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UK Hoops and other sports coverage
By Drew Franklin on ©June 04th, 2019 @ 8:45pm
Former UK golfer Chip McDaniel will take on the stars of the PGA Tour at Pebble Beach next week.
The Clay County native punched his ticket to the U.S. Open by finishing in a tie for first in a sectional qualifying event in Springfield, Ohio. The 36-hole event was played on Monday and McDaniel secured one of the five qualifying spots into next week’s major by shooting a 66 and a 68 for a 6-under score at Springfield Country Club.
The U.S. Open at Pebble will be McDaniel’s fourth PGA event since his career as a Wildcat ended last spring, but it is by far the biggest. His other tour appearances came in the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in the Dominican Republic, where he shot a final-round 63 to finish fifth; the Valero Texas Open, an event he earned with his T5 in the Dominican; and his professional debut at the Barbasol Championship in Lexington last summer.
Good luck to you, Chip. I know BBN will be pulling for you. I hear everything feeds toward the ocean out there. Keep that in mind.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©May 30th, 2019 @ 7:00pm
The Kentucky softball team’s season ended with disappointment, but star third baseman Abbey Cheek now has reason to be pretty darn excited for the future.
Back in April, Cheek was selected No. 14 overall by the Chicago Bandits in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Draft.
And today, she officially signed her one-year contract with the team.
SIGNED: The Chicago Bandits have inked 2019 14th overall pick Abbey Cheek to a 1-year contract!
— Chicago Bandits (@Chicago_Bandits) May 30, 2019
According to an article written by espnW’s Graham Hays in 2016, teams in the NPF have rosters of at least 18 players with a salary cap of $150,000, with most salaries ranging anywhere from $8,000 to $20,000 during the three-month season. That being said, players are eligible to earn various bonuses along the way to boost their total income.
This past season, Cheek made history for the Wildcats, becoming the fourth player in UK history to be named a National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association All-American and the first unanimous First-Team selection in school history.
In 2019, Cheek finished top-three in school history in single-season batting average (3rd, .428), home runs (2nd, 20), runs scored (2nd, 54), total bases (1st, 138), on-base percentage (1st, .602), slugging (1st, .902) and walks (1st, 64). In short, she put up one of the most impressive years in program history.
As a team, the Wildcats, who recently fell in the Washington Super Regional, finished with a final record of 36-24 to go with a conference record of 14-10.
Best of luck to the former Wildcat in her professional future.
By Maggie Davis on ©May 29th, 2019 @ 8:00pm
It was a big season for the UK softball team, but it was perhaps even bigger for third baseman Abbey Cheek. After bringing in awards throughout the entirety of the season, the senior capped off her final year with one of the sport’s highest honors: achieving National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association All-American status. The news was announced Wednesday afternoon.
Cheek is only the fourth Wildcat to receive the recognition, and she’s the first Cat in program history to be a unanimous selection to the first team.
Earlier this season, Cheek became the first Kentucky player to win the Southeastern Conference’s Player of the Year award. She was voted by the 13 head coaches as a member of the First Team All-SEC and to the All-SEC Defensive Team. She also made the final 10 for the USA Softball National Player of the Year award, and she was voted as a CoSIDA Adcademic All-District Team member for the first time in her career.
Her name will be in the UK record books for years to come. Cheek first broke the record for career home runs in March, and by the end of the season, she’d demolished the previous record: she holds the title by 13 runs. She also claimed the RBI record (surpassing the previous mark by 40) and has scored more runs in program history (163) than any other player.
And while her time in a Kentucky uniform has unfortunately come to an end, her softball days are not over just yet. Cheek was selected No. 14 overall by the Chicago Bandits in the National Pro Fastpitch Draft.
By Nick Roush on ©May 27th, 2019 @ 7:00pm
Twenty-two Kentucky Wildcats have qualified for the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Eleven men and 11 women finished in the top 12 over the weekend in the East Prelims at the University of North Florida to qualify for the big dance.
A pair of men flirted with records. Daniel Roberts ran the second-fastest 110-meter hurdles in NCAA history with a 13.13, while his teammate Tai Brown broke an SEC freshman record he set earlier this year in the same event.
