Maisie Steed's go-ahead homer pushes No. 10 Kentucky past No. 20 Texas A&M
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Kentucky junior Maisie Steed launched a full-count pitch over the wall in left field for UK's third solo home run of the game and fellow junior Kelsey Nunley capped off a great outing in the circle with a scoreless seventh inning, leading No. 10 Kentucky to a 3-2 victory against No. 20 Texas A&M on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
The victory helps Kentucky (14-5, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) avoid a sweep in its opening SEC series of the season. The Wildcats dropped a closely contested 3-0 battle on Friday after a walk-off home run in extra innings, before Texas A&M (19-5, 2-1 SEC) grabbed a 6-3 victory to clinch the series on Saturday. The win was the third this season for Kentucky against a ranked foe.
Sunday's win was Kentucky's 500th as a program, with eight-year head coach Rachel Lawson earning 258 of those victories. When Lawson took over the program to start the 2008 season, Kentucky had 242 all-time wins with Lawson helping UK eclipse the 500 mark in just under seven and half seasons.
Solo home runs by junior infielder Ansley Smith and sophomore outfielder Breanne Ray gave Kentucky a 2-0 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth inning when the Aggies rallied to tie the game. That set the scene for Steed to become the hero, working the count full before belting a leadoff home run to left field to put the Wildcats on top 3-2. Nunley made sure the home run held, slamming the door in the bottom of the frame to clinch UK's first SEC win of the season.
"I am very proud of my team for coming back and getting the win today and make it a happier flight back to Lexington," UK head coach Rachel Lawson said. "This win completes a long road trip to start the season for us and we are really looking forward to playing in front of the Big Blue Nation on Wednesday at John Cropp Stadium."