LEXINGTON, Ky. - Junior outfielder Renee Abernathy hit a go-ahead grand slam in the fifth inning and had a sensational diving catch in the seventh inning to preserve the game as the No. 14 Kentucky Softball team defeated the No. 15 LSU Tigers, 7-5 on Friday night at John Cropp Stadium.
Kentucky trailed at two separate times by multiple runs in the game, trailing 2-0 after the opening two innings, and then found itself down 5-2 in the middle of the fifth inning. Kentucky then put up one of its largest SEC-scoring output innings of the season, putting up a five-spot in the bottom of the fifth inning to put UK up, 7-5.
With Friday's result, Kentucky improves to 32-10 overall on the season and is now 7-9 in Southeastern Conference season. LSU falls to 26-15 and is 8-8 in the SEC.
Game two of the series is scheduled for Saturday, April 24 at 4 p.m. ET and will be shown live on ESPN2 with Kevin Brown and former Texas A&M All-American Amanda Scarbrough on the call. UK officials are monitoring the weather entering the Lexington area for Saturday.
Fans who are curious as to the status of the game should check UKathletics.com or @UKSoftball on Twitter for the most up-to-date information on Saturday. Grace Baalman was the pitcher of record for Kentucky, as her eighth win of the season moves her to 8-3 on the season. Ali Kilponen suffers the loss. She's now 11-6.
5. Kentucky put up a five spot in the bottom of the fifth inning, thanks to a grand slam by Renee Abernathy and a solo home run by Mallory Peyton, her first since returning from injury.
Renee Aberanthy was the key player in the game, as she went 1-for-2 at the plate Friday with four RBI and a run scored. Additionally, Kentucky's centerfielder had a sensational diving catch in CF to potentially save a run, or at least putting the tying run on base.
The key play in the game was Abernathy's diving catch in the top of the seventh with a runner on first and one out. She laid out in CF to keep the runner at bay, and record the second out of the inning for Baalman in the circle, who closed out the game with 2.2 innings of work.
After a lead-off walk, LSU took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second on a two-run home run. LSU 2, UK 0
In the bottom of the third, Kentucky tied the game as Kayla Kowalik and Lauren Johnson both scored unearned runs on both an error and a wild pitch to square the game. UK 2, LSU 2
In the top of the fifth, LSU scored three on a home run to left field. LSU 5, UK 2
Kentucky took its first lead of the game on a grand slam off the bat of Renee Aberanthy in the bottom of the fifth at 6-5. Mallory Peyton then followed with a solo homer, her first since returning from her right hand injury suffered vs. Alabama. UK 7, LSU 5