TEMPE, Ariz. – The Kentucky softball team scored 15 runs on 15 hits Sunday night en route to a 15-6 win over the New Mexico Lobos in its fourth game of the 2016 Kajikawa Classic. With the win, Kentucky moves to 3-1 on the season after its largest scoring output since March 18, 2013 when the Wildcats routed North Carolina at John Cropp Stadium.
After scoring one run in the first inning, and seven runs in the third inning, the Wildcats went up 8-0 on the Lobos before New Mexico came storming back with five runs in the bottom of the third before winning pitcher Meagan Prince re-entered the game to close out the NMU offense to just one run the remainder of the game.
With her 4.2 inning performance on Sunday, Prince moves to 2-0 on the season after picking up UK’s Opening Day win over Notre Dame on Friday night. The Lobos fall to 2-3 on the season and completes their appearance at the 2016 Kajikawa Classic.
15. Kentucky scored 15 runs for the first time since the 2013 season, when UK routed North Carolina 18-0 at John Cropp Stadium. The Wildcats scored those 15 runs on 15 hits, which were the most in the 2016 season for UK.
When the third inning appeared to be over, Kentucky head coach Rachel Lawson noticed that NMU had not reentered its catcher, and the Wildcats got to re-do the inning with two outs and Nikki Sagermann returned to the plate with two outs in a 1-0 game. Sagermann then exploded a single into right field scoring Maisie Steed from second base, and with two outs – UK would go on to score six runs as seven-straight batters got on base to leave the inning with an 8-0 lead instead of a 1-0 lead.
UK’s Pinch Hitters. Kentucky’s three pinch hitters – Haley Andrus, Stephanie Martino and Kelsee Henson – all had pinch hits that resulted in RBIs in their first at bats of the 2016 season. Henson, a freshman from Paducah, Ky., homered to straightaway center field on the first swing of her career, scoring Stokes and Martino.
Kentucky took the lead in the first inning on a fielding error by the NM shortstop with Nikki Sagermann launching the ball back to the circle scoring Maisie Steed from third base, after leading off the game with an infield single and a stolen base. UK 1, NMU 0
UK would go up 2-0 in the third inning after Lawson caught that NMU did not re-enter its catcher from the first inning. Sagermann launched an RBI single to the right side to score Steed to make it 2-0. Freshman Abbey Cheek belted her second homer in as many games to make it 4-0 in the next at bat. After a Brooklin Hinz single, Christian Stokes was HBP – freshman Jenny Schaper hit a two-run double to left field. UK 8, NMU 0
New Mexico would get five runs back in the third, after leading off the inning with four-straight groundball singles off Prince. Shannon Smith came in the game and allowed three walks before Prince re-entered after allowing a homer and two RBI singles. UK 8, NMU 5
Kentucky would tack on four more in the fourth inning after Katie Reed had single to get the rally going. After a Sagermann walk, and Cheek was HBP – Stokes hit a two-run double. That was followed by Jenny Schaper hit her second double of the day to score two more. UK 12, NMU 5
New Mexico would score its final run thanks to a double to the center field wall by D. Johnson in the fourth inning. UK 12, NMU 6
UK’s final three runs came in the fifth inning thanks to RBI singles from Haley Andrus, Steph Martino and then a home run by freshman Kelsee Henson. FINAL – Kentucky 15, New Mexico 6
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