Cards Fall at No. 20/21 Kentucky

From U of L SID

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Louisville softball team fell 8-0 to No. 20/21 Kentucky Wednesday evening at John Cropp Stadium. The Cardinals (24-12) will return to action this weekend when they play host to Virginia in a three-game ACC series starting Friday at 4 p.m.

The host Wildcats (22-11) jumped to a 2-0 lead in the second. Alex Martens led off the home half of the inning with a double and was lifted for pinch runner Kelsee Henson who moved to third on Brooklyn Hinz’s single. Mallory Peyton’s RBI hit sent Henson home. Lauren Johnson’s base hit plated Hinz to increase the lead to 2-0.

Kentucky used six hits, a walk and an error to put up a six-spot in the fifth. Abbey Cheek got the offense started with a leadoff single. Jenny Schaper drew a walk to set up Martens’ RBI double. Peyton added a two-run single and Erin Rethlake’s RBI hit brought the score to 6-0. An error sent Peyton home and Jenny Schaper’s bases-loaded hit brought home the final run.

The Cards best chance to score came in the fifth when sophomore Celene Funke delivered a single, stole second and moved to third on an error. Louisville also had a runner in scoring position in the third when junior Sidney Melton and freshman Maddy Newman connected on back-to-back infield singles.

Megan Hensley (10-5) took the loss, allowing eight runs, six earned, on 15 hits and struck out three in 4.2 innings. Melton paced the Cardinals with a 2-for-3 showing at the plate.

“We made some bad mental mistakes defensively,” said UofL head coach Sandy Pearsall. “We knew Kentucky was going to hit the ball – they are a good-hitting team – and our mistakes came back to haunt us. I thought we used our speed to get on base and move into scoring position, but we did not do a great job of bringing them home.”

Erin Rethlake (6-3) picked up the win, scattering four hits and striking out five in 5.0 innings. Peyton went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs to lead the Wildcats offensively.