Playing amid snow flurries, Kentucky looked like one hot softball team Friday.
The 15th-ranked Wildcats rode some boffo pitching by Kelsey Nunley and clutch hitting by Griffin Joiner to knock off No. 1 LSU 3-1 in the opener of a three-game Southeastern Conference series at John Cropp Stadium.
The win was UK's first ever over a No. 1-ranked team.
And it came on the heels of a disappointing three-game sweep at Auburn last weekend.
"It means a lot because the SEC is an incredible conference, so any time you can beat a team the caliber of LSU you feel pretty good about your win," Coach Rachel Lawson said. "The team worked hard this week, so it validated all the work that they put in in practices and in film and all the things that they did to get ready for today."
Junior right-hander Nunley (10-4) held the Tigers to six singles. She struck out three and walked one.
"It was cold, and I don't really like the snow," Nunley said. "But we really needed to come out on fire, and I think we did that even though it was snowing. It was just a really fun game."
Joiner, a senior and Nunley's batterymate, went 3-for-3 with an RBI single and a solo home run.
"It was just nice to come out and get to play the No. 1 team in the nation," Joiner said. "We play in a tough conference and we know that every game that we come out here is going to be tough, so we were excited."
LSU (31-2, 5-2 SEC) put runners on the corners with one out in the top of the third, but could not score.
"I don't really remember what I was thinking at the time, other than we just needed outs," Nunley said. "I know my team had my back, so I just wanted to get out of the inning."
UK (22-8, 2-5) then took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the inning.
Christian Stokes led off by lining a single off of pitcher Allie Walljasper (9-1).
Sylver Samuel, bunting Stokes to second, reached on an error, and Masie Steed's bunt single loaded the bases with no outs.
Joiner smacked a run-scoring single through the left side.
"We just had a different focus at practice this week," Joiner said. "Just try to relax and attack the ball, and that's what I was trying to do. It worked out."
Breanne Ray followed with a sacrifice fly to left, making it 2-0.
Joiner made it 3-0 in the fifth, taking a Walljasper pitch over the wall in centerfield for her sixth homer of the season.
LSU broke through for its only run in the sixth.
Bianka Bell reached on a one-out infield single and took third on Sahvanna Jaquish's base hit to center. A sacrifice fly by Kelli Kloss scored Bell.
Otherwise, Nunley was tough as nails.
"She was great today. She was outstanding," Lawson said. "She put the ball exactly where she wanted to. LSU is an incredible hitting team, and for her to be able to keep those hitters off balance really says a lot about how tough she is."
UK, now 6-0 at home, played 24 of its first 29 games on the road. This series opens a stretch in which 17 of 22 games will be played a home.
The series continues Saturday, with first pitch set for noon.