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Volunteers take walk-off win over UK; Cats enter SEC Tourney on six-game losing streak


Griffin Joiner slugged her 11th home run of the year and the 35th of her career, second on the all-time UK softball list (UK Athletics Photo)

Griffin Joiner slugged her 11th home run of the year and the 35th of her career, second on the all-time UK softball list (UK Athletics Photo)

 

Senior catcher Griffin Joiner hit her 11th home run of the season in the first inning and junior pitcher Kelsey Nunley tossed four innings in the circle with only one run allowed on four hits with seven strikeouts, but No. 12 Tennessee hit a walk-off home run to post a 4-1 victory Sunday in Kentucky’s regular-season finale at Lee Stadium.
 

Kentucky will be the No. 12 seed in the SEC Tournament in Baton Rouge, La., and will play No. 5 seed Tennessee on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. If the Wildcats advance past UT, they will face No. 4 seed and host LSU on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
 

After Kentucky stranded two of its 10 total base runners left stranded in the top of the seventh inning, Tennessee (39-13, 15-9 Southeastern Conference) started its game-winning rally in the bottom of the seventh inning against sophomore pitcher Meagan Prince on a leadoff hit-by-pitch of Scarlet McSwain, who moved to second on an excuse-me swing groundout by Tory Lewis.
 

Rainey Gaffin singled on a groundball to rightfield to put runners on the corners for Sheliyah Geathers, who launched her fourth home run of the season to left-centerfield to give the Lady Vols the win.
 

The walk-off win was the second straight for Tennessee as it claimed a 6-5 victory in the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday night after a two-run home run by sophomore Annie Aldrete. Tennessee sweeps the series with Kentucky, who ends the regular season with a 29-23 record, including a 5-19 mark in SEC play.
 

UK scored first in the game, getting the 11th home run of the season from Joiner in the top of the first inning. The roundtripper was the 35th of Joiner’s career, tying her with former UK All-American and current assistant coach Molly Johnson-Belcher for second all-time on UK’s career home run list.
 

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Joiner’s 11 homers this season are a season career-best for the native of Hopkinsville, Ky., who hit 10 home runs her sophomore and junior seasons.
 

Kentucky received a two-hit game from junior centerfielder Sylver Samuel, who had her second triple of the season and a single. Junior infielder Nikki Sagermann went 1-for-3 in the game with a single.
 

Nunley started the game and went four strong innings to start the game with only two hits allowed and one earned run with seven strikeouts. She was replaced to start the fifth inning by Prince, who tossed 2.1 innings with three earned runs allowed on two this with one strikeout.
 

Prince received the loss, moving to 12-8 on the season.
 

From UK Athletics


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