Schoonover’s Heroic 181-Pitch Night Gives Kentucky 6-3 Win

Schoonover’s Heroic 181-Pitch Night Gives Kentucky 6-3 Win

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky pitcher Stephanie Schoonover threw a heroic 181 pitches Thursday night at John Cropp Stadium as the Kentucky Softball team picked up one of its gutsiest wins of the season in a 6-3 defeat of No. 13/14 Alabama in a thriller.

Schoonover threw a complete-game, only allowing only three hits to the Tide offense, and used everything in her arsenal, including 181 pitches, a new career high, with nine strikeouts and overcoming a Kentucky error in the game. The Vicksburg, Mississippi native only allowed two of the three runs to be earned, with both coming in the top of the sixth inning on back-to-back home runs from Marlie Giles and Emma Broadfoot to begin the inning.

Offensively it was plate discipline that carried the day for the Wildcats, who drew a combined seven walks in the game and scored twice off of bases-loaded walks. Additionally, Taylor Ebbs had a pinch-hit two-RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning to increase UK’s 3-1 lead at the time to 5-1 before an Alabama fielding error ballooned the lead to 6-1, its largest of the night. Kentucky managed five hits on the evening with five different players logging a base knock, and all were singles.

Schoonover got the win to improve to 12-5 on the season in the circle for the Wildcats. Starter Kayla Beaver, who went 1.2 innings and walked four with three strikeouts, picked up just her third loss of the season as she fell to 10-3.

With the win, Kentucky collects its first Southeastern Conference victory of the season to move to 1-6 in SEC play and moves to 11 games above the .500 mark at 22-11 this season. Alabama, ranked No. 14/13 in the nation, drops to 25-7 and is now 2-5 in SEC play. The Wildcats and Crimson Tide will play game two of its SEC series Friday evening at John Cropp Stadium at 6:30 p.m. ET with the game broadcast on SEC Network+ as Dave Baker and Carol Bruggeman will have the call from Lexington.

Key Play 

The key play in the game was Taylor Ebbs’ two-RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning to score the Wildcats fourth and fifth runs as UK took a 5-1 lead in the frame.

Key Player  

Stephanie Schoonover was the key player in the game, throwing 181 pitches to collect her 12th win of the season with nine strikeouts and two earned runs allowed.

Key Stat 

  1. Stephanie Schoonover threw 181 pitches, a new career high.

Run Recap 

A passed ball allowed the first run of the game to cross in the top of the second inning. ALA 1, UK 0

In the bottom of the second, Kentucky had two walked in runs and a run scoring via a passed ball to push the Wildcats out in front. UK 3, ALA 1

In the bottom of the fifth, Taylor Ebbs hit a bases-loaded pinch-hit two-RBI single up the middle and then Jenna Blanton scored on an Alabama throwing error to give UK its largest lead of the night. UK 6, ALA 1

Alabama hit back-to-back home runs in the top of the sixth inning to creep within three. The Tide in the seventh inning brought the tying run to the plate, but Schoonover got a strikeout to end the game with two on and two outs on a 12-pitch at bat. FINAL – Kentucky 6, Alabama 3

NEW for 2024 – The Kentucky Softball Designated Players Club

The Designated Players is the Official Booster Program of Kentucky Softball.  Financial contributions and community support through The Designated Players program, Kentucky Softball will be able to continue to develop our student-athletes on and off the field. To join The Designated Players, you can join online or click here to download the membership form and mail to the address listed.  For more information, email Kristine Himes at or Larry Cash at

For the latest on UK Softball, follow the Wildcats on Twitter and Instagram at @UKSoftball.

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