It was a nightmare scenario for 13th ranked Kentucky Softball as they fall to New Mexico State 12-9 and 10-6 on Saturday night. Throughout both games, the offense was hit or miss and the defense seemed to lack the Softball IQ that we have become accustomed to seeing. Even though the score didn’t fall in favor of Kentucky, there were still plenty of highlights.
Game One: 12-9 NMSU
Erin Rethlake got the start in the circle, but didn’t find rhythm early on. NMSU jumped out and took the lead, and it set the standard for the rest of the night. The offense was very hit or miss (haha) throughout the whole lineup. There were two innings with 4 runs scored, yet there were also 4 innings with no runs scored. The good news for #BBN is that we know that this team can score multiple runs in one game. The defense was expected for a season opener: solid, with much room for improvement. Kentucky had one error in the game, but seemed to be delayed in their reaction or forgetful in terms of where to get the out. The kryptonite of this team the whole night was the pitching. Kentucky couldn’t find out what pitches to go to for each batter, and couldn’t locate the zone at all tonight. Erin Rethlake, Autumn Humes, and Bethany Todd all showed signs of great pitching, but had some pitches that left us scratching our heads and wondering what pitch they were going for. Coach Lawson told the team entering the seventh inning to not give up and to keep grinding and UK changed the score from 12-5 to 12-9. Katie Reed, Alex Martens, and Abbey Cheek all hit homeruns in the game to try and start a UK comeback, but they simply couldn’t string together consistent pitching, defense, and offense at the same time to win. After the loss, the team looked tired, frustrated, and mad because they knew that their performance didn’t reflect their potential in the game. Kentucky had to have a short memory in order to try and get their first win of the season in the next game, but they knew that it would be tough since NMSU has all the momentum in the world.
Game Two: 10-6 NMSU
Kentucky tried to undo the wrongs that occurred in the previous game and opened the game hot in the second inning. Scoring 4 runs, the Cats seemed to break through and take control, but the lead was short lived. The pitching woes continued for Kentucky, as Freshman Grace Baalman and Sophomore Larissa Spellman gave up a combined 10 runs and 18 hits in the game. NMSU was firing on all cylinders offensively and Kentucky was simply out-efforted in the game. Kentucky’s infield defense stepped up in critical times, but the outfield had some hiccups that cost UK a few runs. It was just one of those nights. No matter what Kentucky did, it just seemed that NMSU quickly controlled the situation and sat UK back down. The Cats are a really good team, and it was a great sign that the underclassmen got some playing time to enrich the depth of the lineup.
Kentucky returns to the mound to play NMSU one more time at 4 PM EST on Sunday afternoon, still seeking their first victory of the season. On the night, Kentucky wore the black “Wildcat” jersey with a nice blue and black checkerboard down the arm sleeve. The player of the day was Junior Shortstop Katie Reed, who went 3 of 7 and added 3 runs and 5 of Kentucky’s 19 RBI’s. She came up clutch almost every time that she was at the plate and proved why she is one of the best shortstops in the country.
Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to follow @Ukfansallday on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. Stay tune for live stats of the game on Sunday night, and for all the rest of the games this season. Have a great day and God Bless! Go Cats! 🔵⚪️🔵😼