ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Led by senior second baseman Alex Martens and freshman outfielder Rylea Smith, the Kentucky Softball team went to Ann Arbor, Michigan and earned a three-game sweep over the Michigan Wolverines over the weekend, winning twice on Saturday and once on Sunday in the series finale.
“I thought we were really steady and showed a lot of composure all weekend,” Rachel Lawson said. “We did a great job of communicating all three games. The pitching staff showed a lot of command of the zone and I love how we ended all three games on momentum-killing plays with two double plays and a strikeout.”
Kentucky was just two outs away from a combined no hitter in game one of the series as sophomore Meghan Schorman and sophomore Tatum Spangler combined to allow no runs on just one hit in the game. Junior Grace Baalman had the game-winning hit on a two-run RBI single up the left side.
In game two, Alex Martens went 2-for-3 with three RBI including a home run, her second of the fall season as the Wildcats beat Michigan, 5-2. Lauren Johnson had an RBI from the lead-off spot and also scored a run. Senior Autumn Humes worked with freshman Sloan Gayan and Miranda Stoddard to hold Michigan to just two runs on four hits in the game as UK clinched the series win.
“It was nice to see Alex Martens pick up where she left off at the end of last year.” Lawson added. “She showed a lot of self-control and maturity coming back from the summer in shape after spending the summer with Nike in Oregon on an internship. She did a great job of setting herself up for success.”
Kentucky had to come from behind on Sunday, falling behind 2-0 early in the game. Maclai Branson doubled to lead off the top of the fourth inning before Martens went deep for her third HR of the fall and second of the weekend to pull UK to within a run at 3-2. UM extended its lead to 4-2 before Branson, Martens and Humes all singled to start the sixth inning paving the way for a Grace Baalman grand slam to left center. Miranda Stoddard did a great job closing the game in the circle for UK with a 1-2-3 seventh inning as UK took home the sweep.
Freshman outfielder Rylea Smith was one of the young brightspots for UK, as she hit .455 on the weekend in her 11 at bats with a triple and an RBI.
“I was really impressed with Rylea this weekend,” Lawson said. “ She had a great approach and had a lot of maturity in the box.”
The fall season for UK continues at Noon ET on Saturday against Louisville at John Cropp Stadium. Admission is free.