LEXINGTON, Ky. – Paced by a 4-for-4 night from senior catcher Jenny Schaper, the No. 22 Kentucky softball team opened its series with an 11-4 victory over No. 17 Ole Miss on Friday night at John Cropp Stadium.
The Wildcats offense struck for a season-high 17 hits on the night and had crooked numbers up on the scoreboard in each of the first three innings of the game. Schaper went 4-for-4 on the night, a career-high in hits as the St. Louis native had two singles and two doubles. Additionally, Kelsee Henson, Abbey Cheek and Alex Martens all went 3-for-4 on the night, including home runs from both Cheek and Martens.
Autumn Humes got the win in the circle for Kentucky, as she upped her record on the season to 9-6. The Rebels’ Molly Jacobson suffered just her third loss of the season, as she falls to 10-3.
Kentucky has now won two game in a row and moves to 24-13 overall on the season and 8-5 in the conference. The Rebs fall to 25-10, 5-4 SEC.
Game two of the Southeastern Conference series will be at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday afternoon in John Cropp Stadium. The game will be shown live on the SEC Network+, ESPN3 and the ESPN app across all mobile platforms.
- Kentucky’s offense ignited for a season-high 17 hits in the game. It is the most hits UK has had this year, and the most since 17 vs. North Carolina on March 12, 2013. The most hits in a game in program history was 18 vs. Indiana in 2000.
The key play in Friday’s win was Alex Martens’ three-run home run in the bottom of the second inning to take a 3-0 lead and double it to 6-0. That led to a pitching change for the Rebels in the next frame. The long ball was one of two hit by the Wildcats on Friday night, as Abbey Cheek also hit her 13th of the season. The homer for Martens was her seventh.
Jenny Schaper was the key player in the game, going 4-for-4 in the contest with two singles and two doubles. The four hits in a game were a career high, as she had three in a game three prior times coming into Friday’s series opener.
Lead-off singles by Jenny Schaper and Abbey Cheek put two on with nobody out in the bottom of the Kentucky first. Alex Martens hit an RBI double, which was followed by an RBI double off the bat of Katie Reed down the right field line. UK 2, OM 0
In the bottom of the second, Schaper singled and Kayla Kowalik walked ahead of Alex Martens who hammered a ball to right center for her ninth home run of the season. UK 6, OM 0
In the bottom of the third, Lauren Johnson had an RBI single to score pinch runner Kennedy Cowden, which was followed by a double from Jenny Schaper and Abbey Cheek’s 12th home run of the year. UK 10, OM 0
Ole Miss would score four unanswered runs, all via the long ball. Home runs were hit in the top of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings by the Rebels. UK 10, OM 4
Kentucky got three-straight singles to lead off the bottom of the sixth, as an RBI single Kelsee Henson brought the UK lead up to 11-4. FINAL – Kentucky 11, Ole Miss 4
For the latest on UK Softball, follow the Wildcats on Twitter and Instagram at @UKSoftball.