner walked and Cumbess singled to continue the rally for Sagermann, who flied out to leftfield to end the inning.
The Wildcats blew the game open with five runs on four hits in the fourth inning. Ginny Carroll started the rally with a single up the middle, followed by a bunt by Jolly that LBSU’s catcher fielded and threw to second base late to keep runners on first and second. Samuel then had a bunt single to load the bases for Steed, who reached on an error to score two runs and put UK up 4-0. With runners at second and third and no outs, Stokes hammered a double down the leftfield line to give UK a 6-0 lead. Joiner added to the runs column with a sacrifice fly to centerfield to put UK up 7-0. A groundout and pop up ended the inning.
UK loaded the bases with no outs again in the fifth inning after a leadoff walk to Carroll and singles by Jolly and Krystal Smith. Steed then plated two runs with a double to the wall in rightfield putting two on for Stokes, who walked and advanced to second when Steed was picked off trying to steal home. After Ansley Smith grounded out, Joiner grounded out to end the frame with UK up 10-0.
The five-game West Coast swing is part of a 15-game road trip to begin the season for UK, including trips to Austin, Texas and Boca Raton, Fla., in the coming weeks. The road trip will be countered by a 14-game home stretch later in the season at John Cropp Stadium.
For the latest on UK softball, follow "@UKSoftball" on Twitter and Instagram or like Kentucky Softball on Facebook.
Rain dampens Clint Myers' debut; Auburn's home Friday
TROY, Ala. -- Clint Myers had won nine national titles in a wildly successful career in Arizona, but he couldn't beat the rain in his debut as Auburn's softball coach Thursday in Alabama.
Auburn and Troy played to a 5-5 tie after rain chased the teams off the field in the top of the seventh. The Tigers were otherwise in line to win after rallying from a 5-1 deficit. They had taken a 6-5 lead and had the bases loaded with nobody out when the rains came. By rule, the score reverts to the last complete inning. The Tigers protested, but it was unlikely to be overturned in game that also featured sleet and Myers bundled up against the cold.
Auburn instead left with designs on winning its 6 p.m. home opener against North Dakota State on Friday in the Plainsman Invite. Auburn will play five games in three days, and Myers will go in buoyed by the Tigers' comeback against Troy, even though it was cut short. Auburn scored four runs in the top of the sixth to tie it.
"They showed some great character in bouncing back," Myers said. "The most impressive thing was there were zero errors. They supported our philosophy of throwing strikes and make them hit the ball, and if we can have 55 more games of error-less games, I'm going to be a happy camper because we're not giving the opponent extra opportunities to beat you."
Starting pitcher Marcy Harper was pulled after allowing 5 runs in 1 1/3 innings. Lexi Davis came in and allowed two hits and no runs in the final 4 2/3.
"She showed great character, great poise and never wavered and made the pitches," Myers said.
Auburn had only two hits, at least before the seventh inning that was wiped out. McKenzie Kilpatrick hit a 3-run homer and Emily Carosone had a hit and an RBI. She also drove in the would-be go-ahead run in the 7th.
Myers was ready to move on.
"We've got to talk about it, but it looks like it's going to be a tie game," he said. "We have five more games this weekend, and it will be fun."
After opening against North Dakota State, the Tigers will play Morehead State and Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday and then play Texas Tech and Notre Dame on Sunday.
Thursday, Myers left the dugout and headed to the team bus. But not before glancing skyward.
"It's not raining anymore," he observed.
Gators Open 2014 Season With 10-3 Win Over USF
TAMPA, Fla. -- Gator Softball began the 2014 season with a 10-3 win over USF Thursday night (Feb. 6) at USF Softball Stadium. The game was delayed by rain for 25 minutes in the third inning.
USF got on the board first with a solo home run from Ta’cola Williams in the first inning, but the Gators stormed back with seven runs in the fourth inning to chase All-American Sara Nevins.
Florida added three more runs in the sixth, but USF extended the game with two runs in its half of the sixth.
UF ace Hannah Rogers began her senior season with a strong effort against the Bulls, pitching a complete game and striking out six batters with no walks. Rogers allowed a triple to USF’s Kourtney Salvarola in the third, but worked out of the jam and wasn’t tested again until the sixth.
On offense, the Gators did not have any extra-base hits, but five singles combined with 11 walks and five hit batters allowed Florida to be patient at the plate.
Briana Little, Kelsey Stewart, Kirsti Merritt and Taylor Schwarz all recorded RBI singles in the fourth while Schwarz earned an RBI on a hit-by-pitch and Aubree Munro brought in a run with a sac fly in the sixth.
No. 17 LSU Softball Falls to No. 10 Texas, 6-1
BATON ROUGE -- After tying the game at 1-1 in the bottom half of the fourth inning, the No. 17 LSU softball team was unable to keep pace with tenth-ranked Texas, giving up four runs in the top of the fifth and another run in the top of the sixth to fall to the Longhorns 6-1 in the season opener for both teams at Tiger Park.
After falling behind by one in a tense affair after three innings, Sandra Simmons tripled to center with two outs on the board to give the Tigers (0-1) life nearly midway through the contest. She scored on the very next play after a sharp single by Allison Falcon to center field, knotting the game at 1-1.
The Tigers were only able to muster four hits in the game, coming from Simmons, Falcon, Hailey Smith and Jacee Blades, and were unable to get any momentum going to mount a comeback and cut the Longhorn (1-0) deficit in the later innings.
“I think everything we do is a learning experience,” head coach Beth Torina said. We learn from our wins, we learn from our losses. We will definitely fix some things we saw and continue on.”
Starting pitcher Ashley Czechner took the loss for LSU, lasting five innings and allowing six runs on seven hits with four strikeouts. Czechner threw 99 pitches in the game, and was relieved by Kelsee Selman, who threw the final two innings and had a walk and a strikeout. Czechner retired the first six batters she faced on the evening, while Selman retired the last five.
“They are a really powerful offensive team,” Czechner said. “We played a good game, I just threw two bad pitches I wish I could get back.”
Texas’ Gabby Smith went the distance and allowed just one run to the Tigers on 99 pitches as well, striking out two and walking two others. Smith retired the final 10 LSU batters in order beginning in the fourth inning, as only two balls left the infield during that stretch.
LSU threatened early, as a consecutive walks to Blades and Bianka Bell put two runners on with just one out on the board. A deep fly ball out to right field allowed Blades to tag up and advance to third to put runners on the corners, with Bell stealing second after to put two in scoring position. However, an out to right ended the inning and the threat for the home side.
Texas earned the first run of the game in the third after a double from Mandy Ogle and single by Stephanie Ceo put two runners in scoring position for the Longhorns with one out. A sacrifice fly by Brejae Washington to left scored Ogle and gave Texas the early 1-0 lead. Ceo led all players with two hits in the contest, going 2-for-2 with an RBI and run scored.
The Longhorns exploded for four runs in the fifth, paced by a three-run home run by Taylor Thom to left field that put Texas up 5-1 with two innings remaining. A solo shot by Lindsey Stephens to open the sixth ended Czechner’s night, as Texas plated the final run of the game to go up 6-1.
“Ultimately, we needed to pitch around Taylor Thom,” Torina said. “We let her be the deciding factor in a game which is something we don’t want to do. We want to try and make someone else beat us, and we didn’t do a good job of that.”
LSU will be back in action tomorrow evening, closing out day one of the Tiger Classic with Minnesota and SIU-Edwardsville at 5 and 7 p.m. at Tiger Park.