LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The No. 21 Kentucky softball team scored 10 runs on nine hits and run ruled the Louisville Cardinals on the road in the annual “Battle of the Bluegrass” at Ulmer Stadium. The Wildcats put up double-digit runs for the second time this season, led by two hits each from Katie Reed, Abbey Cheek and Breanne Ray. It was Kentucky’s third run-rule win of the season.
Kentucky with the win moves to 25-11 overall and moves to within a game of clinching postseason eligibility for the 10th season in a row under head coach Rachel Lawson. Louisville loses its second game in a row and drops to 22-13 on the season.
The Wildcats nine run margin of victory is the highest in series history, and the second time that the Wildcats have scratched across double-digit runs in the game. Kentucky has now won three games in a row in the series.
UK returns to action at John Cropp Stadium on Friday night at 6 p.m. ET for the first of a three-game set in Lexington with the No. 3/4 Florida Gators. The game will be shown live on the SEC Network+, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app with Dave Baker and Jenny Dalton-Hill on the call from Lexington.
Three. Breanne Ray knocked in three runs in the game to lead all players. Ray had a bases-clearing double with the bags loaded and nobody out in the sixth inning to put Kentucky up, 10-1.
Erin Rethlake’s two-out, two-RBI single up the middle in the top of the third inning broke open the game as UK put up its fifth and sixth runs thanks to Rethlake’s clutch hitting.
Jenny Schaper was the key player in the game, getting on base all four times that she appeared at the plate – including three walks as she was slotted in the No. 3 hole for the first time all season. Schaper also doubled with one out in the top of the third inning and scored on Abbey Cheek’s RBI single.
For the first time in four games, the Wildcats scored first – as Katie Reed led off the game with a single and came around to score on an eventual double play from Abbey Cheek when UK loaded the bases with nobody out. UK 1, UL 0
In the top of the second, Rachael Metzger was hit by a pitch with one out and came around to score on an error by the UL defense. UK 2, UL 0
In the top of the third – Kentucky added another four runs as Jenny Schaper doubled with one out and then came around to score on a long ball to the wall from Abbey Cheek. Breanne Ray then doubled to right field and Alex Martens walked to load the bases with two outs. Erin Rethlake then roped a two-RBI single up the middle and the Wildcats took a big lead. UK 6, UL 0
Louisville started off the bottom of the fifth inning with a double and an RBI single to score its only run of the game. UK 6, UL 0
For the second time on the night – Kentucky scored four runs in an inning, as the Wildcats scored four times in the sixth to enforce the run rule. Katie Reed singled, as did Bailey Vick to start the inning – and then Alex Martens walked. After Vick was tagged out at third, Cheek was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out for Breanne Ray, who slugged a double to clear the bases and score three runs. FINAL – No. 21 Kentucky 10, Louisville 1