No. 18 Kentucky softball edges No. 22 Arizona State 5-3

Jack Pilgrim

After starting off the season 4-1, the UK softball team was looking to finish off the Kajikawa Invitational in Arizona with another win against a ranked opponent, this time against the No. 22 Arizona State Sun Devils.

The game began with a pitching duel between UK’s Meagan Prince and ASU’s Breanna Macha, with neither giving up a run in the first four innings of the game.

In the top of the fifth, an Ansley Smith double down the left infield line gave UK a runner in scoring position. Rachael Metzger then singled into right field, moving Smith to third base.

Hannah Huffman was called to pinch run for Metzger, where she stole second, making it two runners in scoring position.

Erin Rethlake loaded up the bases for the Cats with a single. After a Maisie Steed foul out, all three runners advanced, including Smith for a run.

After a Sylver Samuel two-out, two-run double to the wall, Rethlake and Huffman scored, giving the Wildcats three much needed runs in the in fifth.

Prince slipped up in the bottom of the fifth, loading up the bases with just one out. Senior pitching sensation Kelsey Nunley came in to relieve Prince, but a three run double by ASU’s Gonzales tied up the game.

In the 6th inning, senior Christian Stokes hit her first home run of the season, also allowing Nikki Sagerman to score on the play. With this two run lead, UK would stay ahead to finish out the game.

After giving up the double in the fifth, Nunley would dominate the rest of the way, not allowing any runs in the 6th and 7th innings. Nunley also contributed a strikeout, no walks, and only three hits while on the mound.

With the win, No. 18 UK moves to 5-1 on the year, with four wins over ranked opponents already in its nonconference schedule. This is the first time the team has accomplished that feat since 2013.

The Cats will now look to continue their hot streak as they compete in the Campbell/Cartier Classic hosted by San Diego State starting Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in a matchup against the USD Toreros.