The #7 Kentucky Wildcats used a quick start on offense to defeat in-state foe Morehead State 13-1 on Wednesday evening.
Senior Grace Baalman (5-1) picked up the win for the Cats with seven strikeouts in four innings of work.
Morehead State was making its first trip to Lexington since 2012. They are coached by former Wildcat Samantha Jones who was Kentucky’s offensive player of the year in 2011.
The SEC’s top offense wasted no time to strike against the Eagles as they batted around in the first inning, scoring seven runs.
In the inning, the Cats were able to take advantage of defensive miscues in the field including a bobble by the Eagle first baseman, a dropped foul ball, and a poor pickoff attempt. The big hit in the inning came off the bat of Miranda Stoddard as she doubled off the base of the wall to score two runs.
Baalman helped herself in the second with a deep home run to straightaway center field to give the Cats a 9-0 lead.
Morehead State threatened for the first time in the top of the third. The first two runners reached and moved into scoring position. Baalman sent down the next two Eagles but walked the #2 hole hitter to have the bases loaded with two down. The senior proceeded to get a fielder’s choice groundout to end the threat with no damage.
The home run ball flew at John Cropp Stadium in the bottom half of the third. Freshman Erin Coffel hit one off the scoreboard to make it 10-0 before Meeko Harrison hit her first career dinger in nearly an identical spot to add two more to the UK lead.
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Baalman’s shutout chance ended in the top of the fourth inning after Peyton Slater doubled into deep left field scoring Madeline Gailor to make it 12-1.
The Cats added another insurance run in the fourth with Vanessa Nesby tripling into the gap easily plating Jaci Babbs. Freshman Stephanie Schoonover came in in relief for the Cats and shut the door for the 13-1 victory.
With the win, Kentucky improved to 26-4 on the season. They will travel to Knoxville on Friday for a weekend series with #18 Tennessee.