ORLANDO – The Kentucky softball team opened play at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic on Friday afternoon, splitting a doubleheader with No. 22 Minnesota and Duke.
The Wildcats just couldn’t come up with the timely hit in the Minnesota game, falling to a late pinch-hit double with the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth inning.
UK got its bats going in the second game, touching up Duke for five runs on eight hits to take a 5-1 win, the Wildcats sixth of the season.
Kentucky will continue its play in Orlando on Saturday against Harvard and Bradley beginning at 3 p.m. ET at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Game one – #22 Minnesota 2, #23 Kentucky 1
Kentucky was just 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position in the game.
Alex Velazquez’s two-run double was the key play in the game, scoring the only two runs of the game for the Golden Gophers – which was enough to win.
Bailey Vick was the key player in the game. Vick went 1-or-2 with a double and a walk. She was on third with less than two outs in the first and sixth innings, but was unable to score two key potential runs.
Kentucky took the lead in the top of the third inning when Erin Rethlake singled through the left side to score Brooklin Hinz and give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.
After the Gophers loaded the bases with two outs, Alex Velazquez doubled to right to score two runs. FINAL #22 Minnesota 2, #23 Kentucky 1
Game one – #23 Kentucky 5, Duke 1
Seven. Grace Baalman pitched all seven innings in the game, marking her third consecutive complete game win dating back to last weekend.
Mallory Peyton’s third-inning home run was the key play in the game. It was Peyton’s first-career home run and was crushed over the wall in left center.
Jenny Schaper was the key player in the game, going 2-for-3 with two singles and two runs scored. Schaper ended up scoring the game-winning run in the fourth inning.
Duke took the lead off an unearned run in the top of the first inning on a double play that scored lead-off batter Kavel Jameson. Duke 1, UK 0
Mallory Peyton homered to left center to tie the game in the bottom of the third inning. It was her first-career home run. UK 1, Duke 1
After loading the bases with nobody out, Alex Martens had a pinch-hit RBI groundout to give UK a 2-1 lead. That was followed by a wild pitch to score Brooklin Hinz, making it 3-1. UK 3, Duke 1
In the sixth inning, Abbey Cheek walked and Jenny Schaper singled to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Kelsee Henson then had the suicide squeeze bunt to score Abbey Cheek and then Jenny Schaper scored on a wild pitch. FINAL – #23 Kentucky 5, Duke 1