Alabama gymnastics closed out its first win of the season on Friday night against Kentucky, led by four pairs of 9.9 scores.
Makarri Doggette started the meet with a 9.925 on vault, helping Alabama establish an early lead. She followed it up with a 9.95 on uneven parallel bars, a season high. Cam Machado added two 9.925 scores: one on bars and the other on balance beam. Luisa Blanco added two more 9.9s, one each on the bars and beam. Freshman Lilly Hudson also added a pair on the beam and floor exercise.
No. 10 Alabama (1-2, 1-1 SEC) claimed an elusive win that had escaped the Crimson Tide so far in 2022. Following a Florida comeback last week, Alabama was able to hold off a comeback bid from No. 9 Kentucky (1-1, 0-1 SEC), winning 197.65-196.275.
"We made lots of progress tonight," said Alabama coach Dana Duckworth.
Here's what we learned:
Doggette's vault score was a career high for the junior, but she wasn't alone in scoring career highs against Kentucky.
Machado tied her career high on bars, and her 9.925 on floor was a new career high in just her second floor routine. Hudson added a 9.925 on balance beam, the first 9.9 score of the freshman's career, and added a 9.95 on floor.
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Crimson Tide bounces back from mistakes
On both bars and balance beam, Alabama was able to recover from potentially catastrophic errors. Shania Adams fell off the bars, scoring a 9.35. Machado, Luisa Blanco and Doggette scored three straight routines of 9.925 or better to extend Alabama's lead. One rotation later, Ella Burgess fell off the balance beam. However, Lexi Graber, Hudson and Blanco put up three 9.9 scores in the final five rotations.
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Lilly Hudson breakout performance
Although the freshman did not claim the all-around title, won by Kentucky's Raena Worley, she still made a statement in her first all-around performance. In addition to the two 9.9 scores, she still added a 9.775 to lead off the vault rotation and a 9.875 on bars.
"I'm really proud of Lilly Hudson tonight," said Duckworth. "She works every turn like it's a championship turn."
Alabama hosts Western Michigan and North Carolina on Feb. 4 in a tri-meet.
This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Alabama gymnastics has four gymnasts score over 9.9, upends Kentucky