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Cheek’s two homers power Kentucky past South Carolina in SEC Tournament opener

Sophomore slugger Abbey Cheek pummeled two home runs over the wall in left field, as the seventh-seeded Kentucky slugged its way to a 7-3 win over the tenth-seeded South Carolina Gamecocks on Wednesday night in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
The Wildcats now advance into the quarterfinal round and will face second-seeded Auburn on Thursday at 5 p.m. The game will be shown live on the SEC Network, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app with Beth Mowins, Michele Smith and Holly Rowe.

The UK softball team defeated South Carolina in the opening round of the SEC Tournament Wednesday (UK Athletics Photo)

The win improves Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament resume, as the Gamecocks are ranked nationally in both top-25 polls and are also in the top-25 nationally in the RPI. UK now sits at 36-16 overall and 20 games above the .500 mark.
Cheek hit her 11th and 12th home runs of the season, off two different pitchers, in back-to-back at bats, accounting for four of Kentucky’s seven runs in the game. The Wildcats needed all of the offense they could manage, as the Gamecocks loaded the bases in the sixth and seventh innings – but Meagan Prince came on to close out the game in the seventh.
Key stat: Two. For the second time this year, Abbey Cheek hit two home runs in the same game. The prior time was Missouri, when she homered twice on Sunday.
Key play: With the bases loaded for South Carolina in the top of the sixth inning and just one out, South Carolina hit into a 1-2-3 double play to end the inning as Jenny Schaper made a fantastic turn behind the plate to get the force and then fired to Rachael Metzger at first to end the inning.
Key player: Brooklin Hinz was the key player in the game, as she kept her hot streak going with a 2-for-4 day with two runs scored, two hits, a double and an RBI to score the first run of the game for UK.
From UK Athletics

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