LEXINGTON, Ky. – After impressive performances over No. 7 Louisville and No. 11 Missouri, where she posted wins in the circle in both starts, University of Kentucky freshman pitcher Kelsey Nunley has been named Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, the league office announced Monday afternoon.
This is the second SEC weekly honor of the season for Nunley, who was named SEC Pitcher of the Week on April 15, becoming the first freshman in school history to earn such honors. Nunley is now the third player in school history to earn two SEC weekly honors in one season, joining former stars Chanda Bell and Molly Johnson to accomplish that feat. Bell was named SEC Pitcher of the Week twice in 2012 and SEC Freshman of the Week twice in 2009, while Johnson was named SEC Freshman of the Week twice in 2007.
The native of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., pitched in all four of UK’s game last week with two starts, which resulted in wins and complete games. Nunley’s week started with a complete-game effort against No. 7 Louisville, allowing only one run on seven hits with three strikeouts. The win was Nunley’s 21st of the season and snapped the highly ranked Cardinals’ 15-game winning streak. The rookie hurler also had success in her second start of the week, throwing her 17th complete game of the year against Missouri, allowing one earned run on six hits with four strikeouts.
Nunley also had two relief outings against the Tigers on Friday and Sunday. On Friday, Nunley went four innings, allowing two runs on five hits with three strikeouts while getting the loss in extra innings. Nunley completed the week with 5.1 innings pitched Sunday, allowing one run on six hits with six strikeouts.
Overall this season, Nunley is 22-7 with a 2.02 ERA, throwing a team-high 208.1 innings pitched with 159 strikeouts. The rookie is the lone Wildcat in school history to win 20-plus games in a single season, while she is the only pitcher to start a season 10-0 in the circle. Nunley’s 159 strikeouts rank her sixth all-time in a single season in school history, while she leads all SEC freshman pitchers in ERA, strikeouts and wins.
Kentucky (36-16, 11-10 SEC) concludes its regular-season schedule this weekend at highly ranked Alabama. The three-game set is scheduled to start Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET before a 3 p.m. ET start on Saturday and 2:30 p.m. ET start on Sunday.