LEXINGTON, Ky. – Senior outfielder Breanne Ray clubbed her second home run of the weekend over the wall in right field to help power the No. 19 Kentucky softball team to a 5-1 win over the No. 15 Michigan Wolverines on Sunday, capping off a perfect 5-0 weekend at the 2017 John Cropp Classic in Lexington.
With the win over Michigan – the Wildcats set a new program record with their 13th win in a row that dates back to Feb. 17 out in Cathedral City, California. UK had reached 12 wins three different times, with the latest coming in 2014 – but had never won 13 in a row until Sunday.
Senior pitcher Meagan Prince was nothing short of spectacular in the circle for the Wildcats, tossing her second complete game of the weekend and third of the season, limiting one of the nation’s most potent offenses to one run on six hits with six strikeouts. She has now lowered her season ERA to a 1.17 and has two shutouts on the season.
Kentucky will open up Southeastern Conference play next week in Athens, Georgia against the UGA Bulldogs for a three-game series beginning on Saturday, March 18 at Noon ET. All three games of the series will be shown live on the SEC Network, SEC Network+, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app with Mark Neely, Michele Smith and Amanda Scarbrough on the call. The series is the conference-opening series for both Kentucky and Georgia. The weekend set will be the SEC Series of the Week spanning Saturday through Monday nights.
- With Sunday’s win – Kentucky has now won a school-record 13 games in a row. The Wildcats are outscoring their opponents 69-11 during that stretch and the staff ERA is a minuscule 0.80.
With Kentucky holding a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning – senior Breanne Ray stepped to the plate with runners on first and second with nobody out. Ray took an offering from Michigan’s Megan Betsa over the wall in right field to score three and give UK a 5-1 lead.
Meagan Prince was the key player in the game, recording her second shutout of the weekend in a seven-inning complete game, striking out six batters and just making one mistake all game.
Kentucky got on the board in the bottom of the first, as Katie Reed singled to the left side and scored on a double-steal. Hannah Huffman and Reed were the corner runners with one out and Huffman baited a throw to second and Reed pranced home to give UK the 1-0 advantage. UK 1, MICH 0
Erin Rethlake led off the third inning with a single and came around to score on a wild pitch during Abbey Cheek’s at bat. Rethlake stole second and got to third on a passed ball. Rethlake went 5-of-5 on the weekend in stolen bases and is now 15-for-15 this season. UK 2, MICH 0
Michigan head coach Carol Hutchins turned to pinch hitter Taylor Swearingen to start the Michigan half of fifth inning and she turned on a pitch from Prince and deposited it into the first and only Michigan run of the game with a home run to left. UK 2, MICH 1
After Abbey Cheek walked and Brooklin Hinz was hit by a pitch to start the UK sixth – Breanne Ray homered to right field to score three runs and give Kentucky a four-run cushion. FINAL – No. 19 Kentucky 5, No. 15 Michigan 1