ORLANDO - The Kentucky softball team's offense exploded for 20 runs on Saturday afternoon, beating the Bradley Braves and Harvard Crimson in the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic I. With the two wins, both earned by Grace Baalman in the circle, the Wildcats move to 8-3 on the season.
Kentucky closes out play at the Citrus Classic on Sunday at 9 a.m. ET against the Purdue Boilermakers out of the Big 10. The game will be played on Field 14 of the Disney/ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and streamed live on FloSoftball.
Bailey Vick was the star of the day, reaching safely on all nine of her plate appearances Saturday with four singles and five walks. She also scored four runs - and the game-winning run in the first game of the day.
In game one against Bradley, UK struck for six runs in the top of the seventh inning, entering the frame one run down, and then scoring six runs on five hits.
In game two against Harvard, UK again found themselves down after the third inning, but scored four runs in the fourth and sixth inning to make it 9-3.
Game one - No. 24 Kentucky 11, Bradley 6
15. The Wildcats struck for 15 runs in the game, marking a new season high. It is the fifth time in 10 games that Kentucky has had double-digit hits. UK would then strike for 13 hits against Harvard in the nightcap, which would be sixth time through 11 games.
Erin Rethlake, who gave up the game-tying grand slam showed incredible mental toughness and resolve, entering the batter's box down one and slapping through a single through the left side to score two runs and the game-winning runs.
Katie Reed was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI single to give UK an insurance run in the top of the seventh.
In the top of the second inning, Brooklin Hinz led off the inning with a double to right field. That was then followed by a Mallory Peyton double to score Hinz and put UK up, 1-0. UK 1, BU 0
Kealia Wysocki tied the game on a solo two-out home run to left center. UK 1, BU 1
Kentucky re-took the lead in the third as Katie Reed led off the inning with a triple and came in to score on a Jenny Schaper double on the next pitch. UK 2, BU 1
Three more runs crossed the plate for the Wildcats in the fifth as Hinz and Peyton had back-to-back singles to start the inning and all came around to score after a parade of walks, wild pitches and passed balls. UK 5, BU 1
Bradley tied the game in the bottom of the fifth on a grand slam by Allison Apke. UK 5, BU 5
In the bottom of the sixth, Bradley took the lead on a Wysocki RBI single, who scored Katie Habryle. BU 6, UK 5
In the top of the seventh, UK sent 11 batters to the plate. The rally started after a single by Alex Martens followed by a walk to Lauren Johnson. Bailey Vick then walked to load the bases and Erin Rethlake brought runs home with an RBI single. Then Katie Reed had an RBI single to give UK an insurance run which were followed by singles from Schaper and Hinz. FINAL No. 24 Kentucky 11, Bradley 6
Game two - No. 24 Kentucky 9, Harvard 3
Four. Kentucky had two four-run innings against Harvard, as the Wildcats struck for four runs in the bottom of the fourth and the sixth innings.
Brooklin Hinz's two-RBI single was the key play in the game, taking UK from a one-run deficit at 3-2 to a 4-3 lead, as her single into left field scored Alex Martens and Lauren Johnson.
Jenny Schaper was the key player for the Wildcats in game two, going 2-for-3 at the plate with a run and two RBI. She started the game as the designated player and came in to catch in the third inning.
Harvard scored first in the top of the first thanks to a Kentucky defensive miscue followed by an RBI double. HU 2, UK 0
Kentucky responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the first on a double play that was with the bases loaded, scoring Bailey Vick. HU 2, UK 1
Harvard added a third run in the fourth on an RBI double to the CF wall after a walk. HU 3, UK 1
UK took the lead in the bottom of the fourth thanks to four runs on three hits. Katie Reed, Alex Martens both singled and then Rachael Metzger's at bat resulted in a run thanks to a passed ball. Brooklin Hinz then laced an RBI single into LF to score two and put the Wildcats ahead. UK 5, HU 3
Four more runs crossed the plate in the UK seventh - as Bailey Vick, Erin Rethlake and Jenny Schaper all singled to start the inning. Alex Martens then doubled and Lauren Johnson hit an RBI single to right, scoring another run. The final run scored on a Johnson RBI single. FINAL - No. 24 Kentucky 9, Harvard 3