On the women’s side, Marie-Josée Ebwea-Bile Excel will return to nationals for the third straight season. The hurdler has medaled each year at the NCAA Championships. The senior will try to end her UK career with a gold medal.
Both the men and women’s 4×100 relay team qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship. The 22 Wildcats will take the big stage June 5-8 in Austin, Texas.
The University of Kentucky softball team’s season came to an end last night after a 5-0 loss to the University of Washington.
During the top of the first inning, Kentucky shortstop Katie Reed made one heck of a play.
— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) May 26, 2019
So let’s do our things, Big Blue Nation. Retweet the following tweet for Katie Reed and the UK Softball team.
Who did it better?
— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) May 26, 2019
By Brent Wainscott on ©May 26th, 2019 @ 1:00am
For the second straight game, Kentucky is shutout as their season ends in the Super Regional for the third consecutive season as they lose to Washington 5-0.
Last night, Washington turned to Gabbie Plain in the second half of the contest, as she was able to keep a Kentucky comeback at bay while holding them scoreless the rest of the way. Tonight, it was Plain who got the start as the Kentucky offense still couldn’t figure her out as Plain only allowed four base runners, with one coming on an error by Washington left fielder Sami Reynolds.
Autumn Humes did her best to keep the Huskie offense at bay, as she held them scoreless for four innings after Washington took a one-run lead in the first inning when Morganne Flores hit a double but would come around to score on the play after Baily Vick and Mallory Peyton errors.
Humes kept Washington’s one-run lead intact until the sixth inning when Noelle Hee put the Huskies up by three with a two-out two-run home run.
— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) May 26, 2019
Then in the seventh Washington struck for two more on a two-run single from Taryn Atle to give the Huskies a five-run lead heading into the bottom half of the final frame where Gabbie Plain shut down the Wildcats as Washington advances to their third straight college world series.
In the NCAA tournament, Washington has outscored their opponents 26-1 as they head to Oklahoma City.
It was an uncharacteristic weekend at the plate for the Wildcats, but that was a recipe for disaster. Kentucky will lose seniors Jenny Schaper, Kelsee Henson, Sarah Rainwater, and two of the best players to play at Kentucky in Katie Reed and career home run leader at UK, Abbey Cheek.
Reed and cheek were drafted earlier this season.
Kentucky finishes their season with a record 36-24.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©May 25th, 2019 @ 10:15pm
After the official NCAA Softball Twitter account announced that Kentucky’s Super Regional matchup against Washington had been postponed until tomorrow, UK Softball says the game will still be played tonight as scheduled.
??Tonight’s game WILL BE PLAYED at 11:05pm ET on ESPN2.??
The reports that the game has been postponed to a DH tomorrow are NOT ACCURATE.
— Kentucky Softball (@UKsoftball) May 26, 2019
Originally scheduled for 10 p.m. ET tonight, the game was then pushed back to 11 p.m. due to weather.
With a win, Kentucky forces a third game with a spot in the College World Series on Sunday. With a loss, their season is over.
Last night, the Wildcats fell to the Huskies by a score of 3-0, where they left nine runners on base and four in scoring position.
You can catch them in their win-or-go-home matchup on ESPN2, where Mark Neely (play-by-play) and Danielle Lawrie-Locke (color commentary) will be on the call.
Win or lose, KSR’s Brent Wainscott will be around afterward for a recap of the game.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©May 25th, 2019 @ 8:00pm
If you were planning on staying up and watching the Kentucky softball team tonight, you better get an extra cup of coffee ready.
Due to rain in the Seattle area, Game 2 of the 2019 Seattle Super Regional has been pushed back to an 11 p.m. ET.
The game will still air on ESPN2 and the WatchESPN app as scheduled with Mark Neely (play-by-play) and Danielle Lawrie (color commentary) on the call.
Kentucky fell to Washington in Game 1 last night by a final score of 3-0, where the Wildcats left nine runners on base and four in scoring position.
If Kentucky wants to keep their Women’s College World Series hopes alive, they will have to win both tonight and tomorrow to move on to Oklahoma City.
Kentucky is at risk of being bounced in the Super Regional for the third straight year, as they are shutout by Washington 3-0.
