CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – The Kentucky softball team got a split on day one of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic on Friday afternoon, knocking off UC – Davis in the first game of the day behind clutch hitting and the pitching of Erin Rethlake, before falling on two late-inning rallies to the No. 7 Oregon Ducks.
Kentucky will conclude the Mary Nutter Classic on Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET against Cal State Northridge.
In the first game of the day, Kentucky got two runs in the second inning and runs in both the third and fifth innings to down the Aggies, 4-1. Junior pitcher Erin Rethlake got her first win of the season, throwing four innings on just 65 pitches, allowing three hits, walking one and striking out two. She did not allow a run in her four innings in the circle. Friday’s performance comes off of a great outing at UCLA on Wednesday, where she went three innings on just four hits and only allowing one run.
In game two – Kentucky got a big two-RBI single from freshman Alex Martens to the left side of the outfield, which gave the Wildcats a 4-1 lead after five innings. The Ducks then responded to tie the game in the top of the sixth with a three-run single assisted by a few UK fielding mistakes – and then a Nikki Udrea home run in the top of the seventh put the Ducks over the top.
GAME ONE – Kentucky 4, UC-Davis 1
Three. Breanne Ray went 3-for-3 in the game on Friday morning, with two singles, a triple and knocking in Kentucky’s fourth run of the game.
Pitcher Erin Rethlake notched a base hit up the middle into centerfield in the second inning to score both of UK’s two early runs in the third frame. Rethlake went 2-for-3 at the plate with two singles in addition to scoring a base.
Erin Rethlake was the key player in the game for Kentucky, earning her first win of the season in the circle – and also going 2-for-3 at the plate.
After back-to-back hits by Jenny Schaper and Breanne Ray to begin the inning, Brooklin Hinz hit a SAC fly to left field to score the game’s opening run and put UK up, 1-0. The second run of the inning, Breanne Ray, came around to score on an Erin Rethlake single up the middle. UK 2, UCD 0
The next inning for UK was led off by Alex Martens – who doubled to deep left field. After a walk by Schaper and a single by Ray – the Wildcats scored Martens from third and took a 3-0 lead. UK 3, UCD 0
Jenny Schaper, who got aboard with a two-out walk, scored the final run for UK’s offense in the bottom of the fifth inning. Ray then tripled to the gap in right center to score Schaper, and give UK a 4-0 lead. UK 4, UCD 0
The only Aggie run was scored in the bottom of the seventh inning. UC – Davis got a one-out double followed by a single to put runners on the corners with one out. A fielding miscue by the UK defense with two outs allowed the run to score. FINAL – No. 22 Kentucky 4, UC – Davis 1
GAME TWO – Oregon 5, Kentucky 4
Four. The Wildcats allowed four Duck runners to cross the plate in the final two innings to win the game after having a 4-1 lead through five innings.
The Ducks’ Nikki Udrea hit the game-winning home run with one out in the top of the seventh inning to put Oregon up 5-4 at the time.
Kentucky’s key player in the game was Jenny Schaper, who went 2-for-3 in the game with a single and a double.
Oregon took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning as a single by Lauren Lindvall to score Danica Mercado, who had a double in the prior at-bat. ORE 1, UK 1
After it appeared Jenny Schaper had homered in the bottom of the second – the umpires put her back to second base – and Breanne Ray closed the deal, scoring Schaper from second on an RBI single up the middle. UK 1, ORE 1
Kentucky scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 4-1 lead. Brooklin Hinz led off the inning with a walk and she was sacrificed over to second by Sarah Rainwater. Rethlake then got aboard with a fielder’s choice. Katie Reed brought in a run on a single and then Alex Martens launched a two-RBI single right back up the box to score Rethlake from third and Reed from second. UK 4, ORE 1
The Ducks loaded the bases with one out in the top of the sixth inning off of two singles and a hit batsmen. Oregon then scored three runs on a single to the left side – which was followed by two Kentucky errors. ORE 4, UK 1
Nikki Udria hit a home run to left center in the top of the seventh to put the Ducks ahead 5-4, and push across the game-winning run. The Wildcats got runners on first and second in the bottom of the seventh – but a strikeout swinging ended the game. FINAL – No. 7 Oregon 5, No. 22 Kentucky 4