Coffel’s timely blast, Schoonover’s complete game gives UK Softball sweep

UK plays Iowa at 10:00 a.m. Saturday in Florida

LEESBURG, Fla. (WTVQ/UK ATHLETICS) – Erin Coffel hit a two-run go-ahead home run in the bottom of the sixth inning of game two and sophomore pitcher Stephanie Schoonover pitched a complete game in the opener as No. 19 Kentucky flew past Michigan State (7-0) and Liberty (3-1) in a doubleheader Friday.

With the two wins, Kentucky improves to 3-0 on the season. The Wildcats will play Iowa at 10 a.m. ET in its only game Saturday at the 2022 Northern Lights/Southern Nights Tournament operated by THE Spring Games in Leesburg, Florida.

In game one, sophomore pitcher Stephanie Schoonover stood out in the circle, pitching a complete game for the first time in her career, shutting out the Spartans of Michigan State with six strikeouts and only walking one. Schoonover only allowed three hits in the 113 pitches she threw and allowed no runs.

In the second game vs. Liberty, Kentucky got an Erin Coffel two-run go-ahead HR in the bottom of the sixth to break a 1-1 tie and give the Wildcats the 3-1 lead. Miranda Stoddard came in to close out the game and Kentucky won 3-1 to improve to 3-0 on the season.

Game 1 – Kentucky 7, Michigan State 0
Key Play
The key play in the game was a two-run triple in the top of the first inning to score Kayla Kowalik and Lauren Johnson, giving UK the early leg up in the contest.

Key Player
The key player in Friday’s win over Michigan State was sophomore pitcher Stephanie Schoonover. The Dothan, Alabama, native went 7.0 innings, allowing just three hits, one walk and striking out six batters. Schoonover recorded a complete game for the first time in her career, setting new career highs for innings pitched, pitches thrown, strikeouts and batters faced.

Key Stat
3. Kentucky put up a three spot in the top of the first inning, making an early statement in the game.

Run Recap
In the top of the first inning, Renee Abernathy scored two on a one-out triple into RF to score Kayla Kowalik and Lauren Johnson who led off the game with singles. Abernathy then scored on a sacrifice fly by Emmy BlaneUK 3, MSU 0

Kentucky’s lead increased to 4-0 in the top of the second as pinch runner Vanessa Nesby scored from second on an RBI single up the middle by Kayla Kowalik after Rylea Smith led the rally off with a double. UK 4, MSU 0

Taylor Ebbs led off the top of the fourth with a double and scored an a Tatum Spangler run batted in, her first of the season. UK 5, MSU 0

Kayla Kowalik and Lauren Johnson both singled to lead off the seventh inning and an Erin Coffel sacrifice fly made it 6-0 before an Abernathy groundout crossed Johnson home and made it seven on the board for Kentucky. FINAL – Kentucky 7, Michigan State 0

To view the Game 1 box score, click here.

 

Game 2 – Kentucky 3, Liberty 1
Key Play
The key play in the game was Erin Coffel’s home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to make a tied game 3-1 in favor of Kentucky.

Key Player
The key player in the game was Emmy Blane, who’s RBI single up the middle scored Jaci Babbs in the bottom of the fourth inning to score the first run of the game. Blane also had a stellar game at second base, making several key plays.

Key Stat
The key stat in the game was zero as Alexia Lacatena, who was starting in her first-career game, allowed no runs in four innings of work, striking out five and walking only one. Izzy Harrison also allowed zero runs in her 2.1 innings in the circle, which was her first pitching appearance for UK, as well.

Run Recap
Emmy Blane scored the opening run of the game on an RBI single up the middle in the bottom of the fourth inning. UK 1, LU 0

Liberty scored an unearned run off a Kentucky error in the top of the sixth inning to tie the game. Miranda Stoddard then came in the game to pitch and closed out the inning, allowing no runs with runners on second and third and one out to close the door on the Flames. UK 1, LU 1

In the bottom of the sixth, Kentucky responded well as Lauren Johnson singled with one away and that was followed by an Erin Coffel home run to left field, the first HR of the 2022 season for UK. Coffel obliterated the ball lifting UK to a 3-1 lead. FINAL – Kentucky 3, Liberty 1

To view the Game 2 box score, click here.

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

Categories: Featured, Softball, Solid Blue, Sports

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