LEXINGTON, Ky. – In front of a regular-season record crowd, No. 9 Kentucky took advantage of its opportunities and scored an 8-5 win over No. 21 Louisville Tuesday evening, April 3, sending the 4,798 fans at Cliff Hagan Stadium home happy.
The record-breaking crowd marked the fifth time in the past two seasons UK has set a new attendance record: three times in the regular season and twice for postseason games. Tuesday’s attendance is the second-highest for any game at The Cliff, second only to the 2017 NCAA Regional championship game vs. NC State (5,005).
The win is the Cats’ 20th of the season, seven of which have come against ranked opponents. It’s also the second straight season UK has defeated the Cardinals in Lexington. The teams will meet again on April 17 in Louisville.
The record crowd had barely settled in before the Cats scored two runs in the first inning to take an early lead and then three more in the second to again erase a deficit. Junior All-American outfielder Tristan Pompey drove in three runs and senior Luke Heyer another pair as seven Cats had hits and eight reached base safely.
The Cardinals pulled within 5-4 in the fourth and had the bases loaded with one out when redshirt freshman right-hander Carson Coleman relieved starter Daniel Harper and extricated the Cats from the inning without any further damage. Coleman tossed 1.2 scoreless innings, earning his first collegiate win.
Knowing the importance of getting the current four-game homestand off to a strong start the UK coaching staff decided to bring in closer Chris Machamer (pictured with Kole Cottam in a postgame celebration) with the bases loaded and a three-run lead in the seventh. The sophomore righty induced a harmless popup to end the inning and did not allow a hit over the final 2.1 innings to earn his third save of the season, closing the game emphatically with a 97 mph fastball for a swinging strike.
The Cats will return to the field on Friday night while opening a three-game weekend series against South Carolina. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET and will be streamed live on SEC Network Plus (online) with radio coverage on 630 AM WLAP.
UK Softball Team Whips EKU
Junior Abbey Cheek belted a walk-off three-run home run over the top of the John Cropp Stadium scoreboard on Tuesday night, April 3 in the bottom of the sixth inning to give Kentucky a 10-0 win over the Eastern Kentucky Colonels.
Sophomore pitcher Autumn Humes went the distance in the circle to lock down her sixth win of the season, and third complete-game shutout. Humes also went yard on offense, hitting her first-career Division I home run over the fence in straight-away center in the bottom of the third inning.
With the win, Kentucky improves to 21-11 overall on the season, while EKU falls to 20-12.
Kentucky will host the “Battle of the Bluegrass” on Wednesday night at John Cropp Stadium against the Louisville Cardinals. First pitch is 7 p.m. ET and the game will be shown live on the SEC Network, ESPN3 and the ESPN app with Matt Schick and Jennie Ritter on the call from Lexington.
Tickets are available at UKathletics.com, and there will be a live camel in attendance to celebrate Hump Day.
UK Athletics Photo by Britney Howard