The Wildcats have been an offensive juggernaut, but tonight their bats went cold on a brisk night in Seattle. On an uncharacteristic performance, the Cats left eight runners in scoring position in the shutout.
Taran Alvelo mowed through the Kentucky line up during her 3.2 innings of work. She only allowed two hits and walked one in her half-game performance. Gabbie Plain came in for Alvelo’s relief when Kentucky had runners on the corners in what was honestly a brilliant move by the Washington coaching staff.
Alvelo throws hard from the circle, usually clocking in around the high-60’s low-70’s, so when Kentucky was starting to make their adjustments in their second time through the lineup, Washington turned to Gabbie Plain who stays in the low-60’s which caused the Cats to have to go through another adjustment halfway through the game.
Kentucky just couldn’t make that adjustment as evident by the shutout.
While Kentucky’s top of the order was quiet, going a combined 1-10, Washington’s top of the order scored a run each time through the lineup.
In the first time through the lineup, Washington got on the board before ESPN could even figure out how to properly broadcast the game on a sac-fly by Samie Reynolds that scored Sis Bates.
On their second time through, it was Bates turn to get the RBI as she singled to put Washington up 2-0 in the third.
And finally on their last time through the order, Washingtons power hitter Morganne Flores clobbered a ball down the left field line for her 22nd home run of the year.
Grace Baalman, who has been battling tendonitis in her throwing tricep, was credited with the loss tonight as she gave up three runs on five hits through five innings of work.
Kentucky will look to even things up tomorrow to keep their season alive tomorrow night in game two from Seattle, Washington. Last season, Kentucky took game one to have Oregon win two straight. Hopefully, it’s Kentucky’s turn this season. First pitch is at 10:00 pm ET on ESPN2.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©May 24th, 2019 @ 9:00am
Good morning, BBN! Happy Friday to each and every one of you!
Let’s take a look at what’s going on in the world of UK Athletics.
Kentucky softball takes on Washington in the NCAA Super Regional
The UK softball team is just two victories away from earning a spot in the NCAA College World Series, and they’ll look to get the first this evening.
Traveling all the way to Seattle, the Hittin’ Kittens will take on the 3-seed Washington Huskies in a best of three series.
Here is some footage of the team’s final practice from early this morning:
A peek inside our final practice in Seattle before we get down to business tonight. ???? pic.twitter.com/qbBftExaZD
— Kentucky Softball (@UKsoftball) May 24, 2019
Kentucky’s first game against Washington will take place tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN 2.
Mark Neely will be handling the play-by-play, while Danielle Lawrie will be on the call for color commentary.
Make sure you get that extra cup of coffee today or fit a nap in so you can support your Wildcats late this evening.
Kentucky volleyball heads to Brazil
While the Kentucky softball team made its way out west to Washington, the UK volleyball team is headed south for a trip of their own.
Starting today, the volleyball team will embark on a two-week foreign trip to Brazil, where they will compete in at least five separate matches against international competition.
We're stamping our passports this summer!
On Friday, we'll embark on a two-week foreign trip where we'll tour Brazil and compete in at least five matches against international competition.
It's a great opportunity & we're just a tad excited.
— Kentucky Volleyball (@KentuckyVB) May 22, 2019
The volleyball team last participated in a foreign trip back in 2010 when Kentucky head coach Craig Skinner took the team on an exhibition tour of Europe.
Best of luck to the Wildcats during their time in Brazil!
Raptors take a 3-2 lead
After falling down to an early 0-2 series deficit, the Toronto Raptors took home their third consecutive victory to take the lead over the Milwaukee Bucks.
In a 105-99 loss, former Kentucky guard Eric Bledsoe finished with 20 points on 6-14 shooting, four rebounds, and two assists for the Bucks.
For the Raptors, former Wildcat guard Jodie Meeks did not participate.
Game 6 will take place tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m. ET on TNT, where Meeks and his Raptors have the chance to punch a ticket to the 2019 NBA Finals.
Regardless of how the Eastern Conference Finals close out, it is a guarantee that one former Kentucky player will be earning a ring this season, as either Meeks or Bledsoe will have to take on DeMarcus Cousins and his Golden State Warriors in the Finals.
Richie Farmer visits KSBar and Grille
Former Kentucky guard Richie Farmer made his way out to KSBar and Grille last night to show support for Ryan Lemond during his time locked up in KSJail.
