Rainey Gaffin’s pitching, offense lead No. 12 Tennessee past No. 21 Kentucky
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Taylor Koenig homered and Rainey Gaffin tossed seven strong innings to lead No. 12 Tennessee to a 7-1 victory against No. 21 Kentucky on Friday at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium.
Tennessee (37-13, 13-9 SEC) plated three runs in the second inning, two in the third, one in the fifth and one in the sixth. Kentucky (29-21, 5-17) scored its lone run in the second inning.
Koenig's solo home run in the second inning evened the game at 1-1. Gaffin and Tory Lewis had two RBIs each.
Gaffin (10-2) struck out seven and limited Kentucky to five hits and one run over seven innings in her fourth complete game of the season.
UK starter Meagan Prince (12-7) took the loss after allowing three runs over two innings. Kelsey Nunley allowed two runs over two innings. Erin Rethlake gave up two runs over two innings in relief.
Kentucky took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Ansley Smith hit an RBI double down the left field line, plating Brooklin Hinz.
Koenig tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the second when she knocked a solo home run off Prince. Koenig hammered a 3-2 pitch off Prince over the wall in center field for her team-high 16th blast of the year. Four batters later, Lewis hit a sac fly to center to give the Lady Vols the lead. Shaliyah Geathers hit an RBI single up the middle to push UT's lead to 3-1.
Tennessee added two more runs in the third inning to build a 5-1 advantage. After Nunley entered the circle in relief, Gaffin hit a two-out RBI double down the left field line. Lewis followed with an RBI single through the right side.
In the bottom of the fifth, Gaffin clubbed a two-out RBI double up the middle to score Gretchen Aucoin. Annie Aldrete knocked an RBI single through the left side in the bottom of the sixth.