Cheek powers Kentucky past No. 1 Oregon in Super Regional opener

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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Abbey Cheek drove in five runs on a pair of home runs and No. 16 seed Kentucky upset top-seeded Oregon 9-6 in the NCAA Super Regional's opening game on Thursday night.


Alex Martens hit a three-run home run in the first inning to give the Wildcats (35-19) the early lead before Katie Reed padded it with an RBI single in the second. Gwen Svekis hit a solo homer in the bottom half for the Ducks (50-8) to cut the margin.


Mia Camuso scored on a fielder's choice and Svekis added a sacrifice fly to narrow it to 4-3 for the Pac-12 champions, but Cheek's three-run home run to center in the fourth to extended the Wildcats' lead to 7-3.


Lauren Burke hit an RBI single and scored on a wild pitch in the bottom half to get the Ducks within two runs.  Cheek's two-run shot to center in the sixth gave Kentucky a 9-5 lead.


DJ Sanders added an RBI double in the sixth to close out scoring for the top-ranked Ducks, who will try to avoid elimination in the second game of the regional on Friday night.


Megan Kleist (21-6) allowed seven runs on seven hits over 4 2/3 innings for the loss. Grace Baalman (14-8) allowed two runs on three hits in 2 2/3 innings of relief for the win.

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