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Freshman Coffel shines in Kentucky sweep to open season

Posted at 9:53 PM, Feb 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-12 21:53:45-05

HOMEWOOD, Ala. — Freshman shortstop Erin Coffel went 6-for-8 in her first day as a Kentucky Wildcat, tallying up four runs batted in, three runs scored and launching her first-career home run as she helped propel the No. 13 Kentucky Softball team to 4-0 and 15-3 wins over Samford on Opening Day of the 2021 NCAA softball season.

Autumn Humes was nothing short of sensational on Friday afternoon as head coach Rachel Lawson gave her the ball for the first game of the season. Humes went the full 7.0 innings, allowing no runs, four hits, struck out seven batters and didn’t walk a single Bulldog. Humes’ sparkling outing, in which she threw just 95 pitches, marks the fifth time that Kentucky has thrown a shutout in their season opener (1998, 2004, 2011, 2014).

In game two, it was the potent Kentucky offense that stole the story. The Wildcats bashed out four home runs in the first inning alone, getting a three-run blast from Miranda Stoddard, a solo bomb from Mallory Peyton, a two-run shot from winning pitcher Grace Baalman – and the first-career home run for junior Kayla Kowalik.

Kentucky exploded for eight runs in the top of the first inning, with four more tacked on in the second thanks to a two-RBI single from Coffel. The Bermen, Indiana native started the second game 4-for-4 at the plate with four singles, three RBI and a run scored.

Game three of the opening-weekend series with Samford has been moved up to a 2 p.m. ET first pitch from its originally-scheduled 4 p.m. ET start to try and work around some potential weather systems that are expected to move through the area. The game will still be streamed live on ESPN+ and the ESPN app.