Kentucky softball team celebrates historic upset
Despite a disappointing final weekend of the regular season, there’s a silver lining for the University of Kentucky softball team.
The No. 18 Wildcats blew a four-run lead, falling at No. 21 Texas Tech 9-6 in their regular-season finale on Sunday. But thanks to some help from Georgia, Kentucky locked up a bye in this week’s Southeastern Conference Tournament, giving the Cats a leg up as they begin a postseason run they hope ends in Oklahoma City with the second College World Series appearance in program history.
Against the Red Raiders, Kentucky went ahead 3-0 in the third inning on Mallory Peyton’s 13th home run of the year. The Wildcats extended the lead to 6-2 in the top of the fifth on Alex Martens’ 11th homer of the year, a three-run shot that scored Katie Reed and Abbey Cheek.
But Texas Tech (38-13) torched UK reliever Autumn Humes in the bottom of the sixth, scoring seven runs on eight hits, including a pair of homers. A three-run blast by Jessica Hartwell proved to be the game-winner.
The seven runs the Red Raiders put up in the sixth were the most scored against Kentucky in a single inning this season. The Wildcats fell to 32-21 overall and enter the postseason on a two-game losing streak.
But while Texas Tech was busy rallying, Georgia was busy helping Kentucky’s cause. The Bulldogs routed Mississippi 8-0 on Sunday, completing a three-game sweep of the Rebels and locking the Wildcats into the No. 4 seed and giving them the final first-round bye in the SEC Tournament.
Kentucky will play its first game on at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in College Station, Texas, on the campus of Texas A&M. They’ll face No. 5 seed Mississippi, No. 12 Mississippi State or No. 13 Texas A&M.
The Bulldogs and Aggies will open the tournament at 11 a.m. Wednesday and the Rebels will face the winner of that game later in the day with a matchup against Kentucky on the line.
Kentucky vs. TBD
7:30 p.m. Thursday in College Station, Texas (SEC Network)