The No. 20 Kentucky softball team completed a three-game sweep of the Missouri Tigers to pick up an elusive road series win in SEC play.
The three-game streak brought Kentucky's record back up to .500 in conference play at 9-9 and their overall total to 30 victories against thirteen losses.
The Wildcats will play two road games during the week at Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee-Martin before heading back to Lexington for a series against Texas A&M.
Kentucky 4, Missouri 2
The Wildcats jumped out to a 4-0 lead and never looked back in game one of the series.
In the top of the second inning, Sarah Rainwater and Bailey Vick both drew leadoff walks. That brought Katie Reed up to bat with no outs. Reed dropped a blooper into shallow centerfield for a double that scored Rainwater and Vick to put Kentucky up 2-0.
Reed finished 3-of-4 at the plate, the second time she has done that in two of three SEC games.
Kentucky did not strike again until the top of the fifth. Fortune smile on Breanne Ray when a Tiger defender fudged a catch on her two-out popup. Instead of wasting two runners on base, they ended up trotting home to increase the Wildcats' lead to 4-0.
Starter Meagan Prince (15-6) held Mizzou in check for most of the afternoon. Prince pitched the whole seven innings, allowing only two late runs on six hits. She struck out five and walked three.
Kentucky 4, Missouri 0
For the second game in a row, a Kentucky pitcher tossed a complete game. This time it was junior Erin Rethlake.
Rethlake (7-2) did not allow a run in seven innings of work and gave up three hits. She walked five batters but also managed to strike out four Tigers.
Kentucky took a 2-0 lead early in the contest thanks to a SAC fly from Breanne Ray and a RBI single from Abbey Cheek in the first inning.
Katie Reed drove Rethlake home in the top of the fifth to increase the lead 3-0.
Cheek crushed a homer to leftfield in the top of the sixth for Kentucky's fourth and final run. The sophomore slugger finished 2-of-3 with two RBI. Reed, Rethlake, and Vick also joined the multi-hit parade.
Kentucky 10, Missouri 8
Kentucky overcame an early 8-3 deficit with a six-run sixth inning to win the series finale in Columbia on Sunday.
The Tigers jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning thanks to a three-run jack by Braxton Burnside and an error-riddled play by the ladies in blue.
Kentucky took advantage of a Missouri miscue in the top of the next inning to trim the deficit to three, 4-1.
During the Tigers half of the inning, they added two more runs on a RBI single to go up 6-1.
Alex Martens' RBI single brought home Breanne Ray in the top of the third to cut the host's lead to 6-2.
However, another error by the Cats in the bottom half of the third allowed Missouri to hang another run on the board.
Abbey Cheek put Kentucky back within four runs, 7-3, after blasting her second bomb of the series in the top of the fifth.
Bailey Vick started the game-clinching rally in the sixth with a RBI single. Vick scored from second base thanks to a dropped fly ball by Missouri's centerfielder. Cheek then blasted her second homer of the game and a batter later Rachael Metzger launched a two-run shot to put Kentucky in front for the first time, 9-7.
After Missouri had trimmed the lead to one, the Wildcats added an insurance run in the top of the 7th to increase the lead to 10-8.
Martens, Cheek, Rethlake, Vick and Jenny Schaper all finished with two hits on the day. Cheek had a team-high three RBI.
Rethlake (8-2) threw four innings in relief of Shannon Smith. She allowed one run on only three hits.