A one-out RBI double in the top of the ninth inning was enough to lift the No. 3 Auburn Tigers to a 3-1 extra-inning win over the No. 12 Kentucky Wildcats on Sunday afternoon at John Cropp Stadium in Lexington in front of over 1,200 people.
With the win on Sunday, the Tigers move to 33-4 overall on the season, and jump into a tie with Florida for the top spot in the Southeastern Conference with a 9-3 league record through four weekends of action. Kentucky falls to 31-8 overall in 2016 and 8-4 in SEC play, just one game outside Florida for the top spot in the SEC.
For the second day in a row, the Kentucky pitching staff had a tough-luck loser – as Meagan Prince – who pitched nine innings on just six Auburn hits and three runs suffered her second straight loss on the season after pitching a great game. Prince struck out five Auburn batters in the game, and threw just over 125 pitches in the nine inning affair.
Kentucky will host the first of an annual two-game series with in-state rival Louisville on Wednesday night at 5:30 p.m. ET inside John Cropp Stadium. The game will be shown live on the SEC Network+, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app with Dick Gabriel and Dorian Craft on the call. Kentucky will continue SEC play on Saturday night in Baton Rouge, La., against the LSU Tigers.
Nine. The nine-inning game against Auburn on Sunday afternoon was Kentucky’s longest game of the season. UK played an eight-inning game on Tuesday at Ohio, as the Wildcats drop to 0-2 in extra-inning games in 2016.
In the top of the ninth inning in a 1-1 game, Auburn’s Jenna Abbott hit a double to the wall in center field to score Jade Rhodes, who led off the inning with a walk to score the eventual game-winning run.
Meagan Prince was Sunday’s key player, going the full nine innings for Kentucky, striking out five batters and only allowing the potent Auburn offense to garner three runs on six hits.
Jade Rhodes hit her second home run of the series to left field in the top of the second inning to give Auburn the early lead in the game. AU 1, UK 0
Kentucky tied the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, when Jenny Schaper legged out an infield single to get the offensive rally going for the Wildcats. Schaper was pinch ran for at first base by Ansley Smith, who scored the tying run on a double to right by senior Christian Stokes. UK 1, AU 1
After a lead-off walk was issued to Jade Rhodes, Jenna Abbott doubled to the wall in center field to score the runner from second and plate the game-winning run. Auburn would score an insurance run on a one-out groundout to the shortstop. FINAL – No. 3 Auburn 3, Kentucky 1 (F/9)
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by Chris Shoals