The UK softball team braved the cold Wednesday night and earned its second in-state win of the week, this time in an 8-0 victory against archrival Louisville.
An RBI single each from two of Kentucky’s freshmen Mallory Peyton and Lauren Johnson in the second inning put two runs on the board and gave the Cats an early lead.
The following innings were quiet for both teams until the bottom of the fifth, when Kentucky scored a total of six runs to win the game in five innings. Two of those runs were driven in on a Peyton two-RBI single, giving the Kentucky native a new career-high three RBIs.
Peyton said it means a lot to her to get the win in her home state against a rival school, especially in her first game against Louisville as a Wildcat.
“We’re the state school, so we wanted to prove that we can beat any team in the state, so that’s really big for us,” Peyton said.
While it was Peyton’s first game playing the Cardinals as a Wildcat, it was senior Erin Rethlake’s last. Rethlake threw a shutout game and only allowed four hits.
“That’s always a fun win for us, obviously it’s Louisville, but that was just a phenomenal team win so it makes it even better,” Rethlake said.
Rethlake credits her success to the “phenomenal” defense she has behind her and said it’s important that she can rely on them.
According to Kentucky head coach Rachel Lawson, the win gives her team a confidence boost, which she says is always good when playing teams in the SEC.
“It’s great from a confidence perspective because they’re a very good team, they have good pitching, they do everything the right way and to be able to come out here and put up so many runs I think gives us a good confidence boost,” Lawson said.
Lawson is especially proud of her freshmen that have stepped up and said she feels confident when she puts them in the lineup.
“The bigger the game, the better they are,” Lawson said. “I had no doubt that they were going to be ready for the game. It’s something I had planned out on Monday. I knew they would be able to come in and get it done.”
Kentucky hopes to add another win to its 22-11 record on Friday as the Cats take on Middle Tennessee State in a double header starting at 3 p.m.