No. 12 Kentucky begins stay in Boca Raton with two wins in doubleheader


Kentucky Wildcat freshman Erin Coffel (21) warms up before the University of Kentucky vs. University of Georgia softball game on Monday, April 12, 2021, at John Cropp Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky. UK lost 5-2. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Ian Alvano

The Sunshine State is the destination for the weekend with Kentucky Softball participating in the FAU Strikeout Cancer Classic.  

Kentucky would play in a doubleheader to start the tournament, against Jacksonville University in the earlier game, then taking on Florida Atlantic University in the later window.  

 Junior Sloan Gayan was in the circle for the Wildcats to start off the day.  

The first inning was full of action after Gayan retired Jacksonville’s first three batters. In the bottom of the first, Kentucky would proceed to put seven on the board.  

The bats were hot to start, as the Wildcats would hit back-to-back home runs. Erin Coffel hit a three-run bomb, which was followed up by Taylor Ebbs’ solo shot. Kentucky was up 4-0 early but that was not the end of it.  

Freshman Hallie Mitchell hit into a sacrifice fly and that scored Renee Abernathy. Kayla Kowalik’s two-run single would put the Wildcats up 7-0 after just one inning played.  

The Dolphins would put up three runs in the second inning, but Kentucky would have an answer.  

Lauren Johnson would keep the runs coming for Kentucky after her solo home run in the bottom of the second.  

The Wildcats pulled away in the bottom of the fourth thanks to Coffel’s second three-run shot of the game.  

Kennedy Sullivan came in to relieve Gayan in the top of the fifth. Kentucky would keep its foot on the gas and score one more run to win the game 12-4 in five innings.  

UK moved on to its second game of the doubleheader against hosts of the tournament, FAU.  

Sophomore Stephanie Schoonover was the starting pitcher against the Owls.  

Kentucky was the visiting team this time around. Coffel kept up her tremendous display at the plate with a sac fly to put the Wildcats up 1-0 in the top of the first.  

Schoonover kept it scoreless through two before she got some insurance by her offense.  

Ebbs hit a two-run double that plated Kowalik and Rylea Smith in the top of the third. 

An RBI single by Emmy Blane in the fourth inning would extend Kentucky’s lead to 4-0.  

On the other side of the ball, Schoonover was pitching a gem of a game. After striking out two batters in the bottom of the sixth, she was going into the seventh innings with a no-hitter.  

 The Wildcats would continue to give her insurance adding three runs in the top of seventh. Two runs coming from Coffel’s home run, her third home run of the doubleheader.  


Up 7-0 in the last half inning, Schoonover was eventually pulled after allowing her first hit, which led to FAU’s first run of the game.  

Miranda Stoddard came in to close out the Owls. FAU scored two more to start a rally, but it ultimately failed. Kentucky would close out the game winning 7-3 and moving them to 2-0 in the tournament.  

The wins move Kentucky to 11-1 on the year before it faces Columbia University on Friday, Feb. 25 in its third game of the tournament.