No. 16 Kentucky bests UCSB 11-1 for perfect weekend in Tucson


Kentucky Wildcat freshman Erin Coffel (21) prepares to bat during the UK vs. Morehead State game on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, at Cropp Softball Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 13-1. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Ian Alvano

No. 16 Kentucky went 5-0 at the 2022 Hillenbrand Invitational in Tucson, Arizona. The Wildcats finished off the weekend in dominant fashion against University of California Santa Barbara, defeating the Gauchos 11-1 in six innings 

Alexia Lacatena was in the circle for Kentucky to begin the game. She went 3.1 innings and recorded the win, getting her to 2-0 on the young season.   

Erin Coffel got the Wildcats on the board with a two-RBI single in the top of the first.  

Izzy Harrison came in to relieve Lacatena in the fourth inning with Kentucky up 3-1.  

The runs would begin to pour in for Kentucky in the top of the fourth. Senior Renee Abernathy blasted a grand slam off the scoreboard in deep right field to put the Wildcats up 7-1.  

UCSB was not able to answer for the rest of the game as they were held to one run by Harrison and Miranda Stoddard.  

Kentucky would go on to score four more in the top of the sixth. Lauren Johnson contributed with a sacrifice fly and Taylor Ebbs crushed her first home run of her career with a two-run shot to right field.  

Kentucky’s victory over UCSB marks the second time they’ve beat them this season after blanking the Gauchos 23-0 on Friday, Feb. 18. With the win, Kentucky moves to 9-1 on the season.  

Next up for the Wildcats is a trip to Florida.  

They will travel to Boca Raton to compete in the FAU Strikeout Cancer Classic. UK will play a doubleheader on Thursday, Feb. 24 against Jacksonville University and Florida Atlantic University.