Two complete games and timely scoring in the later innings helped the No. 18 Kentucky softball team to a pair of midweek wins to extend their current hot streak to six games and overall record to 32-13.
The Wildcats will be back in action this Friday in Lexington against the No. 3 Texas A&M with the first pitch coming at 6:00 P.M.
Kentucky 5, Eastern Kentucky 0
Junior Erin Rethlake (9-2) went the distance in the circle during the shutout of the Colonels on their home field Wednesday night in Richmond.
Rethlake threw 103 pitches in seven innings of work. She gave up only three hits to EKU along with a walk. The Indiana native finished with five strikeouts and was 1-of-2 at the plate with a run scored.
Sophomore catcher Jenny Schaper put UK up 1-0 during the first inning when she pummeled the first pitch thrown her way out of the park.
Schaper struck again in the top of the third inning. An infield groundout resulted in her being thrown out, but it did score Rethlake to put the Wildcats up 2-0. She finished the day 1-of-4 with three RBI. Kentucky tacked on three runs in the top of the seventh inning: an Alex Martens' home run, a Katie Reed single that brought home a run, and another RBI groundout from Schaper.
Martens and Bailey Vick both finished as the only Wildcats with more than one hit. They each finished 2-of-3.
Kentucky 8, UT-Martin 2
Kentucky's starting pitcher, Meagan Prince (16-6) had a homecoming to remember as she set a career-best in strikeouts.
The senior left-hander, who hails from Martin, TN, struck out at every UTM batter she faced at least once to finished with an incredible 14 for the evening. Prince threw the entire seven innings and allowed only two runs on six hits while also giving up four walks.
Kentucky's first run of the game came courtesy of a failed double steal in the top of the second. Pinch runner Brynlee Bigelow took home while Brooklin Hinz got caught at second base.
UT-Martin answered with two runs in the bottom of the third to take a 2-1 lead.
Erin Rethlake tied the game in the top of the fourth when she drove Alex Martens home with a single.
Abbey Cheek took advantage of a run down elsewhere on the field to give Kentucky the lead in the top of the sixth. Rachael Metzger doubled it with a homer to straight center to put the Wildcats up 4-2.
The Wildcats doubled their lead again in the top of the next inning. Jenny Schaper caught a break when she hit a flyball that a UTM outfielder muffled, her reward was two RBI. Cheek and Breanne Ray finished the scoring with a fielder's choice RBI and a single respectively.
Ray, Rethlake, and Bailey Vick each led Kentucky with two hits apiece.