Vickers Sparkles as No. 25 Kentucky Downs No. 3 Stanford
SAN DIEGO – Transfer Jaden Vickers sparkled and dazzled in her Kentucky debut Friday afternoon as she threw a complete game, only allowing two hits and a run as the No. 25 Kentucky Softball team upset No. 3 Stanford, 2-1, in the second game of its opening day doubleheader in San Diego.
Kentucky scored first thanks to a home run by Taylor Ebbs in the top of the second inning and that 1-0 scoreline would hold until the Cardinal broke up Vickers’ no hitter in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI double tying the game at 1-1. Kentucky scored the game-winning run in the top of the sixth on Vanessa Nesby’s RBI single that plated Ebbs to win the game for the Wildcats.
The win over No. 3 Stanford marks UK’s highest-ranked win in program history on an opening day contest, and marks the first time Kentucky has tallied an opening day ranked win since 2016 when the Wildcats dispatched No. 25 Notre Dame on the season’s first day.
Vickers was outstanding, going the distance with just one run on two hits and walking just one Stanford batter while logging three strikeouts. Vickers retired the final nine batters of the game in order, including a 1-2-3 sixth inning after UK had re-taken the lead that needed just three pitches as the Cardinal flew out three times.
The Wildcats are now 2-0 on the year as Stanford falls to 1-1. The two teams will play again Saturday at Noon ET/9am PT before UK plays host San Diego State on Saturday afternoon at 7:30 p.m. ET. The game vs. San Diego State can be streamed live on the Mountain West Network for free.
The key play was a 14-pitch at bat by Ella Emmert in the bottom of the sixth inning with a runner on first and one out as she worked a walk from an 0-2 count to put two runners on and that extended the inning for Vanessa Nesby to drive in the go-ahead run.
The key player in the game was Taylor Ebbs who went 2-for-4 with a single, a home run and scored both of Kentucky’s runs.
The key stat in Friday’s game was four. There were four players from Kentucky with two hits each. Ally Hutchins, Taylor Ebbs, Grace Lorsung and Vanessa Nesby all had two hits each in Friday’s contest.
Taylor Ebbs hit a solo home run to right field in the top of the second inning. UK 1, STAN 0
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Stanford broke open the no-hitter with an RBI run-scoring double to left field to tie the game. Vickers worked out of the jam with a strikeout and a groundout with the bases loaded to end the frame. STAN 1, UK 1
With runners on the corners and one out, Vanessa Nesby singled through the left side to score Ebbs from third and push across the go-ahead and eventual game-winning run. FINAL – Kentucky 2, Stanford 1
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