LEXINGTON, Ky. – Jenny Schaper hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the fifth inning to left the No. 16 Kentucky Wildcats over the Illinois-Chicago Flames in the opening round of the NCAA Lexington Regional on Saturday afternoon.
The Wildcats came out strong, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning and then exploded for six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to close out the game 10-1 in run-rule fashion.
Kentucky moves into the winner’s bracket – which will be played at 9:30 p.m. ET against Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish beat Michigan 4-1 in yesterday’s opening-round game. The winner of the ND/UK game will advance into the regional final and will need to be beaten twice in that series to not advance.
The Kentucky/Notre Dame will be shown live on ESPN3 with Courtney Lyle and Jenny Dalton-Hill.
Six. Kentucky scored six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to win the game.
Jenny Schaper’s walk-off grand slam was the key play in the game. It was Schaper’s sixth home run of the season and it notches her 38th RBI of the season.
Erin Rethlake was the key player in the game, notching her eighth complete game of the season, allowing no earned runs and just two hits in the game. She struck out three batters and only threw 74 pitches.
Brooklin Hinz, Mallory Peyton and Lauren Johnson all notched RBI singles in the bottom of the first inning to give Kentucky a three-run cushion in the bottom of the first. UK 3, UIC 0
In the bottom of the second, Bailey Vick was aboard with an error and came around to score on an Abbey Cheek RBI groundout. UK 4, UIC 0
Mallory Peyton had a two-run double down the left-field line to score a pair of runs to put the Wildcats up 6-0. After that, Lauren Johnson singled, Erin Rethlake walked and then Jenny Schaper hit a walk-off grand slam to left field off the top of the scoreboard to end the game. FINAL (16) Kentucky 10, Illinois-Chicago 1