SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- The No. 18 Kentucky softball team picked up two wins in the opening day of the 2016 Campbell/Cartier Classic with a 5-1 win over the University of San Diego Toreros before collecting a win by the same score over the host San Diego State Aztecs on Thursday night.
In the first of the two games for the Wildcats, junior Shannon Smith started off the game for Kentucky, pitching two scoreless innings and striking out four of the eight batters that she faced. Head coach Rachel Lawson then turned to her ace Kelsey Nunley, who went the rest of the game without allowing an earned run on two hits and five strikeouts. Nunley picked up her team-leading fourth win of the season to move to 4-0 on the season and now sits with an ERA of 0.97 in the first four outings of the season for her.
Against the host Aztecs, freshman Katie Reed launched the first two home runs of her career, while sophomore Brooklin Hinz also belted a homer to straightaway center, her second of the year, as Kentucky won 5-1 over SDSU. Junior pitcher Meagan Prince went the distance, picking up her third win of the season on seven innings of one-run softball. The Martin, Tenn., native allowed seven hits, one run (earned) walked one and struck out five.
Kentucky will play one game on Friday, against California, at 5 p.m. ET from the San Diego Softball Stadium.
Game 1 - San Diego - Box Score (PDF) Key Stat 4. Kentucky had a four-run third inning to push its lead from 1-0 to 5-0 after three innings of play. The Wildcats have seen immense success in the third inning this season, outscoring its opponents 22-8 in the third frame of games.
Key Play Abbey Cheek's first-career triple in the bottom of the third inning gave Kentucky a two-run cushion at the time, to make it 2-0 Kentucky - and drove in the winning run of the game. The Wildcat slugger is now hitting .286 with two homers, two doubles, a triple and nine RBIs.
Key Player Ansley Smith went 2-for-2 in the game, including a two-out two-RBI single to the right side to make it 5-0 Kentucky in the bottom of the third inning. Smith got on base all three times she was at the plate, singling twice and getting hit by a pitch to start the seventh inning in her final at-bat.
Run Recap In the bottom of the first, Kentucky took the early lead after Sylver Samuel got on base with a bunt single to get the rally going for UK. Samuel swiped second base on her second stolen base of the season, and was moved to third on a throwing error by the catcher. Katie Reed would then belt an RBI double to the wall in left to score Samuel and make it 1-0. UK 1, USD 0
Kentucky would score four times in the bottom of the third inning. Nikki Sagermann led things off with a walk, and would score from first on Abbey Cheek's first-career triple down the rightfield line. Sophomore Brooklin Hinz doubled to the gap in right to score Cheek, and would come around to score on an Ansley Smith RBI single. UK 5, USD 0
The Toreros would score its only run of the game in the bottom of the seventh inning, as Kailey Hill led off the inning with a single and would come around to score after a groundout advanced her to scoring position and a defensive error by the Wildcats. Nunley struck out Sarah Stone looking to end the game. FINAL - No. 18 Kentucky 5, San Diego 0
Game 2 - San Diego State - Box Score (PDF) Key Stat Two. The number of homers that freshman Katie Reed hit in the game - the first two homers of her career. Reed slugged both of them out to the left field bleachers for three RBIs on the night. Reed is now hitting a monster .462 on the season with six RBIs and eight runs scored.
Key Play With Kentucky leading 2-0 in the bottom of the second inning, senior Sylver Samuel prevented the Aztecs from getting on the board with a great throw to catcher Rachel Metzger, who tagged the runner trying to score from second after a single at the plate to end the inning.
Key Player Meagan Prince capped off the seventh complete game of her career, throwing all 130 pitches in the game, picking up her third win of the season on seven innings of one-run softball. The Martin, Tenn., native allowed seven hits, one run (earned) walked one and struck out five.
Run Recap After senior Maisie Steed led off the game with a bunt single, freshman Katie Reed clubbed a two-run homer to the left field seats to give Kentucky the 2-0 lead. It was the first-career home run for Reed - who collected her fourth and fifth RBIs of the season. UK 2, SDSU 0
With one out in the bottom of the fifth inning, SDSU centerfielder Jaylene Ignacio homered to left field to make it 2-1. It was the only run scored on the night against Meagan Prince for SDSU. UK 2, SDSU 1
Kentucky's big inning came in the top of the sixth off of SDSU's ace pitcher, Erica Romero. Katie Reed led off the inning with a carbon copy of her home run in the first with a solo shot in the sixth to make it 3-1. After a single by Sagermann, and a fielder's choice by Stokes - sophomore Brooklin Hinz unloaded a home run to straightaway center off of the camera tower. It was Hinz's second homer of the season after hitting one against New Mexico in last week's Kajikawa Classic in Phoenix. FINAL - No. 18 Kentucky 5, San Diego State 1