ORLANDO – Newcomers Autumn Humes and Grace Baalman combined to hold the Purdue offense to just seven hits and three runs, as the No. 23 Kentucky softball team knocked off the Boilermakers 5-3 on Sunday in the final day of the 2018 Citrus Classic at Walt Disney World in Orlando.
With Sunday’s win, UK moves to 9-3 on the season, and a season-high six games above .500. The Wildcats finish out the weekend in Orlando with a 4-1 record including wins over Bradley, Harvard, Duke and Purdue.
Autumn Humes earned her second win in the circle on Sunday, going 4.2 innings, allowing just three runs and striking out four. Grace Baalman then came into relief and pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, including the seventh to close out the game.
After recording the first out of the inning in the seventh, Purdue put two in scoring positon with one out and Baalman got a liner back to the circle and a strikeout to end the game to two of Purdue’s best hitters.
Sunday marked the end of UK’s 12-game, three-week opening road trip to start the season. The Wildcats will now get to play a home game at John Cropp Stadium on Thursday night at 6 p.m. ET against the Dayton Flyers. The game will be shown live on the SEC Network+, ESPN3 and the ESPN app.
Five. Junior Abbey Cheek hit her fifth home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth inning to left center, putting up a huge insurance run for the Wildcats to make a one-run lead a two-run lead going into the seventh for Grace Baalman.
The key play in the game was an RBI single by Brooklin Hinz in the bottom of the third inning. The RBI single by Hinz put up Kentucky’s fourth run of the game – the eventual game-winning run.
Grace Baalman was the key player in the game, going 2.1 innings without allowing a run. Baalman got a strikeout to end the game with the tying run left in scoring position.
Purdue scored first in the top of the third inning on a wild pitch that scored Madison Douglass. PUR 1, UK 0
In the bottom of the third, UK struck with a great response, scoring four runs on four hits. Two runs came around to score on a throwing error by the catcher in a rundown along the third-base line and then Katie Reed and Brooklin Hinz both had RBI singles up the box to score two more. UK 4, PUR 1
Jenny Behan roped a two-out, two-run double into left field to score two Purdue runs in the top of the fifth to cut the Kentucky lead to one. UK 4, PUR 3
Abbey Cheek hit her fifth home run of the year in the bottom of the sixth inning over the wall in left center to give the Wildcats a huge insurance run going into the seventh. FINAL – #23 Kentucky 5, Purdue 3