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Kentucky Softball

Softball Drops Final Two Games of the Season at #17 Texas Tech

May 5, 2019
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Kentucky came into their final two-game series against #17 Texas Tech 32-19 on the year, riding the momentum of two huge series wins over #14 Auburn at home and #3 Alabama on the road. They couldn't continue their winning ways, however, dropping both games against #17 Texas Tech to end the regular season 32-21.

Game One: 7-5 Loss

The Wildcats have been great on defense all year, committing less than one error a game on average. In game one of the series, Kentucky committed a season-high five errors in the 7-5 loss.

Kentucky hadn't committed five errors since they had six against Missouri in 2016. Those five errors led to three unearned runs which were the difference in the game. Two home runs from Mallory Peyton led the UK offense, which produced five runs on ten hits in the loss.  

Despite the errors on defense, the Wildcats were in the game until the very end. Every time Texas Tech would score, Kentucky's offense was there to answer. A first-inning homer put Texas Tech on the board first, but Mallory Peyton answered with a two-run home run in the top of the second. The bottom of the second saw UK commit three of their five errors which translated into two Texas Tech runs and a 3-2 Red Raider lead after two. Two infield errors and a walk allowed the first three baserunners in the bottom of the second. A throwing error on a bases-loaded single plated the second run. 

Kentucky left two on in the third and another in the fourth before tying the game in the fifth on a Kayla Kowalik single. Grace Baalman gave up a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth to give the lead back to Texas Tech. With the score at 5-3, Peyton hit her second home run of the game leading off the top of the sixth. Katie Reed doubled later in the inning, driving in the second run of the inning for the Wildcats to tie the game at 5-5.

In the bottom of the sixth, Baalman walked the leadoff hitter and allowed a double to put runners on second and third before being pulled from the game. Autumn Humes came on in relief but was unable to keep the Red Raiders from scoring. A fielder's choice and a single scored the final two Texas Tech runs, solidifying the 7-5 loss for the Wildcats. 

Game Two: 9-6 Loss 

Kentucky started game two on a high note, but a devastating seven-run sixth inning for Texas Tech led to a 9-6 loss in the final regular season of the season. Autumn Humes took the loss, giving up the seven runs in the sixth, bringing her record to 12-10 on the season.

Kentucky jumped out to a 1-0 lead when they scored on an obstruction call at home following a Lauren Johnson single. They extended their lead on a two-run home run from Mallory Peyton, her third of the series. Texas Tech got two back in the bottom of the third on a two-out single and subsequent error. 

Alex Martens came to the plate with two on in the top of the fifth and extended the UK lead to four with a three-run homer to left field. Kentucky held a 6-2 lead and was in control of the game heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. 

A leadoff single for the Red Raiders got them started in the inning and a two-run home run put them on the board. The score sat at 6-4 after the first two batters abut Kentucky got two quick outs. However, back to back singles put Texas Tech within striking distance and a double plated another run. The game really flipped when Texas Tech hit back-to-back bombs to score their final four runs. With two outs, Texas Tech's Jessica Hartwell sent a pitch over the left field wall, pushing Texas Tech in front 8-6. Trinity Edwards was up next and followed the Hartwell homer with one of her own. UK was unable to overcome the deficit and Texas Tech went on to win 9-6.

Despite losing the series, Kentucky did receive some positive news on Sunday when they locked down a first-round bye in the SEC tournament. Georgia needed to beat Ole Miss today for Kentucky to get the first round bye and the Bulldogs won 8-0 in Athens today.

Kentucky (32-21) is the four seed in the SEC and will play either the fifth-seed Ole Miss or the winner of Mississippi State-Texas A&M. With a win in their first game, Kentucky will likely play top-seeded Alabama in a rematch of their last SEC series which saw the Wildcats go 2-1. Kentucky will play their first game on Thursday, May 9th at 7:30. The game will be on the SEC Network.

Tags: Softball
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Softball Drops Final Two Games of the Season at #17 Texas Tech

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