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Martens’ early blast helps power UK to win at No. 1 Oregon

Abbey Cheek homered twice Thursday and drove in five runs.
(Photos by Noah J. Richter I UKAthletics)

EUGENE, Ore. – The No. 16 Kentucky softball team exploded for nine runs on 10 hits against the best pitching staff in the PAC-12 to take game one of the 2018 Eugene Super Regional 9-6 over the No. 1 Oregon Ducks on Thursday night at Jane Sanders Stadium in Eugene.

With the game one win, Kentucky is now just one game away from the 2018 Women’s College World Series. The second game of this best-of-three series will be on Friday night at 11 p.m. ET live on ESPN2 with Mark Neely and Danielle Lawrie on the call.

Kentucky scored three runs in the top of the first inning and didn’t look back, scoring nine runs in the game. UK has now scored eight runs or more in all four of its NCAA Tournament games this season, and has plated 37 runs in 23 innings of postseason softball.

Abbey Cheek hit two home runs in the game, going 2-for-3 on the night with five RBI, two home runs and a walk. Her home run in the fourth inning was a three-run shot, which was followed by a two-run homer in the top of the sixth.

This is Kentucky’s first time ever winning game one of a Super Regional. The Wildcats were 0-5 all-time before that. 

Key Stat

  1. The Kentucky offense hit three home runs on Thursday night, with Alex Martens hitting a three-run bomb in the top of the first followed by a pair of long balls from Abbey Cheek in the fourth and sixth innings.

 

Key Play

Alex Martens’ three-run home run in the top of the first inning was the key play of the game, as it put Kentucky up 3-0. It was Martens’ second home run of the postseason.

 

Key Player

Autumn Humes was the key player in the game, as she pitched the final two innings of the game, including retiring the top of the Oregon batting order in order in the seventh inning. It was Humes’ first appearance in the Division I postseason as a pitcher.

 

Run Recap

Following a single by Katie Reed and a walk to Abbey Cheek, sophomore Alex Martens hit a three-run home run to center to put Kentucky up 3-0 in the top of the first inning. UK 3, ORE 0

 

In the top of the second inning, Erin Rethlake led off the inning with a single and came around to score on a Katie Reed RBI single.  UK 4, ORE 0

 

Oregon’s Gwen Svekis hit a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the second. UK 4, ORE 1

 

The Ducks cut it to one run in the bottom of the third inning on an RBI single from Mary Iakopo. UK 4, ORE 3

 

Jenny Schaper and Katie Reed singled with two outs in the top of the fourth inning, and Abbey Cheek hit her first home run of the day to straight-away CF to give Kentucky a four-run cushion. UK 7, ORE 3

 

Haley Cruse scored Oregon’s sixth run of the game on an RBI double from DJ Sanders. UK 7, ORE 6

 

In the top of the sixth inning, Abbey Cheek hit a two-run home run to CF, scoring herself and Jenny Schaper, who led off the inning with a double to left center. UK 9, ORE 6

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