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No. 23 Kentucky softball swept by No. 10 Florida in lopsided series

Samuel Colmar
Kentucky pitcher Alexia Lacatena (35) prepares to pitch the ball during the No. 21 Kentucky vs. No. 3 LSU softball match on Friday, March 8, 2024, at John Cropp Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky lost 6-2. Photo by Samuel Colmar | Staff

No. 23 Kentucky softball (20-11, 0-6 SEC) was swept by No. 10 Florida in a three-game series taking place on Friday, March 22-24, at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.

As a result of the 10-2, 9-1 and 7-1 losses, the Wildcats remain winless in conference play so far this season.

The first two games saw Kentucky hold brief leads toward the start that very quickly were erased by the Gators, who followed with enough runs to win early by run rule.

In Friday’s game, Florida scored a run in the first but Kentucky overtook that with two runs in the third.

The first of those runs was scored on a bunt single by sophomore Lauryn Borzilleri that saw Jenna Blanton cross the plate following a throwing error.

Three plays later, freshman Ally Hutchins singled which scored junior Margaret Tobias.

Those were the only two runs the Cats scored during that game, though, as the Gators’ bats exploded for nine runs in the bottom of the third which led to a 10-2 run rule victory.

Fifth-year Jaden Vickers, Sydney Langdon and Alexia Lacatena all saw time in the circle during the game, the former of whom pitched for the majority of the game and was credited with the loss.

On Saturday, the Wildcats scored the first run of the game which was a single by Hutchins that scored fifth-year Rylea Smith in the top of the first.

However, similar to Friday’s game, it was all Florida after that. The Gators scored nine unanswered runs, including a walk-off solo shot in the bottom of the sixth that clinched the 9-1 run rule victory.

Senior Stephanie Schoonover and Lacatena both pitched for Kentucky in that game, with the loss going on Schoonover’s record.

The final game of the series did not fare much better for the Cats, as the Gators jumped to a 5-0 lead in the first two innings.

Kentucky added one run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by senior Vanessa Nesby, but that was all the team could do, as Florida triumphed 7-1 to complete the series sweep.

Despite only pitching one inning, Vickers was credited with the loss as she allowed five of the seven runs scored by the Gators during the game. Schoonover pitched the remaining five innings and struck out four batters.

The Wildcats will return home for a midweek game against Dayton on Tuesday, March 26, at 6 p.m. EST at John Cropp Stadium, followed by a home weekend series against Alabama.

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Samuel Colmar, Assistant Photo Editor

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