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) May 24, 2019
In four years at Kentucky, Farmer averaged 7.6 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per contest over the course of his career.
KSR in an hour
For the first time ever, the KSR radio crew is live from Mount Vernon in Rockcastle County this morning, and they want you to join them.
From 10 a.m to noon today, head on out to Marcella’s Farm to Fork to see the show in person.
We’ll see you then.
The UK Softball team is wheels up! Coach Rachel Lawson and the Wildcats are making their way out west to Seattle, Washington where they’ll compete in this year’s Super Regionals. The No. 14 Cats will face No. 3 Washington on the Huskies’ home field in a three-game series.
The action doesn’t start until Friday night, but the team is already on their way to the Evergreen State. Before they left the Bluegrass, the Wildcats had a proper sendoff from the BBN.
Game one is set for 9 p.m. ET on Friday, with games two and three slated for 10 p.m. ET. All three games of the Seattle Super Regional will be on ESPN2 and the ESPN app.
Safe travels and good luck!
By Maggie Davis on ©May 19th, 2019 @ 9:00pm
Rhyne Howard continues her domination. After spending a weekend of tryouts in Colorado, the Kentucky freshman has qualified for the 2019 USA Women’s U19 World Cup Team. She’s one of just 12 players from across the nation selected to participate, and she’ll be traveling around the globe to prepare and compete.
After leaving the trials, held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, she’ll have some time at home before heading to Tokyo, Japan in early July for a scrimmage against the Japanese team. Then, she’ll spend several days in Bangkok, Thailand in mid-July to compete for the country’s eighth gold medal.
There were 30 women competing for a spot on the team, and the final 12-player roster includes some of the top talent in the nation, including 10 returning gold medals (including Howard) and two NCAA Champions. Selections were made by the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee, chaired by George Washington University head coach Jennifer Rizzotti.
This summer won’t be the first Howard spends competing on the international stage. She spent last summer in Mexico, helping the U18 team to a 5-0 gold-medal run, earning MVP honors along the way.
This year, she’s the only current SEC player to make the cut. Here’s the rest of the roster:
Francesca Belibi (Regis H.S./Centennial, Colo.); Aliyah Boston (Worcester Academy, Mass./St. Thomas, USVI); Cameron Brink (Southridge H.S./Beaverton, Ore.); Paige Bueckers (Hopkins H.S./St. Louis Park, Minn.); Caitlin Clark (Dowling Catholic H.S./West Des Moines, Iowa); Queen Egbo (Baylor/Houston, Texas); Naz Hillmon-Baker(Michigan/Cleveland, Ohio); Rhyne Howard (Kentucky/Cleveland, Tenn.); Jordan Nixon (Notre Dame/New York, N.Y.); NaLyssa Smith (Baylor/Converse, Texas); Celeste Taylor (Long Island Lutheran/Valley Stream, N.Y.); and Hailey Van Lith (Cashmere H.S./Wenatchee, Wash.).
Howard is the real deal, and she’s representing Matthew Mitchell and the UK women’s basketball team on the international stage (again). It’s going to be fun watching her skills continue to develop over the next three seasons.
By Brent Wainscott on ©May 19th, 2019 @ 3:00pm
For the third straight year, Kentucky softball has once again swept their region in the NCAA tournament, as they beat Virginia Tech 11-1 Sunday afternoon. The Cats were led by Alex Martens with five RBIs.
In two games in two days, Kentucky has dominated ACC pitcher of the year Carrie Ebeler, putting up 16 runs against her, eight of them coming today. The offensive explosion started when senior catcher Jenny Schaper took Ebeler deep to center field in the top of the third.
— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) May 19, 2019
Alex Martens followed up Schaper with a two-run double that scored Abbey Cheek and Katie Reed to give Kentucky a 3-0 lead after three.
In the fifth, The Cats busted the game wide open with a two-out, five-run rally that started with a bases-loaded single from Lauren Johnson. That allowed Cheek and Reed to score, while Kayla Kowalik moved up to third.
