LEXINGTON, Ky. — Mallory Peyton and the Kentucky Softball seniors celebrated in grand style Saturday afternoon as the Wildcats swept a doubleheader with South Carolina 6-3 and 3-2 in eight innings to cap off a six-game winning streak to close out the regular season thanks to Peyton’s walk-off home run in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Kentucky closes the regular season with a 38-12 overall record on the season and a 13-11 record in the Southeastern Conference. The bracket for the 2021 Southeastern Conference Tournament will be finalized on Sunday after the completion of all games around the league. Kentucky is guaranteed to be in the Wednesday games, with game times announced Sunday.
In game one, senior Grace Baalman picked up the win in the circle for Kentucky, going four innings, only allowing three runs on seven hits with a trio of strikeouts. Miranda Stoddard picked up a nice effort of relief Saturday as she pitched the final three innings of game one, allowing no runs on two hits.
In game two, Autumn Humes went six innings, allowing only one run on five Gamecock hits with no walks and five strikeouts. Tatum Spangler shook of a game-tying play in the seventh to shut down the USC order in the eighth, setting up a Mallory Peyton walk-off home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to win the game.
Additionally, Kayla Kowalik accomplished a program first on Saturday, as she became the first-ever UK player to finish the season with a .500 batting average or higher, as she closes the 2021 regular season with a .509 batting average. The prior high was .442 by Nikki Jones in 2002.