Lacatena Throws Great Outing, No. 17 Kentucky Falls in Extras, 2-1
LEXINGTON – Sophomore pitcher Alexia Lacatena threw an eight-inning complete-game effort and Taylor Ebbs hit her fourth home run of the season, but it was just short Friday night as the No. 6 Tennessee Lady Vols beat No. 17 Kentucky at John Cropp Stadium, 2-1.
Tennessee scored its runs in the top of the fourth inning and the top of the eighth inning with Ebbs’ home run, the Wildcats lone run of the contest, coming in the bottom of the fifth inning. Kentucky had two chances to win the game in the bottom of the seventh and in the bottom of the eighth, but a strikeout swinging and a popout to shallow CF ended the game.
Lacatena was the tough-luck loser in the contest, throwing eight innings on 113 pitches with two runs, both earned, six hits and six strikeouts as opposed to one walk. Tennessee pitcher Ashely Rogers threw a complete game with three walks and 11 strikeouts with three hits and 131 pitches.
Tennessee improves to 32-5 on the season and is 11-2 in Southeastern Conference play, leading the conference championship race to this point. UK falls to 25-11-1 and is 7-6 in the SEC.
Game two of the series will be Saturday at Noon ET on SEC Network.
The key play in the game came in the top of the eighth inning with runners on the corners and two outs as Tennessee’s Lair Beautae laid down a bunt to the left side and a vacant base at first allowed the run to score the eventual game-winning run.
Taylor Ebbs was the key player in the game, notching her fourth home run of the season to center field off of Ashley Rogers in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game.
6. Kentucky became just the sixth team this season to hold Tennessee to two runs or less in a game.
Lair Beautae hit a home run to left field in the top of the fourth inning. UT 1, UK 1
Taylor Ebbs hit a solo HR to straight-away CF in the bottom of the fifth inning. UK 1, UT 1
With runners on the corners and two outs, Tennessee laid down a bunt in the top of eighth and a run scored with no play at first base. Kentucky brought the tying run to scoring position in the bottom of the eighth, but two popouts ended the contest. FINAL – Tennessee 2, Kentucky 1
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