Coffel’s Three-Run Bomb Gives Kentucky 5-4 Win over Dayton
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Erin Coffel saved the day Wednesday night as the All-American belted a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 4-2 deficit and turn it into a 5-4 lead, one the No. 16 Kentucky Softball team would consolidate into a win over Dayton in its home opener at John Cropp Stadium.
The Wildcats struggled at the plate most of the night until the bottom of the sixth, when with two outs, Kayla Kowalik and Vanessa Nesby singled before Erin Coffel stepped to the plate and delivered a 2-1 offering over the wall in center to give UK its first lead of the night. The Wildcats had been behind the entire night after spotting the Flyers a three spot in the top of the first, but scored once in the second, once in the third and three times in the sixth to win the game.
Stephanie Schoonover won her eighth game of the season in the circle for Kentucky in relief, throwing the final four innings of the game without surrendering an earned run on just two hits and seven strikeouts. Kennedy Sullivan started the game and Alexia Lacatena pitched two innings in relief without allowing a run on just one hit and one strikeout.
Kentucky with Wednesday night’s win improves to 13-5-1 on the 2023 season and Dayton falls to 6-9. Kentucky will now head to Columbia, Missouri for its first conference series of the season against the No. 23 Missouri Tigers. The Tigers come into the weekend with a 16-6 record in conference play as will look for its first win in the season series against Missouri since 2017. First pitch will be Friday night at 5 p.m. ET.
The three-run home run by Erin Coffel in the bottom of the sixth inning gave Kentucky its first lead of the game was the key play in the game. The run ended up being the difference in the game as UK ended up winning the game with that long ball.
Stephanie Schoonover was the key player in the game for Kentucky. The Wildcats needed a pitcher to come in and keep the game close to give the bats a chance and Schoonover did just that. After coming in at the start of the fourth inning, she pitched the rest of the way allowing only two hits and one run.
Kentucky improves to 18-9 overall on home openers and to 12-4 in home openers under coach Rachel Lawson.
A three-run home run in the top of the first inning gave the Flyers the early lead. UD 3, UK 0
In the bottom of the second, an RBI single by Kayla Kowalik scored Jenna Blanton to cut the deficit in thirds. UD 3, UK 1
Kentucky crept closer in the bottom of the third inning as Rylea Smith’s RBI groundout to the right side scored Kowalik from third with one out. UD 3, UK 2
Dayton scored in the top of the sixth inning on an error. UD 4, UK 2
Erin Coffel’s three-run home run was the main play in the bottom of the sixth. FINAL – Kentucky 5, Dayton 4
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