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UK Softball opens season with win over Wisconsin

Kentucky coach Rachel Lawson has the Wildcats off to a 1-0 start.
Kentucky coach Rachel Lawson has the Wildcats off to a 1-0 start. (Jeff Drummond/Cats Illustrated)

Miranda Stoddard tossed a complete-game, five-hitter Thursday as Kentucky opened the 2022 softball season with a 5-2 win over Wisconsin at the Northern Lights/Southern Lights Tournament in Leesburg, Fla.

Stoddard, a junior right-hander, held a potent Baggers lineup to just two runs on five hits and no walks. She struck out five in her first career complete game. Sixty-five of her 92 pitches were for strikes.

UK’s offense got off to a sluggish start before an infield single by Rylea Smith got the Cats rolling in a three-run fourth inning to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead. Renee Abernathy delivered a two-run single to highlight the frame.

Young Cats Margaret Tobias and Taylor Ebbs came through with two-out hits in the sixth inning to help extend the lead. Ebbs ripped a triple into the right-center gap to score Tobias, who had singled to start the rally. Emmy Blane followed with an RBI single to make it 5-2.

Kentucky finished with eight hits by eight different players.

The Cats return to action Friday with its first doubleheader of the season at Sleepy Hollow. UK will play Michigan State at 12:30 p.m. ET before a 3 p.m. ET showdown with the Liberty Flames.