CARBONDALE, Ill. – In a tied game five innings old, sophomore slugger Abbey Cheek belted a two-out grand slam over the wall in left center to give the No. 19 Kentucky softball team a 6-2 win over the Illinois-Chicago Flames on Saturday.
The 6-2 result is UK’s eighth-straight win on the season as Kentucky wraps up a 3-0 road trip to Carbondale, Illinois in the Coach B Classic. With Saturday’s result, UK now sits at 13-4 on the season. The Flames fell to 9-7.
This game put a bow on Kentucky’s 17-game road trip to start the 2017 campaign. The Wildcats will return home to the beautiful John Cropp Stadium in Lexington. The Wildcats will host Drexel, Evansville, Michigan, Dayton and Kent State for 14 games spanning Thursday through Sunday.
Kentucky’s home opener will be Thursday night at 6 p.m. ET against the Dayton Flyers. The game will additionally be shown on the SEC Network+, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app with Dave Baker and Carol Bruggeman calling the action.
Five. Kentucky scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning – UK’s second five-run inning of the weekend and fourth of the season. Four of the five runs scored by UK in the fifth was via an Abbey Cheek grand slam.
Abbey Cheek’s home run to break a 2-2 score was the key play in the game – and turned out to be the difference maker.
Jenny Schaper was the key player in the game, registering a lead-off triple in the second inning and a game-tying home run in the bottom of the fifth inning.
UIC scored two runs in the top of the second inning as the Wildcats walked two runners to start the inning and an RBU groundout in addition to an RBI single put the Flames up early, 2-0. UIC 2, UK 0
Jenny Schaper led off the bottom of the third inning with a triple to the gap in left center. After a strikeout and a popout – Katie Reed brought Schaper home with an RBI single into shallow left. UIC 2, UK 1
Kentucky struck for five runs in the bottom of the fifth. Jenny Schaper tied the game with a one-out home run to deep left. Morgan McCallum then walked, followed by infield singles from Katie Reed and Erin Rethlake to load the bases with two outs. Abbey Cheek then stepped to the pate and powered out a laser line drive over the wall in left center to give UK the lead for good. FINAL – No. 19 Kentucky 6, Illinois-Chicago 0