Softball

Abernathy’s Grand Slam Lifts No. 16 Kentucky to Perfect Weekend

by Chris Shoals

TUCSON, Ariz. – Renee Abernathy hit a grand slam in the top of the fifth inning which helped power the No. 16 Kentucky Softball team past UC Santa Barbara 11-1 in six innings Sunday morning at Hillenbrand Stadium.
 
With the win Sunday, Kentucky finishes the 2022 Hillenbrand Invitational 5-0 with two wins over UCSB and single wins over No. 11 Arizona, Loyola-Marymount and Long Beach State, as well.
 
Alexia Lacatena picked up the win in the circle for Kentucky, moving her record on the year to 3-0. It was UK’s second run-rule win of the weekend over the Guachos.
 
Kentucky now sits 9-1 through two weekends of play with four power-five wins, including No. 11 Arizona this weekend.
 
Key Play
Renee Abernathy’s grand slam in the top of the fifth was the key play in the game.
 
Key Player
The key player in the game was Taylor Ebbs, who went 2-for-3 at the plate with her first-career home run.
 
Key Stat
0. Kentucky had no errors in the game.
 
Run Recap
Kayla Kowalik and Lauren Johnson both walked to lead off the game and got into scoring position for Erin Coffel, who doubled on a 12-pitch at bat to score both in the top of the first and get Kentucky off to a good start. Later in the inning, after Renee Abernathy was hit by a pitch, she created a 1st and 3rd, and Coffel scored on the steal. UK 3, UCSB 0
 
UCSB scored on an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning to cut the Kentucky lead to one run. UK 3, UCSB 1
 
In the top of the fifth, Renee Abernathy opened up the game with a two-out grand slam off the videoboard in right field. Margaret Tobias reached on a fielder’s choice, Taylor Ebbs was walked and Victoria Fragoso reached on an error to load the bases, all with two outs, before the grand slam pushed the Wildcats into the lead. UK 7, UCSB 1
 
In the top of the sixth inning, Kentucky added four more runs to its tally thanks to a sacrifice fly from Lauren Johnson, followed by a two-run home run off the bat of Taylor Ebbs, her first collegiate home run. FINAL – Kentucky 11, UC Santa Barbara 1 (6 innings)
 
For the latest on UK Softball, follow the Wildcats on Twitter and Instagram at @UKSoftball.
 

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