In a game which saw 16 walks, three hit batters and three errors combined between both sides, Tennessee won in six innings by run rule 10-2.
Kiki Milloy was hit by a pitch in her leadoff at-bat. Milloy stole second base, which was her 30th swiped bag of the season. Lair Beautae walked to give the Lady Vols two runners on base with no outs. McKenna Gibson also walked to load the bases. A Zaida Puni single drove in both Milloy and Beautae. Mackenzie Donihoo’s sacrifice fly into right field plated Gibson. Kentucky pitcher Kennedy Sullivan rallied to record two more outs and limit the first-inning damage.
Kayla Kowalik earned a leadoff walk for the Wildcats. Erin Coffel reached on a Donihoo error with no outs recorded. Taylor Ebbs earned a two-out walk to load the bases, but Tennessee pitcher Karlyn Pickens struck out Sullivan to end the inning.
Jamison Brockenbrough reached base on a one-out walk in the second inning. Milloy drove in Brockenbrough with a two-run home run into right center field for Milloy’s 16th home run of the season. Taylor Hess entered to pitch for Kentucky and recorded two outs to hold the Tennessee lead to five.
Margaret Tobias earned a one-out walk from Pickens. Following the walk, Nicola Simpson entered to pitch for Tennessee. An error by Gibson and an intentional walk of Coffel loaded the bases with two outs, but Simpson ended the inning with a strikeout.
Puni walked on four pitches to open the third inning, but pinch runner Brylee Mesusan was caught attempting to steal second. Donihoo took Mesusan’s vacated spot at first base after a walk, but Hess recorded two outs to keep the Lady Vols off the scoreboard in the third. Ebbs was hit by a pitch with one out, and Hallie Mitchell walked. Margaret Tobias was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs. Simpson’s drop ball earned a groundout to end the inning and force Kentucky to leave the bases loaded.
Brockenbrough hit a one-out single in the fourth inning while Beautae reached on a walk. Gibson drove both in with a three-run home run just inside the left-field foul pole. Charli Orsini entered to pitch the bottom of the fourth inning and began her outing by allowing Kowalik to hit a leadoff double. Coffel walked on four pitches, and Pickens re-entered the game. Pinch hitter Karissa Hamilton hit an RBI double off Pickens, driving in Kowalik. Grace Lorsung hit into a double play due in part to some bad baserunning by the Wildcats.
Donihoo led off the fifth inning with a walk. Koutsoyanopulos walked on four pitches to take first base, moving Donihoo to second. Outs by Katie Taylor and Brockenbrough stranded both runners. Pickens sent the Wildcats down in order in the bottom of the fifth.
Milloy hit a single to lead off the sixth inning and advanced to second base on a fielding error. She advanced to third on a wild pitch. Beautae walked and stole second. Gibson’s sacrifice fly plated Milloy. Puni’s double into left center drove in Beautae to increase the Tennessee lead to nine. Kowalik hit an infield single with one out in the sixth and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Coffel walked to give the Wildcats a second base runner. Smith singled to load the bases. Lorsung’s groundout scored Kowalik from third base, while a second groundout ended the game.
The Lady Vols will go for the sweep on Sunday afternoon.
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