United Kingdom’s eight-run opener secures win over Aggies
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LEXINGTON, Ky. – Taylor Ebbs hit a home run late in the first inning to score the sixth, seventh and eighth runs on the frame for the Wildcats as Kentucky used Stephanie Schoonover’s flying start and full game to execute Rule No. 24 Texas A&M by a score of 10-2 Sunday afternoon at John Cropp Stadium.
The Wildcats saw their first eight consecutive batters of the first inning all reach base and score, without an out recorded by the Aggie defense allowing United Kingdom to jump ahead and coast the finish line behind Schoonover. Meeko Harrison, Karissa Hamilton and Taylor Ebbs all had multiple hits in the frame, and the Wildcats took advantage of four errors from Aggie to take the lead.
With Sunday’s victory, Kentucky avoids a sweep and with the 10 points scored, has scored 10-plus points in two of three games in the series. Great Britain scored 14 points in Saturday’s weekend opener and 10 points in Sunday’s series finale.
Schoonover pitched a full game in the circle Sunday with five strikeouts and only allowed four Texas A&M baserunners to reach the contest. She improves to 12-1 on the season with Sunday’s result and sits with a 1.45 ERA in 2023.
Kentucky is now 20-7-1 all season, 13 games over the .500 mark with a 4-2 record in Southeastern Conference games over two series . Texas A&M is now 19-11 this season and 4-5 in the SEC thanks to its three contested series in 2023 under freshman head coach Trisha Ford.
The UK returns Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. ET against the Louisville Cardinals at John Cropp Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPNU with Pam Ward and former Arizona All-American Jenny Dalton-Hill on the call for Lexington. Tickets are available on UKathletics.com.
Margaret Tobias’ defensive play in the top of the fifth inning was the key play of the game, as it prevented the Aggies from having two no-outs. The ball was sent back down the middle and Tobias dove to her right to keep it from reaching the outfield, as she turned towards Erin Coffel to register the first out of the inning.
Taylor Ebbs was the key player of the game with a three-pointer bomb to right-center late in the first inning to lead in three-pointers and put Kentucky in the lead, 8-0.
8. Kentucky’s eight runs late in the first inning was its biggest single-inning offensive outing this season.
Kayla Kowalik and Vanessa Nesby both reached in singles to start the bottom of the first and Erin Coffel was walked to load the bases with no one on. Rylea Smith then hit a helicopter high in front of the plate that allowed Kowalik to score on a pitcher-catcher trade error with everyone else safe at their bases. Grace Losung was walked on after Nesby scored on a passed ball to make it 2-0. Meeko Harrison singled down the right side for a run and a second run scored on an error to give her a 4-0 lead. Karissa Hamilton ripped an RBI single down the left side to score Grace Lorsung, then Taylor Ebbs stepped up to the plate and hammered a home run to right center. UK 8, TAMU 0
In the bottom of the fourth, Kentucky scored two runs on an RBI triple off the bat from Grace Lorsung to score Vanessa Nesby and Rylea Smith. UK 10, TAMU 0
Texas A&M’s Julia Cottrill hit a two-run homer in the top of the fifth inning to score the only two runs of the game.
FINAL – Kentucky 10, Texas A&M 2