Trailing by three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, the No. 8 Kentucky softball team scored four unanswered, including a go-ahead home run in the sixth from sophomore Nikki Sagermann, as the Cats defeated Arkansas a 4-3 in the series-opener Friday night at John Cropp Stadium.
Kentucky (37-8, 11-5 Southeastern Conference) posted three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning thanks in part to two Arkansas (25-21, 3-13 SEC) errors to tie the game 3-3.
The rally started after sophomore Ansley Smith drew a one-out walk, moving to second on a single by senior Emily Jolly. Sophomore Maisie Steed followed with a ground ball to the Arkansas third baseman, who threw wildly to first to allow two runners to score and Steed to advance to third base.
After a pop up for the second out and a walk, senior outfielder Emily Gaines reached on a fielding error that scored Steed from third and tied the game.
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Freshman pitcher Meagan Prince started for UK, going three innings, allowing three runs — two earned — on four hits with one walk. Sophomore Kelsey Nunley took over to start the fourth inning, tossing four scoreless innings, allowing only one hit with two strikeouts.
Tied 3-3 since the second inning, Kentucky exploded for three runs in the ninth to top Texas A&M 6-3.
Ka'ai Tom smashed a two-strike, two-out single to score Tates Creek graduate JaVon Shelby and give UK a 4-3 lead. Thomas Bernal quickly followed with another single to send Matt Kuhn and A.J. Reed home for the final margin.
Senior catcher Micheal Thomas has been named to the midseason watch list for the Johnny Bench Award, given annually to the best catcher in college baseball.
Kentucky senior gymnast Audrey Harrison capped her record-setting career with an 18th-place finish on balance beam at the NCAA Gymnastics Championships Friday at Birmingham Ala.'s BJCC Arena. Harrison, Kentucky's first national championship qualifier since 2010 and the 11th in school history, scored a 9.800 on beam. Only Jenny Hansen, who won eight national titles as a Wildcat, has recorded a higher score at the NCAAs for the Cats.
Men's tennis advances
The third-seeded Kentucky men's tennis team got a three-set, come-from-behind win from senior captain Alejandro Gomez on court two to clinch a spot in Saturday's first Saturday match in the 2014 Southeastern Conference Tournament, as UK knocked off the 11th-seeded Ole Miss Rebels, 4-2, at the Curry Tennis Center in Nashville, Tenn.
Kentucky advances to the semifinals of the SEC Tournament and will face (2) Texas A&M Saturday morning at 11 a.m. EST in Nashville.
Women's tennis falls
The No. 10 seed Kentucky women's tennis team fell, 4-2. To No. 2 seed Vanderbilt, Friday morning in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Southeastern Conference Women's Tennis Tournament, hosted by the University of Missouri at the Mizzou Tennis Complex.
Kentucky (16-11, 5-8 SEC) now awaits the NCAA Selection Show April 29.
Track meet Saturday
Kentucky track's sixth-ranked women's team and 25th-ranked men's team will host the first of two meets on its home track this season, the Kentucky Relays, Saturday at the UK Outdoor Track and Field Complex.