Kentucky’s run in the NCAA Tournament came to an end early Sunday morning.
The Wildcats failed to score for the second straight game against No. 3 Washington as the Huskies competed a sweep with a 5-0 win in the best of three Super Regionals to advance to the College World Series. Kentucky ended the season with a 36-24 record, while the Washington improved to 50-7 on the season.
The Huskies set the tone early, scoring a run in the first, while added two more in each of the final two innings. Washington outscored Kentucky 8-0 in the two-game sweep and collected eight hits off Wildcats pitcher Autumn Humes, who took the loss in the finale. Humes gave up five runs, four earned, and collected three strikeouts.
Lauren Johnson and Bailey Vick each had a hit for the Wildcats off Washington starter Gabbie Plain, who fanned eight batters and issued just one walk in the circle. Plain improved her record to an impressive 23-2 on the season, while Humes finished with a 15-11 mark.
Morganne Flores paced the Huskies with two hits, followed by Sami Reynolds, Kaija Gibson, Taryn Atlee, Noelle Hee, SilentRain Espinoza and Amirah Milloy with one hit apiece. Hee’s lone hit was a solo home run in the sixth inning, while Flores added an extra-base hit with a double in the opening inning.
The contest was the last for Kentucky seniors Katie Reed, Jenny Schaper, Abbey Cheek, Kelsee Henson and Sarah Rainwater. For the first time in program history the five seniors made four NCAA Tournament appearances and finished Southeastern Conference play with a 14-10 record.
The Wildcats swept South Carolina and Auburn. In addition, Kentucky took two of three games in a series against Alabama for the second time in the history of the program.
Kentucky also owned wins over James Madison, Oregon, North Caorlina and California with a schedule rated the toughest in the nation.
Washington advances to the College World Series for the third straight time and the 14th in school history. The Huskies won the title in 2009.
Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter @keithtaylor21.