Schoonover Fans 15 in SEC-Opening Win at No. 23 Missouri
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Junior pitcher Stephanie Schoonover threw a complete-game two-hit shutout at No. 23 Mizzou striking out 15 batter as No. 16 Kentucky opened the Southeastern Conference season with a 5-0 win over the Tigers on Friday night in Columbia.
Schoonover threw 114 pitches Friday night with 74 being recorded as a strike without allowing a Mizzou runner past second base all game, and only facing two at bats with a runner in scoring position all night. With Friday night’s win, Schoonover improves to 9-1 on the season as she only allowed two hits in the ballgame, with one coming as a bloop single into LF and the second as an infield single that was upheld by replay review.
Offensively, UK scored five runs in four different innings with 10 hits in the game. The top of UK’s order produced in style with Kayla Kowalik, Vanessa Nesby and Erin Coffel all recording multi-hit games Friday and both Rylea Smith and Hallie Mitchell each tallying a hit.
The second game of the SEC opening weekend series between UK and Mizzou is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. ET on SEC Network with Alex Perlman and Kayla Braud on the call. There is inclement weather expected to move into the Columbia area on Saturday, so potential game-altering plans could happen. UK Softball’s Twitter account and UKathletics.com will have updates.
Friday night’s key play was a two-run RBI single through the right side by senior Rylea Smith to plate UK’s fourth and fifth runs in the game as UK got some strong insurance in the top of the seventh inning to get the final three outs of the game in the bottom half.
The key player in the 5-0 result was pitcher Stephanie Schoonover. Schoonover threw a complete-game two-hit shutout over the Tigers with 15 strikeouts, only allowing two hits and only allowing two batters to reach second base.
.500. Kentucky’s top three batters in the order went 6-12 in the game with Kowalik, Nesby and Coffel all going 2-for-4 in the contest. Kowalik, Nesby and Coffel all had RBI hits in the game, as well, including Erin Coffel passing Mallory Peyton for third all-time on the UK home run list with now 44 in her career.
Kayla Kowalik’s RBI single up the middle scored Taylor Ebbs, who led off the top of the third inning with a single. UK 1, MIZ 0
In the top of the fourth, Erin Coffel hit a solo lead-off home run to straight-away center to double Kentucky’s lead. UK 2, MIZ 0
In the top of the fifth inning, a drag bunt scored Kayla Kowalik from third off the of the bat of Vanessa Nesby as UK took the 3-0 lead with six outs to get. UK 3, MIZ 0
Rylea Smith scored two on a two-RBI single through the right side into RF as Kowalik and Nesby scored. FINAL – Kentucky 5, Missouri 0
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