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The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
Samford Invitational - Birmingham, Alabama

Abernathy lifts No. 13 Kentucky past Samford, 12-9

549 days ago
Kentucky Athletics
Photo: Kentucky Athletics

HOMEWOOD, Ala. - Thanks to a 3-for-4 day from outfielder Renee Abernathy at the plate that was composed of three singles, two with two-outs and in RBI situations, and an amazing catch in left field - the No. 13 Kentucky Softball team vaulted out to a 3-0 start to the 2021 season with a 12-9 win over Samford on Saturday afternoon.

Kentucky is now 3-0 on the season, and for the first time in program history has won all of its games on opening weekend in back-to-back seasons. Last year, UK went 4-0 at the NFCA Lead-Off Classic in Clearwater, Florida, and this weekend went 3-0 in a three-game series against Samford.

Saturday's game was a back-and-forth affair with Kentucky and Samford as the two teams exchanged the lead five times, and Kentucky ultimately prevailing by scoring five of the final six runs in the game.

Autumn Humes was the winning pitcher, as she moved her 2021 season record to 2-0 as she has now thrown 10 scoreless innings in 2021 of the 11 that she has thrown. She threw the final 4.0 innings of the game, allowing one run on two hits and striking out three batters.

Kentucky's season is scheduled to continue on Thursday and Friday afternoon in Greensboro against the UNC Greensboro Spartans with one game each day before making the trip to Buies Creek, North Carolina for Campbell's Tournament over the weekend.

Key Stat

5. Kentucky scored in each of the first five innings of the game, including a crooked number in four of those five innings.

Key Player

Renee Abernathy went 3-for-4 at the plate with four runs batted in and all four of them came on two-out hits. On her its in the second and fourth innings, the Abernathy at bats put Kentucky into the lead.

Key Play

The key play in the game was also by Renee Abernathy, as she made an incredible diving play in the bottom of the fourth inning with one on and nobody out.

Run Recap

Lauren Johnson scored the first two runs of the game on a Lauren Johnson two-out RBI single into shallow center to score Abernathy and starting pitcher Miranda Stoddard. UK 2, SAM 0

Samford took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the third. SAM 3, UK 2

Abernathy's two-out, two-RBI bloop into center scored Vanessa Nesby and Kayla Kowalik to put the Wildcats back on track in the top of the second inning. UK 4, SAM 3

Samford took advantage of two UK errors in the bottom of the second inning to re-take the lead. SAM 5, UK 4

Five-straight hits by Vanessa Nesby (2B), Rylea Smith (2B), Kayla Kowalik (3B), Erin Coffel (1B) and Renee Abernathy) put the Wildcats back on top in the top of the third inning. UK 7, SAM 5

A three-run homer put the Bulldogs up by a run in the bottom of the third. SAM 8, UK 7

Thanks to a two-run home run by Autumn Humes and a two-RBI single by Renee Abernathy, Kentucky took the lead back for the final time by putting up a four spot in the fourth. UK 11, SAM 8

Kentucky played add-on in the fifth inning thanks to a lead-off home run by Mallory Peyton in an extended at bat to begin the frame. UK 12, SAM 8

Samford scored the final run of the game on a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth. FINAL - Kentucky 12, Samford 9