AUSTIN, Texas – University of Kentucky senior pitcher Lauren Cumbess threw the second no-hitter of her career, while junior catcher Griffin Joiner gathered two hits and an RBI, leading the No. 7/9 UK softball team to a 1-0 victory over Louisiana Tech on Friday in game one of the Texas Classic at Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin, Texas.
Cumbess was the leader for Kentucky (6-0) in the win, throwing seven spotless innings to move to 2-0 on the season and keep a 0.00 ERA. Cumbess posted a season-high seven strikeouts in the game and only allowed one base runner through seven innings with a walk. The native of Normal, Ill., retired the first five batters she faced to start the game before giving up a two-out walk and ending the game by retiring 16 straight batters.
The no-hitter is the second of Cumbess’ career after she tossed seven hitless innings on April 14, 2012 in a series-clinching win over Georgia in Lexington. The no-hitter was the 11th in program history for Kentucky and the second this season. Sophomore pitcher Kelsey Nunley tossed seven hitless innings to open the season against Santa Clara.
“I just trusted my pitches and trusted my team behind me,” Cumbess said. “I was confident in all my pitches and knew my team would have my back. We mixed in a lot of pitches a lot of up and down, in and out. Everything felt pretty smooth and I really trusted all my pitches today.” Video of Cumbess’ full thoughts: http://youtu.be/wan_wn_ct2I.
UK’s offense gave Cumbess all the run support she needed with one run on five hits. Joiner paced UK with a 2-for-3 game with two singles and an RBI. Joiner now has a hit in every game this season and has recorded two or more hits four times this season. Sophomores Christian Stokes and Ansley Smith each recorded hits, while senior Ginny Carroll had a single and a walk. Stokes, Smith and Carroll have reached base safely in all six games this season.
The win was historic for UK head coach Rachel Lawson as it was her 200th win as UK's head coach. Lawson, who became the winningest head coach in program history last season, is in her seventh year at the helm of the UK program. Lawson is 200-154 at UK and is 292-238 in her career as a head coach.
Kentucky continues its play in the Texas Classic on Friday night against No. 15/16 Texas at 5 p.m. ET. The Wildcats will conclude the event’s round-robin play with IPFW at 11 a.m. ET Saturday, followed by seeded games Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning to conclude the five-game weekend. A detailed schedule with coverage links is listed below. Live stats from every game will be available on UKathletics.com, while every game will be aired live on the Longhorn Network. Check local listings for channel information.
UK scored its run in the third inning behind a two-out hit by Joiner. After a strikeout to start the inning, Stokes hit an infield single, moving to second on a sacrifice bunt by Smith. Stokes scored the winning run moments later when Joiner ripped a single to right field to give UK a 1-0 lead it would not relinquish.
Louisiana Tech (2-3) started Bianca Duran in the circle with the pitcher going four innings allowing one run on four hits with two strikeouts. Dura was replaced in the fifth inning by Pauline Tufi, who went two innings to conclude the game with one hit allowed and one walk.