Ebbs-Led Eight-Run First Inning Propels No. 11 Kentucky Past TAMU
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Taylor Ebbs hit a home run in the bottom of the first inning to score the sixth, seventh and eighth runs of the frame for the Wildcats as Kentucky used the strong start and a complete game from Stephanie Schoonover to run-rule No. 24 Texas A&M by a score of 10-2 on Sunday afternoon at John Cropp Stadium.
The Wildcats saw their first eight-consecutive batters of the first inning all reach base, and score, without an out recorded by the Aggie defense allowing UK to jump out to the early lead and coast to the finish line behind Schoonover. Meeko Harrison, Karissa Hamilton and Taylor Ebbs all had multi-RBI hits in the frame, and the Wildcats took advantage of four Aggie errors to get ahead.
With Sunday’s win, Kentucky avoids a sweep and with the 10 runs scored, scored 10+ runs in two of the three games in the series. UK scored 14 runs in Saturday’s first game of the weekend and 10 runs in Sunday’s series finale.
Schoonover threw a complete game in the circle Sunday with five strikeouts and only allowing four Texas A&M baserunners to reach in the contest. She improves to 12-1 on the season with Sunday’s result and sits with a 1.45 ERA in 2023.
Kentucky now sits 20-7-1 on the season overall, 13 games above the .500 mark with a 4-2 record in Southeastern Conference games through two series. Texas A&M is now 19-11 on the season and is at 4-5 in the SEC through its three series played in 2023 under first-year head coach Trisha Ford.
UK will return to action Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. ET against the Louisville Cardinals at John Cropp Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPNU with Pam Ward and former Arizona All-American, Jenny Dalton-Hill on the call from Lexington. Tickets are available at UKathletics.com.
Margaret Tobias’ defensive play in the top of the fifth inning was the key play in the game, as it prevented the Aggies from having two on with no outs. The ball was hit back up the middle and Tobias dove to her right to stop it from reaching the outfield, as she flipped to Erin Coffel at short to record the first out of the inning.
Taylor Ebbs was the key player in the game with a three-run bomb to right center in the bottom of the first inning to drive in three runs and put Kentucky on top, 8-0.
8. Kentucky’s eight runs in the bottom of the first was its biggest single-inning offensive output this season.
Kayla Kowalik and Vanessa Nesby both reached on singles to start the bottom of the first and Erin Coffel was walked to load the bases with nobody out. Rylea Smith then hit a high chopper in front of the plate that allowed Kowalik to score on an error from the pitcher-catcher exchange with everyone else safe at their bases. Grace Losung was walked after Nesby scored on a passed ball to make it 2-0. Meeko Harrison singled through the right side to score a run and a second run scored on an error to make it a 4-0 lead. Karissa Hamilton ripped an RBI single through the left side to score Grace Lorsung and then Taylor Ebbs stepped to the plate and hammered a homer to right center. UK 8, TAMU 0
In the bottom of the fourth, Kentucky plated two runs on an RBI triple off the bat of Grace Lorsung to score Vanessa Nesby and Rylea Smith. UK 10, TAMU 0
Texas A&M’s Julia Cottrill hit a two-run homer in the top of the fifth inning to score the only two runs of the game. FINAL – Kentucky 10, Texas A&M 2
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