LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 12 Kentucky softball team had an uncharacteristically bad night in the field, committing a season-high six errors leading to five unearned runs as the No. 18 Missouri Tigers evened the series with a 9-2 win over the Wildcats on Saturday afternoon at John Cropp Stadium.
The loss drops Kentucky to 36-9 overall in 2016 and one game in the Southeastern Conference to 12-5 in league action, trailing Auburn and Florida by two games for the league lead. Missouri improves to 29-12 overall and wins its first SEC game in four tries, getting to 6-8 in SEC play.
Missouri’s Paige Lowary earned the complete-game win on Saturday, bumping her record to 16-5 on the season. Kentucky’s Meagan Prince was tagged with the loss, to fall to 16-3. Prince threw 6.2 innings of the game, allowing nine hits, seven runs, four earned runs and striking out three. The pitcher from Martin, Tenn., only walked one batter in the game.
With Kentucky winning Friday’s game 7-6 and Missouri taking Saturday’s match-up, it sets up a rubber match on Sunday afternoon at Noon ET in Lexington. The game will be shown live on ESPNU, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app with Cara Capuano and Carol Bruggeman on the call.
Six. Kentucky committed six defensive errors leading to five unearned runs on Saturday afternoon. It marked the first time since Feb. 10, 2012 that UK has committed six or more errors in a single game, a stretch of more than four years.
Kolby Romaine hit Missouri’s second home run of the game in the top of the fourth inning to give the Tigers a 5-1 lead. It was the Tigers’ second home run of the inning, as Amanda Sanchez homered to left to plate the first run of the inning in the lead-off spot.
Abbey Cheek was the key Kentucky offensive player on Saturday night, going 2-for-4 at the plate with a single and a double. Cheek in her last three games is batting .524 with three home runs and five extra-base hits.
Missouri took the lead in the top of the second inning, scoring two runs on two hits with the help of a Kentucky error. The Tigers’ Amanda Sanchez singled to lead off the inning and got to third on Kentucky’s second defensive error of the inning to put runners on second and third with no outs. An RBI single by Romaine brought home two runs and put the Tigers on top. MIZ 2, UK 0
Kentucky responded with a run in the bottom of the second, as Brooklin Hinz singled up the middle to get the inning started for UK. After an infield single by Schaper, the runners moved to second and third on a wild pitch, and then two pitches later, pinch runner Sarah Rainwater scored one run for UK on another wild pitch. MIZ 2, UK 1
Sanchez led off the Missouri top of the fifth with a solo home run to leftcenter field, which was followed up by a three-run homer by Romaine to give MU three runs in the frame. MIZ 5, UK 1
Two more runs came across to score in the fifth inning for the Tigers, as Emily Crane and Sami Fagan scored on a throwing error to make it 7-1 in favor of Mizzou. MIZ 7, UK 1
Missouri would plate runs in both the sixth and seventh innings, with the baserunner for the Tigers in the seventh inning getting on via Kentucky’s sixth error of the game. MIZ 9, UK 1
Kentucky scored its second and final run of the game in the bottom of the seventh, as Hinz hit an RBI single back up the box to score Sylver Samuel from second, who singled to lead off the inning. MIZ 9, UK 2