UK Softball opens series strong in Missouri


Kentucky Wildcats infielder Katie Reed catches the ball from catcher Jenny Schaper during the second inning of the game against the Florida Gators at John Cropp Stadium on Friday, April 14, 2017 in Lexington, KY. Photo by Addison Coffey | Staff.

Chase Campbell

The No. 20 UK softball team traveled to Missouri on Friday to play a weekend series for one of the central spots in the SEC, fighting for better postseason position.

The teams are nearly even in the conference standings, and both teams stand to gain a lot of credibility with a win in this series. The Cats took the first game 4-2, and the next two games are shaping up to be extremely competitive.

The game progressed in short scoring runs, as the Cats put their four runs up in the second and fifth innings, while going scoreless for the other five. UK held their 4-0 lead heading into the sixth inning, then allowed the Tigers to score two runs in the final two innings.

Katie Reed was the only Cat to get an RBI, as she got two during the second inning by doubling to second field. The second scoring play for the Cats got them two unearned runs off of a Missouri error, that eventually became the difference in the game.

While UK may have won by multiple runs, the statistics were not nearly as deciding. Both teams stranded seven runners on base, committed two errors, had 10 assists, and 21 put-outs. The number of pitches only saw a single-digit difference between the teams, as UK only threw six more for the game.

Where UK was able to pull ahead in the game was their overall batting average, as well as their ability to play with two outs. The Cats saw a whole 30 percent increase in their batting average when playing with two outs, while the Tigers saw a 13 percent decrease in theirs. The ability to close innings strong gave the Cats the advantage, as well as the error that gave the Cats the two-run difference in the game.

The rest of the series, however, should be much more competitive, if the stat line of this game was at all telling.

The Cats will look to take control of the series Saturday at 3 PM.