Kentucky softball lost both games in its doubleheader against Texas A&M on Saturday.
In game one, the ‘Cats got off to a good start. Junior star pitcher Stephanie Schoonover took the mound to start for UK. Schoonover held the Aggies to no runs scored in the top of the first. First up to bat for the ‘Cats was graduate student Kayla Kowalik
Kowalik reached base before junior Erin Coffel hit a RBI to bring the former home giving an early lead to Kentucky. Coffel remained on base along and was joined by junior Vanessa Nesby and senior Rylea Smith.
Junior Grace Lorsung was up next and drilled a grand slam to increase UK’s lead to 5-0.
Kentucky’s pitching got shaky in the top of the second as Texas A&M was able to bring three runs in, cutting its deficit to 5-3. Graduate student Kennedy Sullivan came in to relieve Schoonover after the rocky second inning.
Neither team had any luck from the plate in the third as the score remained 5-3 heading into the fourth.
Pitching and defense struggles
Sullivan and the defense struggled in the fourth as the Aggies brought in two more to tie it up at 5-5.
But in the bottom of the fourth, Kowalik scored off an error as Lorsung hit an RBI single to bring in Coffel. The two scores for the ‘Cats in the bottom of the fourth put UK up again, this time at 7-5.
In the top of the fifth, sophomore Alexia Lacatena came in for relief pitching for Kentucky. Texas A&M was able to score right away off a single RBI in the top of the fifth making it 7-6. But the bats were working for UK their next time out.
Coffel and Lorsung come up big on offense
Thanks to a double from Coffel, three runs were brought in for the ‘Cats, increasing the lead to 10-6. Junior Meeko Harrison hit an RBI single to add another run for UK, giving them a commanding 11-6 lead.
However, in the top of the sixth, the pitching struggles continued for Kentucky. Lacatena gave up hits which allowed Texas A&M to score three runs making it an 11-9 game.
The ‘Cats were held to no runs scored in the bottom of the sixth and went into the seventh with an 11-9 lead.
Texas A&M wasn’t done though. In the top of the seventh, Lacatena gave up a two-run homer which tied the game at 11-11. Kentucky’s defense allowed the Aggies to tally three more runs to that score making it 14-11.
With a last-chance effort, Coffel reached base in the bottom of the seventh. Lorsung hit one out of the park to cut UK’s deficit down to one, 14-13.
Unfortunately for the ‘Cats, it was not enough as they fell to Texas A&M, 14-13 in game one of the doubleheader. there was no time to waste as it was right back on the field for both teams.
The second game was a change of pace compared to the first for the ‘Cats. Senior Sloan Gayan took the mound first as pitcher for UK.
Early lead for the Aggies
Gayan gave up a RBI single to the Aggies to bring in the first run of game two, giving Texas A&M an early 1-0 lead. Kentucky had no luck from the plate in the bottom of the first and the score remained 1-0.
The Wildcats’ defense did its job in the second as the Aggies were held to no runs. Scoring for UK was hard to find in the second and third innings as the score was 4-0 in favor of Texas A&M.
Sophomore Izzy Harrison came in to relieve Gayan after she gave up three runs in the third. But Harrison also struggled from the mound as she gave up a homer making it 5-0.
Now in a major hole, freshman pitcher Taylor Hess made her career debut for the ‘Cats. But the pitching change did not help UK as the Aggies were allowed three more runs in the fourth.
Down 8-0 going into the bottom of the fourth, UK needed a lot of help from the bats, but it was not happening. In the top of the fifth, the score remained 8-0 in favor of the Aggies. Hess then gave up a two-run homer in the top of the fifth to make it a 10-0 game.
It was the same old story for UK in the bottom of the fifth as they had zero luck on offense.
Due to the mercy rule, the game ended after the fifth as the ‘Cats were shutout 10-0. Kentucky and Texas A&M will face off on Sunday at 1 p.m. at John Cropp Stadium in the final game of the series.
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