LEXINGTON, Ky. – Erin Rethlake pitched her third complete game of the season on Tuesday night, striking out six batters in the circle, and went 2-for-4 at the plate with her first-career triple and two runs scored, leading the No. 23 Kentucky Wildcats to an 8-4 win over the Northern Illinois Huskies.
The result ends UK’s three-game losing streak, the longest of the season for the Wildcats, and puts UK at 16-6 overall on the season. With Tuesday afternoon’s loss, Northern Illinois falls to 5-16.
Kentucky will return to the diamond on Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. ET against the Indiana Hoosiers out of the Big 10. The game was originally slated to start at 7 p.m. ET, but game officials have moved the start time up. It will air live on the SEC Network+, ESPN3 and the ESPN app with Alex Perlman (pxp) and Cheri Kempf (color) on the call from Lexington, then re-air in its originally-scheduled timeslot at 7 p.m. ET on the SEC Network.
One. Erin Rethlake and Lauren Johnson both hit their first-career triples on Tuesday afternoon. Both were RBI triples.
The key play in the game was junior Abbey Cheek hustling down the first-base line to beat out an infield single and score two runs with two outs. That made it a 6-0 lead, and UK was in total control from there.
Jenny Schaper was the key player in the game, going 2-for-4 with her fourth home run of the season, and hitting a double in the first inning, as well. Schaper is now hitting .385 on the season.
Katie Reed led off the game with a single, and came around to score on Erin Rethlake’s first-career triple. Jenny Schaper then doubled to the wall in center scoring Rethlake and Mallory Peyton then doubled to give UK three runs on four hits in the inning. UK 3, NIU 0
In the top of the second, NIU got the first two batters on with a walk and a single, and one of them came around to score. UK 3, NIU 1
In the bottom of the second, Johnson walked and Katie Reed reached on a fielder’s choice before Erin Rethlake singled to load the bases with nobody out. Alex Martens walked to force in a run, and Abbey Cheek then legged out an infield single to score two runs with two outs. UK 6, NIU 1
In the bottom of the third, Lauren Johnson hit an RBI triple to the wall in right center to score Bailey Vick, who led off the inning with a single. UK 7, NIU 1
The Huskies got a run back in the top of the fifth after a lead-off double scored on an infield groundout. UK 7, NIU 2
Jenny Schaper hit her fourth home run of the season to left to make it an 8-2 game in the bottom of the sixth inning with two outs. UK 8, NIU 2
Northern Illinois closed out the scoring with a two-run HR in the top of the seventh. FINAL – #23 Kentucky 8, Northern Illinois 4