University of Kentucky senior Lauren Cumbess pitched the second no-hitter of her career, and junior catcher Griffin Joiner drove in the game's only run as the Wildcats beat Louisiana Tech 1-0 in their opening game at the Texas Classic softball tournament in Austin on Friday.
Kentucky, ranked No. 7 in the nation in the USA Today coaches' poll, continued the program's best start ever by improving to 6-0.
The win was No. 200 for Rachel Lawson as UK's head coach. Lawson, who became the winningest head coach in program history last season, is in her seventh year at UK. Lawson is 200-154 at UK and 292-238 in her career as a head coach.
Cumbess (2-0) struck out seven and walked one. The native of Normal, Ill., retired the first five batters she faced before giving up a two-out walk, then ended the game by retiring 16 straight batters.
Never miss a local story.
Cumbess' previous no-hitter came April 14, 2012, in a series-clinching win over Georgia in Lexington.
The no-hitter was the 11th in UK history and the second this season. Sophomore Kelsey Nunley no-hit Santa Clara in the season opener.
"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."
UK scored its run in the third inning. Christian Stokes reached on an infield single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by fellow sophomore Ansley Smith. Joiner ripped a single to right field to score Stokes.
Joiner, who went 2-for-3, has a hit in every game this season. Stokes, Smith and senior Ginny Carroll had UK's other three hits.
Louisiana Tech (2-3) started Bianca Duran, who allowed one run on four hits with two strikeouts in four innings.
Wildcats hold off Texas
Kentucky staved off a seventh-inning rally by the host Longhorns to win 6-4 and extended their program-best start to 7-0.
15th-ranked Texas dropped its fourth consecutive game to fall to 4-4.
Lauren Cumbess singled to center field to score Ansley Smith to open the scoring for the Wildcats in the top of the first.
A double by Emily Jolly in the fourth put UK up 2-0. The Cats extended the lead to 4-0 when Griffin Joiner connected for her fourth home run of the year in the fifth.
Nunley was on track to get the Cats their second shutout of the day before giving up all four Texas runs in the final inning.
Kentucky 1, Louisiana Tech 0
Louisiana Tech 000 000 0—0 0 1
Kentucky 001 000 X—1 5 0
Duran, Tufi (4) and Tufi, Kipp; Cumbess and Joiner. W—Cumbess (2-0). L—Duran (1-2).
Records: Kentucky 6-0, Louisiana Tech 2-3.
Kentucky 6, texas 4
Kentucky 100 131 0—6 10 1
Texas 000 000 4—4 8 2
Nunley and Joiner; Kern, Smith (5) and Ogle. W—Nunley (3-0). L—Kern (0-1). 2B—Jolly (K). HR—Joiner (K).
Records: Kentucky 7-0, Texas 4-4.