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Austin Humes stellar relief pitching helps UK beat No. 3 Alabama 3-2 in 13 innings

Autumn Humes. (Photo by Noah J. Richter | UK Athletics)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – In the longest game in program history, the No. 23 Kentucky Wildcats got a sensational performance in the circle from junior Autumn Humes and a clutch RBI single in the top of the 13th from Alex Martens, as UK took the series in a Sunday thriller at No. 3 Alabama.

The Wildcats took a 2-0 lead early in the game off of Alabama starting pitcher Krystal Goodman. Abbey Cheek hit her 19th home run of the season in the top of the first inning and Bailey Vick scored on an RBI single from Katie Reed.

The game would remain 2-0 in favor of the Wildcats until the bottom of the sixth inning. With one out, Reagan Dykes doubled to tie the game on an RBI hit into left-center field.

After nobody could score in the seventh, the game went into extra innings. There were no true scoring threats for either side in the extra frames until the top of the 13th when the Wildcats put two runners on with one out after Reed singled and Cheek was intentionally walked – reaching base for the fourth time in the game thanks to a base on balls. Alex Martens then stepped up and delivered an RBI single back up the middle off of Montana Fouts to score Reed from second.

Winning pitcher Autumn Humes was nothing short of sensational in the circle for Kentucky, as she went 7.1 innings of relief, allowing only one hit to one of the best scoring offenses in the nation. Humes allowed just two walks and struck out four Bama batters on exactly 100 pitches thrown in the game.

Grace Baalman was UK’s starting pitcher, as she went 5.2 innings allowing eight hits, two runs, no walks and three strikeouts. Baalman was the winning pitcher in Friday night’s 4-1 win over No. 3 Alabama.

Sunday’s win marked Kentucky’s first win in extra innings this season, and was the first time this season the Wildcats won a rubber match in Southeastern Conference play. This weekend marked the second-ever series win over Alabama – as UK defeated the Tide two games to one in Tuscaloosa back in 2013.

With Sunday’s win, the Wildcats are now 32-19 overall on the season and finish SEC play at 14-10. It is the sixth time in the last nine seasons that UK has finished SEC play with a .500 record or above under head coach, Rachel Lawson.

Alabama, ranked No. 3 in both major polls and No. 8 in the NCAA RPI, falls to 47-6 on the year – and 15-6 in SEC play.

Kentucky’s bye week in the SEC is next weekend, as they will travel to No. 14 Texas Tech for a two-game series on Saturday and Sunday before making the short trip over to College Station for the 2019 SEC Tournament at Davis Diamond.

Key Stat

  1. The 13-inning game was the longest in Kentucky Softball program history.

 

Key Play

With one out in the top of the 13th inning, Alex Martens stepped up and delivered a clutch single up the middle to score Katie Reed from second. Additionally, with the tying run at first in the bottom of the 13th for Alabama, Mallory Peyton caught a ball off the bat of Kaylee Tow to close the game.

Key Player

Autumn Humes was the key player in the game, as she went 7.1 innings in the circle allowing just one hit to the Alabama offense.

Run Recap

Abbey Cheek hit her team-leading 19th home run of the season in the top of the first inning. UK 1, ALA 0

Katie Reed hit an RBI single into right field to score Bailey Vick in the bottom of the second inning – as Vick trotted home from third after a lead-off single. UK 2, ALA 0

Alabama tied the game in the bottom of the sixth on a double from the bat of Reagan Dykes. UK 2, ALA 2

In the top of the 13th – Kentucky plated the game-winning run. Katie Reed singled and Abbey Cheek was walked to put two on with one out. That was followed by Martens’ single up the middle to score Reed. FINAL – #23 Kentucky 3, #3 Alabama 2

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