Erin Coffel’s Two Homers, Six RBI, Even Series With No. 18 Tennessee

Erin Coffel’s Two Homers, Six RBI, Even Series With No. 18 Tennessee

by Chris Shoals

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Freshman Erin Coffel launched two home runs and had six runs batted in tying the school record in both categories, helping lead No. 7 Kentucky to a 13-2 win in five innings over No. 18 Tennessee.
Coffel wasn’t the only one who got in on the long ball Saturday night, as Rylea Smith and Renee Abernathy also launched two-run home runs, as Kentucky scored 10 runs via the home run. Smith’s long ball came as she was bumped up to the No. 2 spot in the lineup, and her three-run shot was her third-career home run.
Abernathy, who like Smith, also hit a home run on Monday night vs. Alabama, also went yard as she hit a two-run shot as UK’s lead ballooned to double digits. Abernathy also made a terrific catch in centerfield in the bottom of the third on lead-off batter Amanda Ayala to keep the Lady Vol offense at bay.
The win for Kentucky evens the series, setting up a rubber match on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on ESPNU with Beth Mowins and Michele Smith on the call. It will be Kentucky’s second-straight rubber match in two weeks.
Kentucky’s 13 runs in the most ever scored vs. Tennessee in program history. The previous high was 10 that was scored back in a 10-2 win in May of 2000. UK will be going for a first-ever win over Tennessee in Knoxville in program history on Sunday afternoon.
No. 7 Kentucky now sports a 27-5 record on the season, and is 4-4 in the Southeastern Conference. Tennessee with the loss falls to 27-6, 3-5 SEC.
Key Stat
4. Kentucky hit four home runs in the game, two by Coffel and one each by Smith and Abernathy. UK scored 10 of its 13 runs off the long ball.
Key Player
Grace Baalman was the key player in the game, pitching her second complete-game shutout as she went 5.0 innings, allowing one earned run on five hits with five strikeouts. Baalman improves to 6-1 on the season.
Key Play
The key play in the game was Erin Coffel’s three-run home run in the top of the third inning to put UK’s lead at 5-0 .
Run Recap
After a lead-off walk to begin the game, Erin Coffel hit the first of her two home runs to left field over the train tracks beyond the LF wall. UK 2, UT 0
In the top of the third, Coffel launched a three-run shot to make it 5-0. After a two-out single by Humes, Renee Abernathy launched her second HR of the week to make it a 7-0 lead. A Tennessee error, one of two in the inning, plated Kentucky’s eighth run. UK 8, UT 0
A Kentucky miscommunication on the infield allowed Tennessee’s only run of the third to score. UK 8, UT 1
In the top of the fourth, Kentucky put up a three-spot thanks to Rylea Smith’s third home run of the season, on a three-run shot to right-center. UK 11, UT 1
In the bottom of the fourth, a one-out home run by Rylie West scored the second run of the game for Tennessee. UK 11, UT 2
In the top of the fifth, Tatum Spangler finished her 3-for-3 day a single and came around to score on a Rylea Smith single. Coffel’s sixth RBI scored Kowalik with a single into left. FINAL – Kentucky 13, Tennessee 2
For the latest on UK Softball, follow the Wildcats on Twitter and Instagram at @UKSoftball.

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