UK baseball, softball earn big Saturday wins

Aritcle written by:Kassidy StumboKassidy Stumbo


Baseball 3:20
<small>(UK Athletics | Tim Letcher)<small>
[caption id="attachment_343933" align="aligncenter" width="767"] (UK Athletics | Tim Letcher)[/caption] Good news, 'Bat Cat fans - both the University of Kentucky baseball and softball teams ended this beautiful Saturday with big wins. It was an exciting day of games, so let's get straight into the recap:


On a beautiful first day of spring at Kentucky Proud Park, the Wildcats were able to fight for a close win over the Missouri Tigers, sealing the series win. Mizzou took an early 3-0 lead in the second inning, but it wouldn't last long. Kentucky tied things up at 3-3 in the third inning. The score would stay that way until the bottom of the eighth, when Ryan Ritter flied out to right field with bases loaded to score Jaren Shelby and take a 4-3 lead. Missouri tied the game in the top of the ninth, giving Kentucky one last chance to end it before extra innings. The 'Cats managed to load the bases thanks to Cam Hill stealing third base and a few Tiger errors. Hill scored on a passed ball to win the game 5-4. Defense was a big factor in this game, as the Wildcats ended with zero errors. Junior Austin Schultz proved efficient on both sides of the ball, ending the game 2-4 at the plate and making an athletic catch in the top of the sixth to keep the game tied. Winning a baseball game in the Southeastern Conference is not easy.  Right now, the top 5 teams in the nation are all SEC teams. Every SEC victory is a huge one. The 'Cats will look to complete the sweep tomorrow. First pitch is at noon. You can watch on SEC Network + or listen live on the UK Sports Network.


Though the Wildcats got yesterday off, they were back in action today for the 2021 John Crop Classic here in Lexington. They hosted the University of Dayton Flyers in a double-header, where they won both games. The No. 9 Wildcats wore teal uniforms in honors of former Mississippi State softball player Alex Wilcox, who died of ovarian cancer in 2018. As a tribute to Wilcox, all 13 SEC schools did the same. GAME ONE RECAP: Kentucky struck first off an Erin Coffel RBI single up the middle. Pitcher Tatum Spangler doubled in the bottom of the second to take on another, giving the 'Cats a 2-0 lead. The next few innings brought an offensive drought for both teams until Dayton scored in the fifth, making it a 2-1 game. Mallory Peyton homered to left field in the bottom of the sixth to give the 'Cats a little breathing room. It was her seventh of the season and second of the week. Spangler was strong on the mound early on, leaving Flyers stranded on base several times throughout the match. Stoddard came in to close in the sixth with a runner on third and only one out. She held strong with a pop up and strikeout, allowing no runs. The game ended 3-1. GAME TWO RECAP: The Flyers struck first this time off an RBI double in the third inning for a 1-0 lead. It was short-lived, though. Back-to-back-to-back singles from Peyton, Coffel and Abernathy put Kentucky up 3-1 leading into the fourth. Fifth-year senior Autumn Humes began on the mound for the 'Cats in the second game. The Flyers had no answer for Humes, who recorded four strikeouts in the first two innings alone - three of them caught looking. Though Humes was relieved in the fourth by Vanessa Nesby, she returned to the circle in the sixth to finish it out. The game ended 3-1 as the 'Cats swept the doubleheader. They are now 23-2 on the season. The 'Cats will be back in action on Wednesday to take on the WKU Hilltoppers from Bowling Green. First pitch is at 7 p.m.

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