Coffel Ties Two Single-Game School Records, Abernathy Plays Hero

by Chris Shoals

CLERMONT, Fla. – Freshman infielder Erin Coffel tied two single game school records, launching two home runs and driving in six runs in an 11-1 win over New Mexico State, and junior outfielder Renee Abernathy walked off Kentucky with a two-RBI triple over Florida International 6-5 on day one of the 2021 Spring Games in Orlando.
Coffel hit two three-run home runs in the Wildcats’ 11-1 win over the Aggies on Friday afternoon, driving in six runs on those two long balls, trying the single-game school record in both instances. The freshman from Bremen, Indiana then launched her seventh homer of the season and third of the day in Kentucky’s 6-5 thrilling win over FIU. Coffel on the year is hitting a robust .467 with seven long balls and a team-leading 22 RBI. Erin Coffel is the second freshman in program history to have six RBI in a single game (Nikki Sagermann vs. Alabama, May 5, 2013). Overall on the day, Coffel went 3-for-8 with three home runs, eight RBI, 12 total bases and a .375 batting average.
Abernathy, who continues to have a break-out year, approached the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs and two on and Kentucky trailing, 6-5. Abernathy took a two-strike pitch and drove it all the way to the right-center wall and both Lauren Johnson and Jaci Babbs scored to win the game for Kentucky 6-5 thanks to Abernathy’s second triple of the season.
Before FIU held UK to six runs, Kentucky had scored at least 10 runs in a school-record six-consecutive games, eight out of ten games this season, and 16 of last 23 games dating back to last season.  
Kentucky is now 11-0 on the season, continuing its best start in program history since 2014 and the Wildcats will have two more games on deck Saturday afternoon in Orlando. UK’s day starts an hour earlier at 11 a.m. ET with a morning showdown against Stetson before UK rematches New Mexico State at 4 p.m. ET. Both games are broadcasted live on FLOsoftball and live stats can be found on
Game 1 – Kentucky 11, New Mexico State 1
Key Stat
2/6. Erin Coffel tied the school record with two home runs and six RBI in the game.
Key Player
Grace Baalman was the key player in the game, going the distance allowing just one run on three hits, one walk and striking out four to improve to 4-0 on the season.
Key Play
The key play in the game was Erin Coffel’s first three-run home run to put the Wildcats up 5-0 in the top of the second inning.
Run Recap
Renee Abernathy plated the first two runs of the game on a two-out RBI single in the top of the first. UK 2, MNSU 0
Erin Coffel hit a three-run home run to score Tatum Spangler and Rylea Smith in the top of the third. UK 5, NMSU 0
In the top of the fourth inning, Kentucky added to its lead on a three-run blast from Coffel. UK 8, NMSU 0
New Mexico State scored its only run of the game in the bottom of the fourth. UK 8, NMSU 1
Kentucky plated its three runs in the top of the fifth inning thanks to an RNI single from Miranda Stoddard and a double from Tatum Spangler. FINAL – Kentucky 11, New Mexico State 1 (F/5)
Game 1 – Kentucky 6, Florida International 5
Key Stat
This is Kentucky’s first walk-off win since Feb. 21, 2020 vs. Georgia Tech (won 10-9 in eight innings). Kentucky is 6-1 in their last seven games decided by exactly one run, dating back to 2019.  
Key Player
Renee Abernathy was the key player in the game, going 2-for-4 with an RBI double, game-winning walk-off two-RBI triple and three runs driven in.
Key Play
The key play in the game was Renee Abernathy’s walk-off triple in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Run Recap
Erin Coffel lifted her third HR of the day and seventh of the season out to left center in the bottom of the third inning to give Kentucky the lead. UK 2, FIU 0
Florida International tied the game up in the fourth on a home run and UK error. UK 2, FIU 2
The Panthers took their first lead in the top of the fifth on an RBI single up the middle. FIU 3, UK 2
Kentucky responded in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game on a first-pitch home run from sophomore pitcher, Miranda Stoddard. UK 3, FIU 3
FIU scored twice in the sixth on a UK error and an RBI groundout to take a two-run lead. FIU 5, UK 3
Kentucky clawed back and got one run back in the sixth on back-to-back doubles by Mallory Peyton and Renee Abernathy. FIU 5, UK 4
With no on and two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Lauren Johnson singled through the right side. Mallory Peyton was walked on four pitches and then Renee Abernathy played the role of hero with an RBI-triple to the gap in right center to win the game, scoring pinch runner Jaci Babbs and Johnson. FINAL – Kentucky 6, Florida International 5
For the latest on UK Softball, follow the Wildcats on Twitter and Instagram at @UKSoftball.

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