LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Annie Aldrete smashed two home runs and Ellen Renfroe pitched seven solid frames on her birthday to lead No. 8 Tennessee to a 6-3 win over No. 9 Kentucky on Friday at John Cropp Stadium.
Tennessee (38-8, 13-6 SEC) scored three in the first, two in the second and one in the fourth. Kentucky (39-10, 12-7 SEC) plated two in the second and one in the fifth.
Aldrete went 2-for-4 with the two homers, three RBIs and three runs. Madison Shipman and Melissa Davin each had a hit and a run scored.
Renfroe (24-5) tossed seven strong innings, fanning six batters with one earned run allowed.
Kelsey Nunley (20-5) took the loss for Kentucky after allowing two earned runs and striking out five over seven frames.
Tennessee jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning after some Kentucky fielding mistakes. With the bases loaded and two outs, Cheyanne Tarango reached on a fielding error by the shortstop and Aldrete scored from third. In the next at-bat, Lexi Overstreet reached on a fielding error at second base and Davin and Megan Geer scored on the play.
Aldrete pushed UT's lead to 5-0 in the top of the second with a two-run homer. With two outs and Shipman on first base, Aldrete crushed the first pitch she saw for a rocketed shot over the left center field wall to plate two runs.
Kentucky got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second inning with a pair of runs. With two on and no outs, Krystal Smith knocked a two-RBI double to left center to plate Lauren Cumbess and Christian Stokes. After Ansley Smith singled to left, Aldrete threw her out trying to steal second base for the first out of the inning. Renfroe induced a groundout to short and a flyout to center to close the inning.
Aldrete hammered her second home run of the game in the top of the fourth to push UT's lead to 6-2. Leading off the inning, Aldrete drilled a 2-1 pitch from Nunley to the same spot she hit her first homer, soaring over the wall in left center for her 13th blast on the year.
Kentucky plated one run in the bottom of the fifth when Emily Cumbess hit a one-out RBI single to the warning track in center field to plate Sylver Samuel. In the next at-bat, Shipman fielded a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Tennessee and Kentucky will square off in Game 2 on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET. Fans can listen live to Brian Rice's call on WNML 990 AM or online for free at UTSports.com. UKAthletics.com will also host a live video broadcast that can be viewed with a $9.95 monthly subscription. UTSports.com will have a love blog and UKAthletics.com will have live stats.