The University of Kentucky softball team got off on the right foot in its three-game tilt with Louisiana State, knocking off the eighth-ranked Tigers 4-1 in Saturday’s series opener at John Cropp Stadium in Lexington.
Freshman Grace Baalman pitched a complete game, allowing five hits and striking out five, to improve her record to 9-2 and lead No. 23 Kentucky to its first Southeastern Conference win of the season.
Alex Martens gave UK the lead with a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning. It was the sophomore’s fourth home run of the year.
Abbey Cheek hit her team-leading eighth home run, a solo shot to left-center field, to extend the Cats’ lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning.
UK got an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. After pinch runner Kelsee Henson went from first to third base on a single by Cheek, Brooklin Hinz connected for an RBI-single up the middle.
The Tigers plated their only run of the game on a two-out double in the bottom of the seventh.
Hinz and Cheek both went 2-for-3 at the plate. Baalman’s ERA dropped to a team-best 1.56 on the year.
With the win, UK improved to 18-6 overall and 1-3 in the SEC. The Cats have now won three straight after dropping three in a row at No. 2 Florida last weekend. LSU fell to 23-3 overall and 3-1 in the SEC.
LSU at Kentucky
4:30 p.m. Sunday (ESPNU)