Princess Valencia Walks Off Eastern Kentucky in Midweek Finale
LEXINGTON, Ky. – With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the fifth inning, senior Princess Valencia stepped into the batters box for her first at bat as a Kentucky Wildcat and singled through the right side to score Kayla Kowalik as No. 20 Kentucky walked off Eastern Kentucky 10-2 via a run rule Wednesday night at John Cropp Stadium.
Valencia, a senior who transferred in from Western Kentucky University this season, took a 3-2 offering from EKU pitcher Brooke Davis and deposited it into shallow left field off the bat, immediately scoring Kowalik to end the game on her swing. Kowalik went 2-for-4 on the night, with a single, double and reaching twice on an error to score twice, as well.
Kentucky ended up scoring 10 runs for the first time since April 12 and used three pitchers in the contest with Stephanie Schoonover, Kennedy Sullivan and Sloan Gayan all seeing time in the circle for the Wildcats. This was Kentucky’s ninth run-rule win of the season.
UK with Wednesday’s win improves to 28-15-1 on the season. Eastern Kentucky falls to 25-21. Kentucky will next play a three-game Southeastern Conference series at Mississippi State running Friday through Sunday in Starkville as the Wildcats close out their SEC road schedule against the Bulldogs.
The key play in the game was Valencia’s walk-off hit.
Kennedy Sullivan was the key player in the game, going 1.2 innings in the circle to pick up the win with two strikeouts and throwing 50 pitches. At the plate, Sullivan also went 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.
- Kentucky scored six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
EKU scored on a two-out RBI single in the top of the first. EKU 1, UK 0
Erin Coffel led off the bottom of the first on a solo home run, her team-leading 17th of the season. Two Colonel errors and a hit by Sullivan gave UK its second and third runs of the game. UK 3, EKU 1
In the bottom of the second inning, a walk to Erin Coffel turned into a run thanks to an RBI double off the bat of Kayla Kowalik on her second hit of the game. UK 4, EKU 1
EKU cut UK’s lead in half on a solo HR in the top of the third inning. UK 4, EKU 2
In the fifth inning, Kentucky scored six runs. Rylea Smith hit her first homer of the season to plate a pair of runs on a bomb to right center. A fielding error by the Colonels loaded the bases and Erin Coffel then avoided a tag at home plate on an unbelievable play to score her third run of the game. With the bags full of Wildcats and an out, Princess Valencia stepped into the batters box, inheriting a 2-1 count from Grace Lorsung and took a 3-2 pitch, ripping it into left to score Kowalik and ending the game. FINAL – Kentucky 10, Eastern Kentucky 2 (F/5)
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