Both Kowalik and Johnson would move up on a wild pitch to the next batter, which allowed Kowalik to score for Kentucky to take a 6-1 lead. Then Mallory Peyton doubled to bring home Lauren Johnson from third, and Kelsee Henson followed up Peyton with an RBI single for Kentucky to take a commanding 8-1 lead after five.
Alex Martens put the cherry on top of the victory with a three-run home run to put Kentucky up by ten in the sixth, which is enough for a run-rule as Kentucky beats Virginia Tech 11-1 in six innings. UK now advances to play Washington in the Super Regional in Washington.
— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) May 19, 2019
Not only did Martens have a career day at the plate (going 3-4 with five RBIs), but she is now the season-single record holder for most RBI in a single season at UK, with 66 RBIs this season and counting.
Kentucky will start Super Regional play Friday night.
By Maggie Davis on ©May 19th, 2019 @ 11:15am
It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Lexington, and the UK softball team is looking to use that good fortune to their advantage. The Wildcats are set to play their Regional final beginning today at noon inside their own John Cropp Stadium. They’ll play Virginia Tech.
Kentucky knows exactly what they’re up against – UK also played against the Hokies Saturday afternoon. In that matchup, the Cats came away with a dominating 8-1 victory, largely thanks to a stellar pitching performance from sophomore Grace Baalman. She allowed just one run on eight hits, walked no one and struck out a trio of Hokies.
Here are the highlights from that matchup:
Now, the Cats are ready to do it again. If you can’t make it out to John Cropp in Lexington, you can catch all of the action streamed live on ESPN3 or the ESPN app. We’ll also have a recap posted after the game.
If UK wins, they’ll be named Regional Champions and advance to the Super Regional round. If they lose, they’ll have to play in an elimination game, set to begin 45 minutes after the original matchup.
In what was Ryan Johnson, Marshall Gei, Ryan Shinn, and Alex Rodriguez’s final game at Kentucky, the Cats end their season on a sour note as they get swept by No. 2 Vanderbilt 7-4.
Despite Kentucky coming back to tie the game in the late innings, Vanderbilt just kept finding a way to get it done as Golden Spikes finalist, JJ Bleday crushed a ball over the right field wall to put Vanderbilt back on top. They weren’t done either as Paul blasted one into the visiting bullpen as the Commodores went back to back off Carson Coleman to take a 6-4 lead in the ninth. It was their fourth solo home run of the game. Vandy added one more on an RBI single from Stephen Scott to take a 7-4 lead into the bottom of the ninth.
Tyler Brown would shut down the Cats in the ninth to cap off the sweep for Vanderbilt with a 7-4 victory.
It was an unusual start to the day for Kentucky ace Zack Thomspon. Coming into today’s game, ZT had only given up one home run all year, and in the first two innings of this one, he gave up two tape measure shots. The first one came on the first pitch on the game to Austin Martin as he blasted it over the left-center field wall. Then with two outs in the second Harrison Ray hit a solo shot over the Kentucky bullpen to put Kentucky in an early two-run deficit.
The Cats would claw back in the next two innings, however. In the third, Elliot Curtis beat out a double play to allow Gei to score from third base. Kentucky would give up two more in the top of the fourth, but Kentucky weathered the storm as they came back by a senior-led two-out rally.
It started with a solo home run from Dalton Reed to make it 4-2, then the seniors Alex Rodriguez, Marshall Gei, and Ryan Johnson all singled. Johnson’s single brought home Rodriguez for Kentucky to draw within one run of Vanderbilt heading into the thick of the middle innings.
Kentucky would tie things up in the bottom of the seventh when Jaren Shelby hit a bases-loaded shot to the shortstop that he had a hard time handling which caused Vanderbilt to only get one out on the play and allowed Cam Hill to score. But, Vanderbilt would take the lead in the ninth.
ZT’s day and career at UK ended in the sixth inning. The lefty went six innings in today’s start giving up four runs on six hits while striking out nine. He left the field to a curtain call in what is certainly his last game in the blue and white as he will head for the MLB Draft this offseason.
With the South Carolina victory, today was the final game for Kentucky in the 2019 season. They finished with a record of 26-29 (7-23) which was 13th in the SEC.
Thank you for following along this season here with us at KSR.
