Trailing by two runs in the final inning, the University of Kentucky softball team refused to go down quietly in Louisville on Wednesday night. The Wildcats rallied in the top of the seventh to tie the game at 7-7, but the Cardinals responded with three singles in the bottom half to close out an 8-7 walk-off win.
Ranked No. 24 in the latest USA Today Coaches Poll, Kentucky has now lost three straight games and five of its last seven.
Lauren Johnson went 3-for-4 to pace UK’s offense. The sophomore from Owensboro got the Cats within a run in the top of the seventh with an RBI double, then scored on Jenny Schaper’s sacrifice fly to tie the game. Johnson also had an RBI-double in the top of the third that scored Bailey Vick and knotted the game at 4-4.
Vick went 2-for-4 at the plate and stole a base. Reed went 2-for-3 and had two RBI. Alex Martens hit her eighth home run of the year, a two-out solo shot in the top of the fourth that drew the Cats within 7-5. Abbey Cheek drew three walks and scored a run.
Three Cardinals had triples on Wednesday, including leadoff hitter Celene Funke, who went 4-for-5 and scored four runs. Louisville (27-15) has now won four of its last five games.
Kentucky (26-17) will try to get back on track when it hosts No. 14 Auburn for a three-game series beginning Saturday. The Wildcats will be looking to win their first SEC series since mid-March. UK has dropped four straight series after sweeping South Carolina then Mississippi State to open the conference schedule.