College softball: Kentucky wins series at LSU for 1st time in school history
BATON ROUGE, La. – Behind a complete-game shutout from junior pitcher Meagan Prince and a clutch two-out two-RBI single from senior Maisie Steed, the No. 15 Kentucky softball team clinched a series win on the road in Baton Rouge for the first time in program history, as the Wildcats downed the No. 8 Tiger, 3-0.
Prince got the win with another impressive performance in the circle, to move her record to 15-2 on the year. Prince threw 116 pitches in the game, with 79 of them recorded as strikes. The Martin, Tenn., native went the distance allowing just five hits and three walks, with five strikeouts. Her ERA now drops to 1.59 on the season. LSU’s Allie Walljasper picked up the loss on Sunday night to drop to 6-5 overall on the season.
The win marks the third time this season that Kentucky has won a road season, as Sunday’s win marks just the second time in school history that UK has won three SEC series on the road in a single season (at Mississippi State, at Missouri, at Ole Miss in 2014).
Kentucky improves to 33-8 in 2016 and 10-4 in the Southeastern Conference. The Tigers, the No. 8 team in the nation, falls to 29-11 overall and 5-9 in the SEC.
The three-game series will conclude on Monday night at 7 p.m. ET live on the SEC Network, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. Women’s College World Series announce pairing Adam Amin and Amanda Scarbrough will have the call from Tiger Park.
Key Stat: Three. All three of Kentucky’s runs were two-out RBI base hits. The Wildcats took the lead on a two-out RBI single from Sylver Samuel, before senior Maisie Steed had a two-out, two-RBI single in the seventh to give Prince some insurance going into the bottom of the seventh.
Key Play: In the top of the seventh with a 1-0 lead, senior Maisie Steed stepped to the plate with runners on second and third and hit a two-out single into shallow left field to score pinch runners Ansley Smith and Erin Rethlake and give Kentucky a 3-0 lead going into the bottom of the last inning.
Key Player: Sylver Samuel was the key player in the game on Sunday night, clubbing two hits, including the first at-bat of the game. Samuel had Kentucky’s game-winning hit on Saturday in the series opener, and was critical in Sunday’s series clincher.
Run Recap: With two outs in the top of the third inning in a scoreless game, Maisie Steed stepped to the plate for the first time in the game and was issued a walk by Allie Walljasper to put a runner on first. After a wild pitch advanced Steed to second, Samuel stepped to the plate and singled into shallow center to score Steed and give UK the lead in the third. UK 1, LSU 0
Breanne Ray and Jenny Schaper both singled with two outs in the top of the seventh to put two runners on with two down. The runners were advanced to second and third, as Steed stepped to the plate with two outs in a 1-0 game. Steed then roped a single into shallow left to score pinch runners Ansley Smith and Erin Rethlake and make it a 3-0 game before Meagan Prince closed out the game in the bottom of the seventh.