Schoonover Sparkles with 11 K’s as No. 15 Kentucky Splits DH

Schoonover Sparkles with 11 K’s as No. 15 Kentucky Splits DH

CELINA, Texas – Kentucky Softball got a career-high 11 strikeouts and a complete-game shutout from junior pitcher Stephanie Schoonover in a 4-0 win over McNeese to salvage a doubleheader split Friday after suffering a 4-2 loss to UT Arlington in the opening game of the 2023 Tracey Beard Softball Classic.

Schoonover allowed just two hits in the game with no walks surrendered and 11 K’s, setting a new career high from her previous best of seven set in February of 2022 against UC Santa Barbara. She needed just 97 pitches to get through the game and only five McNeese runners reached base with two via hits and two via UK fielding errors with a HBP thrown in.

In the opening game of the day, Kentucky got out of the gates slowly and fell behind UT Arlington 4-0 and couldn’t mount a comeback. The Wildcats loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, but a flyout to right ended the game as UK suffered its first loss of the season.

Kentucky is now 3-1-1 on the 2023 season. The Wildcats will play South Dakota and North Texas on Saturday evening in the second day of the Tracy Beard Softball Classic. UK and the Coyotes will start at 5 p.m. ET with the game against UNT scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Game 1 – UT Arlington 4, #15 Kentucky 2

Key Play

The key play in the game was Erin Coffel’s two-run home run in the bottom of the third inning to cut the UTA lead in half from 4-0 to 4-2. It was UK’s only scoring play of the game.

Key Player

Margaret Tobias was the key player in the game, going 2-for-3 with two singles.

Key Stat

12. Alexia Lacatena retired the final 12 batters of the game in order after pitching brilliantly all day. Lacatena came into the game in the middle of the second inning and allowed one unearned run on 85 pitches with two hits, no walks and six strikeouts.

Run Recap

In the top of the first inning, St. John’s scored three runs on two hits with a walk and wild pitch turning into a quick pair of runs to start the game. Alexia Lacatena then entered to pitch for the Wildcats. SJU 3, UK 0

UT Arlington had a 2-0 lead thanks to a two-run home run with one out in the top of the first. UTA 2, UK 0

In the top of the second and third innings, RBI singles up the middle plated Maverick runs. UTA 4, UK 0

Erin Coffel hit her fourth HR of the season on Friday with Rylea Smith on base to cut the deficit to two. UTA 4, UK 2

Kentucky loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh with two outs, but a flyout to CF ended the game. FINAL – UT Arlington 4, Kentucky 2

Game 2 – Kentucky 4, McNeese 0

Key Play

Rylea Smith’s two-run triple in the bottom of the second inning was the key play of the game.

Key Player

Stephanie Schoonover was the key player in the game, throwing her second complete-game shutout of the season as she took the win to improve to 2-0-1 on the season in the circle.

Key Stat

9. There were nine different players in the Kentucky order that recorded a hit in Friday’s win over the Cowgirls. Six of the nine starters are included in that nine, in addition to Chelsea Mack, who smoked her first hit as a Wildcat during a pinch-hit at bat.

Run Recap

Kayla Kowalik scored on an RBI single from Vanessa Nesby in the bottom of the first. UK 1, MCN 0

In the bottom of the second, Rylea Smith plated a pair of runs on a triple into right center to score Margaret Tobias and Jenna Blanton. UK 3, MCN 0

Chelsea Mack scored on a sac fly off the bat of Rylea Smith in the bottom of the sixth inning to give Schoonover an insurance run heading into the seventh. FINAL – Kentucky 4, McNeese 0

For the latest on UK Softball, follow the Wildcats on Twitter and Instagram at @UKSoftball.

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