LEXINGTON, Ky. – With runners at first and second, and Kentucky trailing by one run in the bottom of the eighth inning, senior Erika Silence blasted her second homer of the season over the wall in deep center to give UK a come-from-behind 9-7 win in eight innings in the opening game of an Southeastern Conference doubleheader Wednesday at the UK Softball Complex. Arkansas answered with a 7-3 win in the second game of the series to earn a split with the Blue and White.
Following the two games, UK’s record now stands a 19-22 and 6-8 in league action. Arkansas moves to 20-19 and 4-15 in SEC play.
The Wildcats offense was at its best in the opening game, accounting for a season-high 19 hits, including three home runs from Silence, sophomore Emily Jolly and senior Brittany Cervantes. For Cervantes, it was her fourth consecutive game connecting on a homer, a streak that is a season high.
The scoring was back and forth throughout the whole game, as the contest saw three lead changes and four ties throughout the course of the game.
The Razorbacks, trailing 4-2 at the time, struck for four runs in the top of the fifth to give Arkansas a 6-4 lead at the time. However, Kentucky rallied for one run in each of the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to tie the game and send the game into extra innings.
Arkansas struck first in the top of the eighth with a solo blast from Jennifer Rambo heading into the bottom of the eighth with Arkansas leading 7-6.
After a leadoff four-pitch walk drawn from sophomore Lauren Cumbess and a single from Jolly, UK head coach Rachel Lawson called on Silence to pinch hit with one out in the inning. Silence delivered with two strikes with a towering shot to deep center to give UK the walk-off win.
Senior Chanda Bell went two innings, only allowing one hit, and picked up her 10th win of the season to improve to 10-7 on the season. Arkansas pitcher Kimmy Beasley falls to 5-5 on the year.
In the nightcap of the doubleheader, Arkansas used a three-run seventh inning to add insurance to what was a 4-3 lead heading into the inning, and defeated the Wildcats 7-3. Senior Rachel Riley went yard for the Cats as well as Cervantes driving in two runs in the second inning to tie the game at the time.
Kentucky will next face the No. 10/11 Georgia Friday, April 13 for a three-game series. The Bulldogs and Wildcats will tango Friday night at 8:15 p.m. ET in a game that will be nationally televised on ESPNU with Cara Capuano and Cheri Kempf calling the action. The series will continue Saturday afternoon with a 1:00 p.m. ET start and the conclusion of the series slated for 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.