Smith’s Solid Start, Offensive Explosion Powers UK to Sweep
BOCA RATON, Fla. – Led by senior pitchers Shannon Smith and Meagan Prince, who each picked up wins on Saturday, the No. 22 Kentucky softball team swept Memphis and Florida Atlantic to move to 4-0 in the FAU Invitational.
The Wildcats downed the Tigers 9-1 in the early game of the day – striking for six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to win via the run rule for the first time this season – and knocked down the FAU Owls 6-2 in the nightcap.
Kentucky will close out the tournament on Sunday afternoon with an 11:15 a.m. ET game against the Memphis Tigers.
GAME ONE – Kentucky 9, Memphis 1
Nine. The nine runs scored for the Wildcats was a season high – as well as the 14 hits that the UK offense was able to manage. The last time UK scored nine or more runs was back on March 27 of 2016 in a 12-4 win at Arkansas.
With Kentucky leading 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning – junior Brooklin Hinz unleashed her first home run of the season over the wall if left to score Alex Martens and Abbey Cheek and give UK a 7-1 lead with two outs in the inning.
Katie Reed was the key player in the game for UK going 3-for-4 in the game with four RBI’s in three separate at-bats – all with two outs – scoring the game-winning run in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI double.
Memphis scored in the top of the first inning off of Larissa Spellman, who got the start for the Wildcats. Spellman issued a lead-off walk to Addison Maxwell, who came around to score on an RBI single up the middle with two outs. MEM 1, UK 0
Kentucky took its first lead of the game in the bottom of the second inning, scoring two runs on three hits. Sarah Rainwater started the two-out rally with a walk, followed by a single from freshman Bailey Vick. Vick and Rainwater moved up to second and third on a wild pitch – and was brought home on an RBI single from Katie Reed. UK 2, MEM 1
The Wildcats added a run in the bottom of the fourth after Sarah Rainwater doubled to the wall in center and a single by Reed with two outs brought Rainwater home. UK 3, MEM 1
Kentucky won the game with six runs in the bottom of the fifth. Alex Martens led off the inning with a single and then a fielders’ choice that was unsuccessful by Abbey Cheek put two on with one out. Hinz then homered to left to score three and put UK up 6-1. Rainwater followed by advancing to second on a double-error play by the Memphis defense and was driven in on a double by Bailey Vick. Katie Reed then ended the game, as she doubled to left and scored on a throwing error by the Memphis defense all in the same play. FINAL – No. 22 Kentucky 9, Memphis 1
GAME TWO – Kentucky 6, Florida Atlantic 2
Zero is the key stat to the game. The Kentucky defense committed zero errors in the game against FAU.
Abbey Cheek hit a home run in the top of the fifth inning over the wall in straightaway center to give UK a 6-1 lead.
Shannon Smith was the key player in the game, going 4.1 innings and earning her third win of the season to move to 3-1. Smith allowed just two runs on two hits, five walks and struck out six FAU batters.
FAU got on the board in the bottom of the second inning as a one-out double from Madisyn Palmer scored Emily Lohten, who led off the inning with a walk. FAU 1, UK 0
Kentucky scored three runs in the top of the fourth to take its first lead of the game. Alex Martens led off the top of the inning with a double – which was followed by a single from Abbey Cheek. With the runners on the corners, Breanne Ray tied the game on a SAC fly to deep center. Brooklin Hinz then singled and a Kierston Moore single to the gap tied the game. UK 3, FAU 1
The Wildcat offense put up a crooked number for the second-straight inning in the fifth to take a 6-1 lead. Erin Rethlake and Jenny Schaper both singled before Abbey Cheek unloaded a home run to deep center to score Schaper after Rethlake had already scored. UK 6, FAU 1
The Owls got one run back in the bottom of the fifth as Emily Lochten went yard to left off of Smith. FINAL – No. 22 Kentucky 6, Florida Atlantic 2
For the latest on the Kentucky softball team, follow @UKSoftball on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com.