No. 10 Kentucky softball kicks off SEC play in comeback fashion


The Kentucky softball team congratulates senior Alex Martens on a home run during the home opener against Texas A&M on Saturday, March 7, 2020, at John Cropp Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 11-9. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Eric Decker

The No. 10 Kentucky Wildcats opened up their home schedule at John Cropp Stadium with an 11-9 comeback victory against Texas A&M after going 17-3 in a plethora of tournaments to start the year. Alex Martens led the way with two home runs and six RBI on the day.

“We love being in Lexington, it’s nice to play in front of our fans and our stadium with all of the surroundings, we have such a great atmosphere here,” UK head coach Rachel Lawson said about being back on campus after such an extended time away.

Kentucky came into the day touting the best offense in the nation. As a team, the Wildcats lead the country in runs scored (178) and runs per game (8.9). They also have the NCAA leaders in home runs with Mallory Peyton (10), RBI with Alex Martens (45) and triples with Kayla Kowalik, who has seven on the year. Through the 17-3 start they boast four eligible hitters who have over a 1.000 OPS with Martens, Peyton, Bailey Vick and Kowalik.

Meghan Schorman got the start for the mound on the Cats. Schorman gave up all six hits in the first, but only allowed two runs in the inning. She was taken out in the third inning an replaced by Autumn Humes. 

Rylea Smith brought in the first run at home this season for Kentucky with an RBI single in the bottom of the first. 

A six-run inning from The Aggies in the third was capped off with a grand slam off the bat of Dani Elder that pushed the lead to 8-1.

“We’ve been down a lot and our offense has been on fire recently. Our offense has really picked up our defense and we have a lot of confidence,” Martens said.

Martens responded in consecutive innings with her two home runs, cutting the Texas A&M lead down to two.

Kentucky was able to load the bases with one out in the sixth with Lauren Johnson coming up. Johnson had a fortunate soft single past the third baseman to bring in a run, then Humes ripped a two-run single to left field that gave the Cats the lead.

“In that current situation I was just trying to elevate the pitch because we had bases loaded, we needed another run. I saw a pitch up in the zone, so that’s what I knew I needed to hit and it happened,” Humes said.

Kentucky sees the Aggies twice more this weekend, starting with a 7 p.m. matchup on Sunday. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.