SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Junior Meagan Prince threw her first-career no hitter on Saturday afternoon in the opening game of a doubleheader in the final day of the Campbell/Cartier Classic in San Diego, as the Wildcats beat South Dakota 10-0 before Kelsey Nunley had a perfect game broken up with one out in the last inning as Kentucky sailed past Texas Tech 10-0 to complete its western swing 9-2 to start the season.
Prince had nine strikeouts in Saturday's perfect game, just two off her career high set in 2015 against Florida A&M. The Martin, Tenn., native went all five innings allowing just one baserunner, which got on base via a defensive error. The only hit surrendered all day by the Kentucky pitching staff in both games, was a single in the top of the fifth with one out against Nunley to break up a perfect game.
The back-to-back 10-run performances is the first time that UK has scored 10-plus runs in consecutive games since the 2011 season when UK scored 16 and 13 runs against Austin Peay on April 6 of 2011. Those numbers were thanks in part to freshman Katie Reed and Abbey Cheek, who combined for a 7-for-12 day at the dish with two homers (both by Reed), two triples (both by Cheek), six runs scored, and nine RBI.
With the two wins, Kentucky closes the Campbell/Cartier Classic 4-1 and sits at 9-2 overall on the season. Combined with its Kajikawa Classic performance, Kentucky finishes its west coast swing with four wins over top-25 teams, a top-5 win, and three against the PAC-12 conference in five tries.
Game 1 - South Dakota Key Stat Zero. The number of hits and walks allowed by junior Meagan Prince, as she recorded her first-career no hitter. Prince went the entire game without allowing a hit or a walk while striking out nine on just 68 pitches. Of the 68 pitches she threw, 47 were recorded as strikes.
Key Play Abbey Cheek broke the game open in the top of the first inning with a one-out three-RBI double to the wall in right center field. The three runs which scored Maisie Steed, Sylver Samuel and Katie Reed would be all that UK would need to walk away with the win.
Key Player Meagan Prince was the key player in the game, recording her first-career no-hitter.
Run Recap In the top of the first inning, Maisie Steed led off the inning with a walk, which was followed by an infield single to the shortstop by Sylver Samuel. After a walk by Reed, freshman Abbey Cheek then delivered with a double to the wall in rightcenter field to make it 3-0. Cheek would score on a FC off the bat of Nikki Sagermann. UK 4, SDK 0
With two outs in the top of the third, Sagermann walked and came around to score on a Brooklin Hinz double to the wall in center to make it 5-0. Breanne Ray then singled to the right side, scoring Hinz on her first hit of the season. UK 6, SDK 0
In the top of the fourth, Kentucky would play add-on as Katie Reed hit her second home run of the tournament to the seats in left to give the Wildcats another run. UK 7, SDK 0
Hinz, Sarah Rainwater and Kelsee Henson all had hits and came around to score in the top of the fifth inning to make it 10 runs for the Kentucky offense for the third time this season. FINAL - No. 18 Kentucky 10, South Dakota 0
Game 2 - Texas Tech Key Stat Three. Three is the number of players that scored two or more runs for the Wildcats against the Red Raiders, as Maisie Steed, Sylver Samuel and Abbey Cheek all had two runs in the game.
Key Play The key play in the game was once again courtesy of freshman Abbey Cheek, who broke open the game with a stand-up triple scoring Steed and Samuel, who reached base via a walk and an infield single, respectfully. Those two runs would be all that Kentucky needed to win the game.
Key Player Kelsey Nunley was the key player in the second game, as the senior pitcher had a perfect game intact through the first out of TTU's final at bat before a single into left gave the Red Raiders their first baserunner of the day. Nunley went the distance allowing just one hit, and striking out nine on just 64 pitches - in which 50 were called strikes.
Run Recap To start the game, Steed walked and Samuel had an infield single to second base before Cheek delivered with a stand-up triple to the wall in right. Senior Nikki Sagermann then hit her first home run of the season to straighaway centerfield to give UK the early advantage. UK 4, TTU 0
The six other runs would all come in the bottom of the fourth inning for the Wildcats. After a lead-off popout to the pitcher by Nunley, Erin Rethlake walked to get the rally going. Steed and Samuel both singled to load the bases with one out for Reed, who singled to the right side, scoring one. That would start a string of six-straight base hits by the Kentucky offense with Steed, Samuel, Reed, Cheek, Sagermann and Jenny Schaper all recording base knocks to score five runs. The sixth run of the inning came off the bat of Christian Stokes, who's fielder's choice allowed pinch runner Hannah Huffman to score from third. FINAL - No. 18 Kentucky 10, Texas Tech 0
Kentucky will travel to the Frost Classic next weekend in Chattanooga, Tenn., and play five games beginning on Feb. 26 with a doubleheader against Lipscomb and Miami (OH). The Wildcats will also play against Eastern Illinois, Chattanooga and Evansville to close the weekend.