LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Behind first-inning home runs from sophomore Brooklin Hinz and senior third basemen, Nikki Sagermann, the No. 13 Kentucky softball team powered its way to a 6-2 win on Sunday afternoon at John Cropp Stadium to win the series over the Rebels and move to 5-1 in Southeastern Conference play.
With Sunday's result, Kentucky ups its season record to 25-4 overall and 5-1 in league play, matching its win total in the SEC from 2015, a season in which UK advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals for the fourth time in five years. Shannon Smith started the game in the circle for UK giving up one run on four hits, and senior ace Kelsey Nunley came into the game in the top of the fourth, earning the win on 3.2 innings pitched allowing one unearned run on just two hits.
Nunley with the win moves to 10-2 on the season, and sports a team-beat 0.86 ERA in her 15 appearances on the season. The senior from Soddy Daisy, Tenn., has 73 innings pitched on the season and has given up just nine earned runs on 41 hits with 16 walks and 87 strikeouts this season.
Sophomore Brooklin Hinz broke the seal on the game in the bottom of the first inning, lifting a homer to left field to score Christian Stokes off the scoreboard in left to give UK an early 2-0 lead. The next batter was Nikki Sagermann, who was celebrating her birthday on Sunday, and she homered to rightcenter field for back-to-back homers and a 3-0 UK lead after one inning.
Nunley stepped to the plate in the bottom of the fourth inning and broke open the game with a 2-RBI single into right on a bullet down the line scoring Sagermann and Steed to make it 6-1 UK at the time.
Kentucky will play five games over the next six days, beginning with two midweek games on Tuesday and Wednesday at John Cropp Stadium with a 5 p.m. ET game against Northern Kentucky. The Wildcats will host Murray State at 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday before hitting the road for a weekend series with Arkansas.