UK Softball exacts revenge on Florida, evens up series

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

Whatever offensive struggles the No. 21 UK softball team may have had Friday evening, the Cats left them behind as they took a 5-1 win Saturday afternoon to even up their series with No. 3 Florida.

The game was played in front of a season record crowd of 1617 people, as they watched the Gators lose by four for the first time since March 23, 2015 when they lost to No. 10 Alabama.

The headline SEC matchup of the weekend began with an expected 4-0 win by the Gators, but UK bounced right back the next day and, led by shortstop Katie Reed and pitcher Meagan Prince, took the second matchup for their own. The Cats allowed only two Florida hits, the same number of errors they committed.

Reed led all batters in the game with three hits and two RBI, as well as running in two of the Cats’ five runs herself.

“I was really just trying to stay calm at the plate,” said Reed. “I just really wanted to hit her change-up.”

Prince also had a dominant game, ending with a very respectable eight strikeouts, as well as running the suffocating defense alongside Reed. This is Prince’s 13th win on the season, as she led the Cats to hand Florida their third loss of the season.

“It was just making sure I executed the pitch that coach called,” said Prince. “Every single pitch that was called to me, signaled to me, I said ‘here’s this pitch, execute this pitch.’”

Toppling the SEC leaders in a game has completely recovered the Cats from their slump experienced against Tennessee, and moving into the final game of the series, UK still has “nothing to lose”, according to Prince.

The final game of the series will be played Sunday at 1 p.m., as UK looks to take a series from Florida for the first time since April of 2011, when the Cats swept the Gators.