Lauren Johnson’s stellar night walks Kentucky off vs. Louisville

The walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning to lifted the No. 14 Kentucky softball team over its in-state rival Louisville, 6-5.

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Courtesy: UK Athletics

LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) – Senior Lauren Johnson had a critical catch in left field during a Louisville rally in the top of the seventh inning, and the walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the No. 14 Kentucky softball team over its in-state rival Louisville, 6-5 on Wednesday night at John Cropp Stadium.

Johnson went 1-for-3 at the plate with a pair of RBI, driving in the game-tying run in the bottom of the seventh, and the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning on a rocket to right field to score Jaci Babbs from third with one out.

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Kentucky has now won two games in a row and will continue its four-game homestand this weekend as it welcomes the No. 15 LSU Tigers to Lexington for a three-game series starting Friday night. Game one will be shown live on the SEC Network+ with Dave Baker and Jenny Dalton-Hill on the call. Game two will air on ESPN2 and game three will be shown on the SEC Network with Kevin Brown and Amanda Scarbrough on the call.

UK is now 31-10 on the season with Wednesday night’s result. Louisville falls to 16-20.

Autumn Humes picked up her 15th win of the season in the circle for Kentucky, as she ups her record to 15-5, the fifth-best start to a single season by a pitcher in Kentucky Softball annals. Humes went the final six innings of the game, allowing two runs on five hits, walking two and striking out five.

Kentucky never led in the game until the bottom of the ninth inning in the walk-off.

Key Stat

  1. Kayla Kowalik continued her school-record hit streak Wednesday night, going 3-for-5 at the plate with a double and a pair of singles. Her streak is now at 21 and she is hitting .534 on the season.

Key Player

Lauren Johnson was the key player in Wednesday’s game, driving in the game-tying run in the bottom of the seventh and the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth.

Key Play

The key play in the game was a Tatum Spangler double with one out in the bottom of the seventh, to put the tying run in scoring position.

Run Recap

Louisville hit a solo home run in the top of the second inning to take the early lead. UL 1, UK 0

 

Erin Coffel hit her 16th home run of the season to right field to tie the game in the bottom of the second inning. UK 1, UL 1

 

Louisville scored two runs on two different RBI hits to re-take the lead in the top of the third. UL 3, UK 1

 

Kentucky would respond with a run in the bottom of the second as Spangler lifted a sac fly to left and scored Miranda Stoddard, who led off the inning with a single. UL 3, UK 2

 

The Cards scored on a sac fly in the fourth to double its lead. UL 4, UK 2

 

Kentucky tied the game in the bottom of the fifth inning as Kayla Kowalik led off the inning with a double and scored on an error. Lauren Johnson, who got on via the Card error, scored on a sac fly by Renee Abernathy. UK 4, UL 4

 

In the top of the seventh, a lead-off single turned into a run for UofL as Chung drove in the go-ahead run with one out. A sensational catch by Johnson in LF kept the number at one. UL 5, UK 4

 

UK tied the game in the seventh as Johnson singled into shallow LF to score Spangler, who doubled with one out the batter prior to Johnson. UK 5, UL 5

 

After back-to-back singles by Babbs and Kowalik to start the bottom of the ninth, Johnson drove home the winning run on a sac fly to deep right, which allowed Babbs to score the game-winning run. FINAL/9 – Kentucky 6, Louisville 5

For the latest on UK Softball, follow the Wildcats on Twitter and Instagram at @UKSoftball.

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com