Schoonover and Lacatena Pitch Kentucky to Sweep of Missouri
COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Kentucky Softball team got dynamic pitching performances from sophomore Alexia Lacatena and junior Stephanie Schoonover to sweep a doubleheader with No. 23 Missouri on Sunday, 5-0 and 6-0 at the Mizzou Softball Stadium.
With the sweep, Kentucky completes an opening-weekend shutout sweep of the Tigers to start the season 3-0 in Southeastern Conference play. The Wildcats pitching staff did not allow a run all weekend, marking the second time in program history that UK has not allowed a run in an SEC series (LSU, 2016).
Between Alexia Lacatena and Stephanie Schoonover, the pitchers for UK recorded 21 shutout innings, allowing only 14 hits on the series with 30 strikeouts. Lacatena had five strikeouts in her performance Sunday and Schoonover, who went 2-0 on the weekend, struck out 25. The Kentucky defense was also clean, not recording an error all weekend in the three games played.
Offensively, No. 16 Kentucky got huge hits off the bat of Kennedy Sullivan in game one and Rylea Smith in game two to score the runs needed in both games to win. Sullivan went 2-for-3 in the first game, with a huge two-run, two-out double into center in the top of the sixth inning of a scoreless game to score the eventual game-winning runs. In game two, Rylea Smith went 3-for-4 with a single, double and a triple and launching three RBI’s off of her bat.
The Wildcats with Sunday’s sweep improve to 16-5-1 on the season and is now 3-0 in the SEC, tied atop the standings with Tennessee, the only other league team to sweep their opening-weekend series.
UK’s trip to the Midwest continues into Tuesday, as the Wildcats will take on St. Louis University at 5 p.m. ET from the Billiken Sports Complex.
Game 1 – Kentucky 5, Missouri 0
Kennedy Sullivan’s two-run double in the top of the sixth inning was the key play in the game, as it scored Vanessa Nesby for the first run of the game, and Erin Coffel, to make it a 2-0 lead for the Wildcats. Sullivan went 2-for-3 in the game with three RBI.
Alexia Lacatena was the key player in the game, throwing 5.1 scoreless innings with no walks and five strikeouts as she threw 79 pitches in the contest with only five hits. Lacatena got the win in the circle and now is 5-1 on the season in the circle.
- Only three Mizzou Tigers tallied a hit in Sunday’s opening game, with Jenna Laird recording three of them.
Kentucky scored in the top of the sixth inning thanks to a Kennedy Sullivan two-run double with two outs to score Vanessa Nesby and Erin Coffel, who led off the inning with a single and a walk. UK 2, MIZ 0
In the top of the seventh, Erin Coffel roped a two-run double into left center to plate a pair of runs followed by a Kennedy Sullivan RBI single to score the fifth run for UK. FINAL – Kentucky 5, Mizzou 0
Game 2 – Kentucky 6, Missouri 0
The key play in the second game of the afternoon was Jenna Blanton’s diving catch in center field to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning and deny the Tigers of a potential lead-off batter reaching. Blanton’s catch has been nominated for tonight’s #SCTop10.
The key player in game two was Rylea Smith. Smith went 3-for-4 at the plate, only a home run shy of the cycle as she had two different RBI hits in the contest and launched the second triple of her season into the right field wall early in the contest.
- One is the key stat, as this becomes the first time in Missouri’s history in the SEC that the Tigers have been shutout for an entire series.
UK scored three times in the top of the first thanks to back-to-back singles from Kayla Kowalik and Vanessa Nesby and a sac fly from Erin Coffel and an RBI single from Rylea Smith. UK 3, MIZ 0
In the top of the third, Rylea Smith hit an RBI triple down the right-field line to score Erin Coffel and Coffel scored on a sac fly off the bat of Hallie Mitchell. UK 5, MIZ 0
Erin Coffel doubled to lead off the top of the fifth and scored on a Rylea Smith RBI single up the middle. FINAL – Kentucky 6, Missouri 0
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