KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Trailing 8-2 entering the fifth inning, the No. 18 Kentucky softball team scored seven unanswered runs to come from behind and get a breathtaking 9-8 win over the No. 6 Tennessee Lady Vols on Friday afternoon at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium.
Game two of the series will be on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET. The game is sold out, and will be shown live on the SEC Network+, ESPN3 and the ESPN app.
Kentucky hit six home runs in the game, the most since at least 2003 of a Southeastern Conference game. Both Alex Martens and Abbey Cheek had a pair of home runs. Martens’ home run in the top of the seventh tied the game at 8-8 completing the six-run comeback. Cheek had the game’s first home run, with a solo blast to left field in the top of the second, and then another solo shot in the fifth.
In the top of the eighth inning, the Wildcats loaded the bases with one out and Martens drove in the game-winning run with an RBI groundout to the right side. In the bottom of the eighth, Meagan Gregg walked with one out, but a strikeout to Chelsea Seggern and a flyout by Scarlet McSwain ended the game.
Six. Off of Tennessee ace pitcher Matty Moss, Kentucky hitters hit six home runs. Two were hit by Abbey Cheek and Alex Martens with solo shots from Jenny Schaper and Katie Reed, as well. The six home runs in an SEC game is the most in the Rachel Lawson era and the most since at least 2013.
Alex Martens stepped to the plate in the top of the seventh with Tennessee leading 8-6 and clubbed a two-run home run to left field to tie the game. The homer also scored Brooklin Hinz, who doubled with one out in the seventh to start the inning.
Alex Martens was the key player in the game for the Wildcats, going 2-for-4 with five RBI, including the game-tying home run in the seventh and the game-winning RBI groundout in the eighth.
Meghan Gregg plated the game’s first run, which was followed by a two-out, two-run double to left by Ashley Morgan to give the Lady Vols a 3-0 lead after one. UT 3, UK 0
In the top of the second, Abbey Cheek hit her team-leading 13th home run of the season to left to cut the deficit to two. UT 3, UK 1
After back-to-back singles, Tennessee added a fourth run in the bottom of the second inning. UT 4, UK 1
Katie Reed hit her sixth home run of the year off of the Lee Stadium videoboard in the top of the third. UT 4, UK 2
In the bottom of the third, a walk to McSwain and a hit by Ayala to lead off the inning both came around to score on a wild pitch followed by a suicide squeeze. UT 6, UK 2
Two more runs crossed the plate in the bottom of the fourth on a hit and a few free passes to extend the Tennessee lead to 8-2. UT 8, UK 2
The first of seven unanswered runs crossed in the top of the fifth on a Jenny Schaper home run. That was the first of three home runs in the fifth inning alone, with Abbey Cheek and Alex Martens both crossing the plate on long balls in addition to Brooklin Hinz. UT 8, UK 6
In the top of the seventh, with one out Brooklin Hinz doubled and then Alex Martens homered to left field to tie the game. It was her second home run of the game. UK 8, UT 8
Kentucky took its first lead of the game in the top of the eighth. Matty Moss walked the bases loaded with one out and then Martens grounded out to the second baseman to plate Reed from third. FINAL – #18 Kentucky 9, #6 Tennessee 8