Go Cats. @BrentW_KSR
Heading into today’s action, Kentucky was locked in a three-way tie with Alabama and South Carolina. One of the two scenarios Kentucky needed to avoid was an Alabama loss and a South Carolina win.
Unfortunately, that scenario has happened as both games have just gone final. South Carolina beats Mississippi State 10-8 and Alabama losses to Georiga 9-1.
Kentucky finishes the season with a record of 26-29 (7-23) which was good for next to last in the SEC.
Despite the rebuilding season, with 18 newcomers to this year’s roster, Nick Mingione has the most wins of any Kentucky coach through three seasons with 104 victories.
Kentucky will for sure lose four seniors from this year’s roster: Ryan Shinn, Ryan Johnson, Alex Rodriguez, and Marshall Gei. With the fantastic career Zack Thompson has had at UK, he will undoubtedly be out the door as well as he heads for the MLB Draft this offseason.
The game recap from the final regular season game against No. 2 Vanderbilt from Kentucky Proud Park will be up shortly.
By Brent Wainscott on ©May 18th, 2019 @ 3:00pm
It took some time for the Bats to heat up on a hot day at John Cropp Stadium as Kentucky beats Virginia Tech 8-1 in the Regional Semifinal with the help of new faces.
Last year it was Mallory Peyton who emerged as a freshman star in the regionals. This year, it’s been Kayla Kowalik.
Kowalik has made spectacular catch after spectacular catch in centerfield this weekend. On the offensive side, she’s gone 4-6, scoring four runs and getting an RBI through the first two games, including being the spark for some of UK’s big innings in this regional and brilliant plays on the basepath.
— Francesca Enea (@frangator10) May 18, 2019
Today was no different as she kicked started Kentucky’s stagnant offense in the fourth with a one-out single, which set up a two-out triple that scored Kowalik from first.
After Johnson’s triple, former McCracken County teammates Kelsee Henson and Bailey Vick reached base to load the bases for Jenny Schaper. Jenny Schaper came through as she got an RBI single, then the cut off tried to catch Vick slipping at second, but she got back, and the ball squirted away from the Hokie second baseman allowing for every runner to move up which allowed Henson to score for UK to take a 3-0 lead after four.
Kentucky would add more in the fifth on two errors from the Hokies which allowed pinch runners, Jaci Babbs, and Tatum Spangler, to score to give Kentucky a 5-0 lead. Then with two outs, Vick laid down a picture perfect bunt for a single, but the third baseman flipped the ball over the catcher’s mitt which allowed Kowalik to score from third and allowed Kennedy Cowen to score from second.
— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) May 18, 2019
Virginia Tech would get one back on a home run from Emma Strouth to make it a 7-1 lead for the Cats. Kentucky would get that run back in the bottom of the sixth on an Alex Martens RBI fly that scored Katie Reed and with that RBI Alex Martens tied the school record for most RBIs in a single season with 61.
Grace Baalman would shut down the Hokies in the bottom half to finish off her one run performance in seven innings of work as the Cats advance to the Regional Final with an 8-1 victory.
Kentucky will look to sweep their region for the THIRD straight year when they take on the emerging team out of the losers bracket. Illinois and Toledo will face off in just a few minutes.
First pitch will be at noon tomorrow from John Cropp Stadium.
Check out the highlights from today’s victory:
— Kentucky Softball (@UKsoftball) May 18, 2019
Go Cats. @BrentW_KSR
By Brent Wainscott on ©May 17th, 2019 @ 10:30pm
In front of the fourth-largest crowd in school history, Kentucky drops game two to No. 2 Vanderbilt 12-4.
Another game and another big inning kills the Cats this season, which has seemingly been the case for the fresh-faced Kentucky squad. Heading into the third Kentucky was tied with Vanderbilt 1-1 after a Vandy home run in the second, then a Dalton Reed sac-fly tied it up in the bottom half, but then Vandy had a six-run inning that put the Cats in a big hole early.
The inning started with a leadoff walk, which has also been kryptonite to the Cats this season. Austin Martin, who reached on the walk advanced to third when he stole second, but a throwing error by Coltyn Kessler allowed him to move into third with no outs. After the error JJ Bleady hit a home run which was followed by another walk, this time to Ethan Paul then Philip Clarke knocked him in with an RBI double. After a single, a double, and a walk, Julian Infante brought everyone home on a two-out double to put Vandy up 7-1.
