A pitcher’s duel between the Eastern Kentucky Colonels (27-9, 11-2) and the Kentucky Wildcats (35-8, 11-4) yielded to one of the great moments in softball, a late inning home run to win the game, yesterday during a meeting between the in-state rivals at John Kropp Stadium.
Kentucky’s Shannon Smith did an excellent job keeping the Colonels lineup at bay during four innings of work and had a no-hitter going up until the latter half of her final inning. The loan hit that Smith gave up was a solo homer that gave EKU their first lead of the game, 1-0. Smith left the mound after the inning with seven total strikeouts and three walks.
Meagan Prince sparkled in three innings of relief work. She allowed one hit, did not walk any batters and struck out three.
Unfortunately for Kentucky, they were not able to take advantage of the good pitching early in the game. The Wildcats did not get their first hit, a single by Katie Reed, until the third inning. Kentucky managed to get runners on 2nd and 3rd but stranded both to end the inning scoreless
The Hittin’ Kittens loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth inning and still could not knock in a run.
Finally, in the bottom of the sixth inning with one runner on base and one out. Abbey Cheek hit a two-run shot to give Kentucky a 2-1 lead that they never relinquished on their way to a thrilling victory.
The Cats continue their homestand this weekend against Missouri in a three-game series.