Powerful offense carries UK softball in Orlando


Kentucky Wildcats head coach Rachael Lawson talks to Bailey Vick and Abbey Cheek during the fourth inning of the championship game of the Lexington Regional at John Cropp Stadium on Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Lexington, KY. Photo by Addison Coffey | Staff.

The Sunshine State treated the UK softball team to a great weekend at the Citrus Classic in Orlando, Florida. The Cats won four games and lost one, making their record 9-3 on the year.

Kentucky exploded offensively in Saturday’s double header against Bradley and Harvard. The Wildcats combined for a total of 20 runs as they walked away with an 11-6 victory against Bradley and a 9-3 win over Harvard. On Sunday, the Cats scored five runs against Purdue.

Bailey Vick continued to shine at the plate as she reached base on all nine of her plate appearances Saturday with four singles and five walks. She scored five runs, including a game-winning run.

The Cats started off their 11-6 win against Bradley scoring on a Mallory Peyton double to bring in Brooklin Hinz to put UK up 1-0.

Bradley responded with a home run to tie the game, but the Wildcats regained their lead in the third inning with a Katie Reed triple, bringing in Jenny Schaper to go up 2-1.

Kentucky scored three more runs in the fifth inning to go up 5-1, but Bradley tied the game for the second time in the bottom of the fifth on a grand slam.

The top of the sixth was quiet for the Cats, and Bradley took a 6-5 lead. It didn’t take long for the Cats, though, to rally in a total of six runs in the seventh inning. Kentucky sent 11 batters to the plate, which resulted in run after run being poured in by the Cats.

Kentucky finished its day Saturday with another win, this time against Harvard. The Cats had two four-run innings, as they struck for four runs in the bottom of the fourth and the sixth innings.

A key player for the Cats in game two was Jenny Schaper, who went 2-for-3 at the plate with a run and two RBI.

Harvard held a lead all the way through the bottom of the fourth inning, when UK exploded at the plate. The Cats responded being down 3-1 by producing four runs on three hits to take the lead to 5-3.

Four more runs were added to the scoreboard for the Wildcats in the seventh. Vick, Erin Rethlake and Jenny Schaper all singled to start the inning. Alex Martens then doubled and Lauren Johnson hit an RBI single to right, scoring another run, and the final run was scored on a Johnson RBI single.

The Cats ended their solid weekend in Florida with a 5-3 win over the Purdue Boilermakers.

Purdue took the lead in the third inning to score the first run and go up 1-0, but Kentucky responded by scoring four runs in the bottom of the inning, thanks to two RBI singles by Hinz and Reed, and a Purdue catcher error to drive in two runs for the Cats.

Purdue scored their final two runs in the fifth inning on a two-run double, but shortly after in the sixth inning, Kentucky sealed the deal on an Abbey Cheek homer to left-center, advancing Kentucky to the final score of 5-3.

UK softball will now make their way back to the bluegrass after a long few weeks of away games. Their home opener is on Thursday, March 1, at 4 p.m. against Dayton.