The Commodores got one more in the fifth on a fielders choice to take a commanding 8-1 lead.
Kentucky would get back within striking distance in the bottom of the fifth when Zeke Lewis scored on a wild pitch, then Eliott Curtis doubled to bring home Ryan Shinn and Ryan Johnson to cut the Vanderbilt lead to just four.
However, Vanderbilt would come back for in the sixth with one more run on a sac-fly, then they would put the nail in the coffin on a three-run home run in the eighth from Ethan Paul to make it 12-4 while the Kentucky offense stayed silent as the Cats drop the second game to Vanderbilt.
However, South Carolina and Alabama are both trailing big late in their ball games, so the tie once again doesn’t move. The situation Kentucky will need to avoid tomorrow is a loss and an Alabama win or a South Carolina win without an Alabama win.
Kentucky will try to finish this season with a MUCH needed win on Senior Day tomorrow from Kentucky Proud Park with Zack Thompson on the mound. First pitch will be at 2:00 pm ET on the SEC Network.
Go Cats. @BrentW_KSR
By Brent Wainscott on ©May 17th, 2019 @ 5:00pm
Kentucky’s path to their second appearance in the Women’s College World Series is off to a great start as they beat Toledo 7-2 in the first round of the Lexington softball regional.
It was a bumpy start to the day for Autumn Humes and Kentucky when Toledo jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a two-out rally that saw the Rockets get five base hits and load the bases, but Humes limited the damage holding the Rockets to just two runs.
After the bumpy start for Humes, she settled in nicely as she only allowed two more hits the rest of the afternoon in five innings of work while familiar faces on the offensive side led the way for Kentucky.
The Cats quickly Responded with four runs of their own in the bottom half of the first, two of them coming from the best hitter in UK history when Abbey Cheek blasted a two-run double. Cheek advanced to third on the play, but if you ask me, I believe the play should’ve been ruled a triple for Cheek.
Kayal Kowalik followed Cheek with a single. Then she got brilliant on the basepath when she pulled a Bennie and the Jets pickle play, where she intentionally got caught in a rundown between first and second to allow Cheek to score. Not only did Kowalik allow Cheek to score, but she even beat the pickle and made it into second safely which allowed Lauren Johnson to knock her in with an RBI single to put the Cats up 4-2 after one.
After four innings of stagnant offense from both teams, Kentucky got back on the board in the bottom of the fifth when Alex Martens launched the ball off the scoreboard for a two-run home run to put Kentucky up 6-2.
— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) May 17, 2019
After the home run, the Cats would load the bases, and senior Kelsee Henson flew out to left field to score a tagging Kayla Kowalik to put Kentucky up 7-2.
Freshman Meghan Schorman shut down the Rockets in the final two innings to give Kentucky their seventh straight victory in the NCAA Regionals.
With the victory, Kentucky advances to the winner’s bracket where they will face Virginia Tech at noon tomorrow at John Cropp Stadium.
Go Cats @BrentW_KSR
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 17th, 2019 @ 11:00am
Got plans this afternoon? Cancel them. The UK Softball team starts its run to the Women’s College World Series at 2:30 p.m. when they host Toledo at John Cropp Stadium. At noon, Virginia Tech plays Illinois. The winners of each game will square off Saturday at noon.
To advance to the NCAA Super Regionals, UK must get at least three wins over the next three days (each regional follows a double-elimination format). Here’s the schedule:
Friday, May 17
Game 1 – Illinois vs. Virginia Tech – Noon ET – ESPN3
Game 2 – Toledo vs. Kentucky – 2:30 p.m. ET – ESPN3
Saturday, May 18
Game 3 – Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 – Noon ET
Game 4 – Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 – 2:30 p.m. ET
Game 5 – Loser Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 – 5 p.m. ET
Sunday, May 19
Game 6 – Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5 – Noon ET
Game 7 – (If necessary) – 2:30 p.m. ET
*** Times subject to change for TV
Both all-session and single-session tickets are available through UKathletics.com/NCAATickets. If you can’t make it in person, all games will be available on ESPN3 and the ESPN app with Dave Baker and former Florida Gator All-American Francesca Enea on the call.