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Smith and Harrison’s Clutch Hits Give CATS Win Over CARDS

Rylea Smith - photo by Danny Pendelton - Bluegrass Sports Nation

Wildcats win 7-4 to win second-straight game

LEXINGTON – March 29, 2023

Rylea Smith had three runs batted in and Meeko Harrison recorded two as the No. 16 Kentucky Softball team beat Louisville for the second time this season on Wednesday night, 7-4 at John Cropp Stadium.

Alexia Lacatena earned her eighth win of the season in the circle for the Wildcats as she threw six inning with four runs on seven hits and two strikeouts in the ballgame. Sloan Gayan earned her first save of the season by completing the game with three-straight outs of the Cards four, five and six batters in the order to close the game.

Four Kentucky players had multi-hit games Wednesday with Kayla Kowalik, Vanessa Nesby, Rylea Smith and Meeko Harrison all logging two base knocks in UK’s winning effort. UK had 12 hits in the game, while holding the potent UofL offense to just seven in the game.

Kentucky with the win improves to 21-7-1 on the season. The Wildcats will return to the grind of Southeastern Conference play with a trip to No. 9 Georgia over the weekend in the SEC Network’s featured of the series of the week. Saturday’s game will begin at 2:30 p.m. ET, with the final two games of the series coming on Sunday and Monday night on the SEC Network.

Louisville falls to 22-10 on the year and is 7-2 in the ACC. Alyssa Zabala was the losing pitcher of record for the Cards and Sarah Gordon hit a home run in the contest.

Key Play

The key play in the game was Rylea Smith’s two-run single through the left side in the bottom of the first inning to give Kentucky its first lead of the game, and push the Wildcats in front, 2-1.

Key Player 

Rylea Smith was the key player in the game going 2-for-4 on the night with two separate RBI hits and a run scored.

Key Stat

1. Sloan Gayan pitched her way to her first save of the season Wednesday night with getting the Cardinals four, five and six batters in the order to end the contest.

Run Recap

A sacrifice fly in the top of the first inning gave UofL the early lead. UL 1, UK 0

Kentucky scored three times in the bottom of the first thanks to a two-RBI single from Rylea Smith and an RBI single off the bat of Meeko Harrison. UK 3, UL 1

In the bottom of the third, Erin Coffel led off the inning with one of her three walks on the night and scored thanks to Meeko Harrison’s second RBI hit of the night. UK 4, UL 1

A string of hits by Vanessa Nesby, Erin Coffel, Rylea Smith and Grace Lorsung plated two UK runs off of two different UofL pitchers to stretch the UK lead to six. UK 7, UL 1

In the top of the seventh, Louisville got three runs thanks to a UK error and a home run, but Sloan Gayan shut the door on the game with the save. FINAL – Kentucky 7, Louisville 4

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