UK Softball beats No. 3 Alabama in extra innings to win series

Aritcle written by:Kassidy StumboKassidy Stumbo


Softball 3:29
<small>(UK Athletics | Tim Letcher)<small>
[caption id="attachment_345454" align="aligncenter" width="767"] (UK Athletics | Tim Letcher)[/caption] A rubber match between two top-10 SEC teams - what could be better? UK Softball's closing matchup with No. 3 Alabama under the lights on Monday night certainly lived up to the hype. The 'Cats were able to get two runners on base in the bottom of the first, but couldn't find home plate. Kayla Kowalik and Autumn Humes both hit deep balls just feet away from leaving the park, but couldn't quite make it. Kowalik is currently leading the SEC with a .475 batting average and five home runs on the season so far. Alabama struck first in the top of the second off an RBI double down the left-field line from Maddie Morgan. There was a bit of controversy over the play, as Kentucky head coach Rachel Lawson thought the ball might have been foul. The umpires convened to discuss the play, but opted to leave the call as a fair ball and give 'Bama a 1-0 lead. Grace Baalman started on the mound for the 'Cats. She worked herself into a bit of a jam in the top of the third, allowing 'Bama to load the bases off of a hit and a few walks. Baalman and the Wildcat defense stood strong, and the 'Cats managed to end the inning with no additional runs scored. 'Bama managed another lead off double in the top of the fourth inning, but couldn't bring any runs home. Freshman phenom Erin Coffel came up with another big defensive play to end the inning with Alabama runners on the corners. The Tide left seven batters on base in their first four innings alone. Autumn Humes entered the game for Baalman in the top of the sixth after the Tide drove in another run to make it 2-0. Humes had a big hole to climb out of with two runners on base and only one out. Unfortunately, Humes couldn't quite get the final out, leading to a Bailey Hemphill 2 RBI double to extend the Alabama lead to 4-0. The 'Cats cut the Alabama lead in half in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a Coffel home run, her 11th of the season. After two more Kentucky singles, Alabama pitcher Montana Fouts, a Kentucky native and East Carter High School graduate, was replaced by Lexi Kilfoyl. Kilfoyl leads SEC pitchers with a 0.63 ERA. She struck out Miranda Stoddard to end the inning with 'Cats on the corners. Kentucky mounted a huge rally in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the game after back-to-back homers from Renee Abernathy and Rylea Smith. Smith came up big again in the bottom of the eighth, pushing through another run for a walk-off Kentucky win. The final score was 5-4. The now 25-4 'Cats will welcome Morehead State to Lexington on Wednesday for a mid-week matchup. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m.

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