Late offense and expert pitching continues to fuel UK softball during win streak


Kentucky Softball pitcher Meagan Prince celebrates with catcher Jenny Schaper after the sixth inning of the game against the Florida Gators at John Cropp Stadium on Saturday, April 15, 2017 in Lexington, KY. Photo by Addison Coffey | Staff.

Chase Campbell

UK softball seems to always have the answer in the last two innings of games, as they pulled away from a challenging UT Martin team Wednesday to win 8-2, closing the game with seven unanswered runs.

This has become commonplace for the Cats, as they’ve outscored opponents 22-2 in the last two innings over their last six games, including three games against SEC opponent Missouri.

The Cats came into Wednesday’s game expecting an easy win from a team outside the SEC, but the Skyhawks’ defense wouldn’t allow the Cats any explosive plays, holding them without a hit until the third inning.

At the top of the sixth, the score was still tied at two runs apiece, and it appeared as if the Skyhawks were giving UK all it could handle. UK drew from their explosive offensive performance to close the Missouri series, as they scored six runs in the last two innings, downing UT Martin and ensuring their win streak stays alive.

What was unusual about this game, however, was that the powerful batting trio of Abbey Cheek, Katie Reed and Breanne Ray only had one RBI and two runs. The stars of the game at the plate were Jenny Schaper and Rachael Metzger, who combined for three RBI, two runs, and a homerun.

Pitcher Meagan Prince had a career day at the mound, striking out a whopping 14 batters, being responsible for two-thirds of the team’s outs. She only fell two strikeouts short of the team’s single-game strikeout record, set by Chanda Bell when she did it twice in 2011.

Continuing to be a leader at the mound, Prince notches her 16th win on season, bringing her record up to 16-6 on the season.

The Cats will be tested again this weekend as they host No. 3 Texas A&M, the No. 2 team in the SEC for a three-game series. The Aggies boast one of the strongest offenses in the SEC, and UK will have to uphold their status as a top-tier defensive team to hold them off. Texas A&M has scored more than ten runs in eight games this season, so the Cats will have to be on guard to fend them off.