KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Lady Vols scored two or more runs in the final three innings of the game to even the series with and 8-1 win over the No. 18 Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday afternoon.
The series will be decided on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. ET on Rocky Top. The game is sold out and will air on the SEC Network+, ESPN3 and the ESPN app with Mick Gillespie and Madison Shipman on the call.
The Wildcats got out on the front foot with a 1-0 lead through three innings, but the Lady Vols scored eight unanswered runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to rally with the bats and win, 8-1.
Kentucky scored one run on four hits, with the Lady Vols scoring eight times on seven hits against three different UK pitchers in the contest. Autumn Humes took the loss, falling to 9-6. She pitched four complete innings, allowing five runs on five hits. Caylan Arnold won the game for Tennessee in the circle, getting the complete-game win, allowing four hits, walking two and striking out eight.
Saturday’s loss snaps a two-game Southeastern Conference winning streak for the Wildcats, who fall to 6-13 in SEC play this season. Overall, the Wildcats are 29-16. Tennessee with the win improves to 41-10 overall and moves into fifth in the SEC with an 11-9 league record.
The fight is on for the SEC Tournament, with Kentucky currently holding down the No. 10 seed on six wins. Missouri and Mississippi State have six wins also, but UK has played one less game than Mississippi State due to the LSU rainout, and Missouri is currently on its bye weekend. The top 12 teams in the SEC standings at the end of next weekend will qualify for the SEC Tournament in Columbia May 9-12.
Six. The Wildcats left a runner on base in six of the seven innings of the game.
The key play in the game was Amanda Ayala’s three-run home run to open the Tennessee scoring and put the Lady Vols up 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The key player for Kentucky was Jenny Schaper, who drove in the only Kentucky run of the game on a sacrifice fly to deep center in the top of the third inning.
Erin Rethlake led off the inning with a single and scored the opening run of the game on a sacrifice fly by Jenny Schaper to deep center. UK 1, UT 0
With two on and nobody out in the Tennessee fourth, Amanda Ayala hit a home run to left center to put the Lady Vols up a pair. UT 3, UK 1
A double by Aubrey Leach and a double by Scarlet McSwain with three free bases sprinkled in gave the Lady Vols a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to extend their lead. UT 5, UK 1
In the sixth inning, Meagan Gregg hit a two-run home run after a run already came around to score on a Leach RBI single. FINAL – #6 Tennessee 8, #18 Kentucky 1