Sullivan’s Heroic Day Sends No. 16 Kentucky Softball Past No. 11 Arizona
Wildcats get first top-15 win of the season on the road
TUCSON, Az. (UK Athletics) – Kennedy Sullivan went 2-for-3 at the plate and picked up the win in the circle, throwing 3.2 innings allowing just two runs as the No. 16 Kentucky Softball team powered past No. 11 Arizona 7-6, to move to 8-1 on the year winning its first true road game of the season.
Kentucky scored seven runs on 12 hits Saturday night as they beat the hosts Arizona in the featured game of the tournament. In Kentucky’s first game of the day, the Wildcats beat Long Beach State, 5-0.
In Kentucky’s win over LBSU, Erin Coffel went 2-for-3 with three RBI, including two doubles that scored the three runs. Her first double scored the game’s first run in the top of the first inning, and her second extra-base hit scored two runs to increase the UK lead to 5-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning to give the Wildcats some breathing room.
Kentucky and Arizona exchanged the lead five times Saturday night with Kentucky getting the last laugh to close the night ahead, 7-6. Four Kentucky players had multiple hits in the game, including three of the first four in the offensive order. The win for UK went to Sullivan in the circle, after Stephanie Schoonover started the game, pitched 3.0 solid innings, and freshman Alexia Lacatena threw 0.1 innings to get the Wildcats out of a fifth-inning jam.
UK closes out the 2022 Hillenbrand Invitational on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET against UC Santa Barbara. The game will be streamed on FLOsoftball with live stats available on UKathletics.com.
Game 1 – Kentucky 5, Long Beach State 0
Erin Coffel’s two-run double in the bottom of the fifth inning to give the Wildcats some breathing room was the key play in the game.
Sloan Gayan was the key player in the game, earning the win with 4.0 innings in the circle without allowing a run. The junior only surrendered three hits, no walks and struck out three 49er batters.
- The shutout was Kentucky’s third of the season.
Erin Coffel roped a double in the bottom of the first inning to score Rylea Smith and give Kentucky an early lead. UK 1, LBSU 0
In the bottom of the second, Kennedy Sullivan hit a two-run home run to push the Wildcats out in front by a trio of runs. UK 3, LBSU 0
In the bottom of the fifth, Kentucky’s lead ballooned to five as Erin Coffel doubled for the second time in the game to score Rylea Smith and Lauren Johnson. FINAL – Kentucky 5, Long Beach State 0
Game 2 – #16 Kentucky 7, #11 Arizona 6
The key play in the game was Kennedy Sullivan’s two-run home run in the top of the fifth inning to score the eventual game-winning run and push UK’s lead at the time to 7-4.
Sullivan was the key player in the game, going 2-for-3 at the plate and picking up the win in the circle, throwing 3.2 innings allowing just two runs.
- There were five lead changes in the game.
In the top of the third inning, Lauren Johnson broke the seal on the game with an RBI single to score Kayla Kowalik, one of three hits in the game for Johnson. UK 1, AZ 0
Arizona responded in the bottom of the third inning to score two runs on an RBI single. AZ 2, UK 1
In the top of he fourth inning, UK took the lead back for the second time as Miranda Stoddard hit a two-run home run into the upper rows of Candrea’s Corner in left center. UK 3, AZ 2
The Arizona offense scored twice in the fourth as well, with an RBI single and a Kentucky error causing UK to relinquish the lead. AZ 4, UK 3
Kentucky made its push in the top of the fifth inning, scoring four runs. Taylor Ebbs smacked a two-RBI double into the right-center gap and Kennedy Sullivan followed with a two-run HR, her second of the day, to left. UK 7, AZ 4
Arizona scored its final two runs on a fifth-inning rally, plating a pair on a two-RBI single. However, Lauren Johnson made an incredible catch up against the railing in left field to end the inning and UK carried the lead into the seventh. UK 7, AZ 6
In the bottom of the seventh, Kennedy Sullivan sent Arizona packing 1-2-3 and Kentucky closed out the road win. FINAL – #16 Kentucky 7, #11 Arizona 6