LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentuckian Bethany Todd got her first-career start in the circle on Tuesday night, going three innings, allowing one run on three hits with two strikeouts to pace the Wildcats past the SIUE Cougars in a 4-1 win at John Cropp Stadium.
The Wildcats were silenced offensively through the first three innings before Abbey Cheek broke open the seal with her team-leading seventh home run of the season over the wall in left field. The Wildcats then got two more runs in the fifth and an insurance run in the sixth to close out the Cougars.
With Tuesday's result, Kentucky moves to 15-3 on the season and has now won a season-high 10 games in a row dating back to two weeks ago in Orlando.
UK will now set its sights forward to Southeastern Conference play - which kicks off in style on Friday night with a three-game series at No. 2 Florida. Friday night's game will be shown live on the SEC Network+, ESPN3 and the ESPN app with Saturday and Sunday's games both live on the SEC Network with Melissa Lee (pxp) and Cheri Kempf (color) on the call from Gainesville.
Five. Winning pitcher Erin Rethlake recorded five strikeouts in the game, pitching the closing four innings, allowing no runs on two hits, walking two and facing 15 batters.
Katie Reed's RBI single up the middle to give UK the lead was the key play in the game. Abbey Cheek tied the game in the fourth with a HR, but Reed gave UK the lead on a single up the middle to score Rethlake from second with one out.
Bailey Vick was the key player for Kentucky, as she got the two-run fifth inning rally started with a single up the middle. Vick now has a .462 average to lead all hitters on the season for UK.
A stolen base attempt resulted in a three-base throwing error on the Wildcats to give SIUE the early 1-0 lead in the game. SIUE 1, UK 0
Abbey Cheek tied the game in the bottom of the fourth on a solo home run to left field. UK 1, SIUE 1
Katie Reed broke the tie with an RBI single up the middle to score Rethlake with one out, and an Abbey Cheek sacrifice fly to left field added a second insurance run a batter later to give UK a 3-1 lead. UK 3, SIUE 1 The Wildcats would tack on another in the bottom of the sixth on a lead-off single from Mallory Peyton that resulted in a run thanks to an RBI single from Erin Rethlake with two outs. FINAL - #22 Kentucky 4, SIUE 1