LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky sophomore third baseman Nikki Sagermann launched her team-leading 12th home run of the season in the sixth inning, but No. 16 Georgia scored in the opening frame for the third consecutive game and never looked back, clinching a series sweep of the No. 10 Wildcats on Sunday at Jack Turner Stadium in Athens, Ga.
Kentucky (41-14, 13-11 Southeastern Conference), which earned a winning record in conference play for the fourth consecutive season, is the No. 7 seed in the SEC Tournament and will play Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET on ESPNU against No. 10 seed Mississippi State. The Wildcats are 1-9 all-time in the SEC Tournament. UK won two of three games from Mississippi State earlier this season in Starkville, Miss.
For the third consecutive game, Georgia jumped on top of the Wildcats in the first inning, getting two runs on two hits with three walks allowed. The scoring started when sophomore Geri Ann Glasco homered down the rightfield line before consecutive walks and a RBI single by Puailoa put the Bulldogs up 2-0. Georgia added its third and final run in the fourth inning after back-to-back infield singles before a fielder’s choice put runners on the corners with one out for Glasco, who reached on an error to score a run.
Kentucky started Shannon Smith in the circle with the freshman getting the leadoff batter out in the first inning before allowing two hits and two walks. She was replaced with two runners on and one out in the first by sophomore Kelsey Nunley, who got out of the jam without allowing another run. Nunley was great in the circle for UK, throwing 5.1 innings, allowing only one unearned run on five hits with two strikeouts. Smith got the loss, moving to 2-3 on the year while Nunley got a no-decision.
Offensively, Kentucky posted three hits in the game, getting a solo home run from Sagermann for the lone UK run of the game. Sagermann leads Kentucky with 12 homers this season and 43 runs batted in. Senior pitcher/infielder Lauren Cumbess and senior infielder Krystal Smith each went 1-for-2 in the game.
Sophomore pitcher Chelsea Wilkinson was impressive in the circle for the Bulldogs, throwing seven innings, allowing one run on three hits with eight strikeouts. The win moves Wilkinson to 26-7 in the circle this season.