Seventh Inning Rally Paces UK to Win over Pacific
Feb. 10, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The No. 13/18 Kentucky Wildcats needed late-game heroics to complete a comeback effort and down Pacific, 3-2, in its first game on Friday afternoon in Los Angeles. UK smacked a pair of home runs off the bats of senior Rachel Riley and freshman Griffin Joiner to overcome a two-run deficit in the final frame for its first win of the season.
Trailing 2-0 heading into its final at-bat, sophomore Emily Jolly opened the inning by reaching on a fielding error by Pacific's third baseman. UK's starting pitcher, Riley, got a hold of a 1-1 offering and drilled the ball over the left-center wall to knot the score at two apiece. After the Blue and White suffered back-to-back outs, the freshman placed a ball just over the left field fence for the game-winning round tripper and her first career hit.
Riley earned the win in the circle to help UK improve to 1-1 on the season. Pacific begins the season with a loss.
All three of Kentucky's hits in the game came in the form of extra bases. Sophomore Emily Gaines earned her first career hit with a double in the sixth inning to couple with the pair of long balls.
Kentucky will resume action with its second tilt vs. UCLA at 9 p.m. ET this evening.
After falling in order to open the top of the first, Kentucky yielded a two-out infield single in the home half of the inning. Riley, however, wasted little time in ending the threat by getting the third out with a strikeout.
The teams traded outs back and forth over the course of the next three innings with neither team generating offensive opportunities.
Pacific struck first with a pair of runs in the home half of the fourth to grab a 2-0 lead. The Tigers notched four consecutive singles to plate the scores.
Kentucky escaped further damage in the fifth as the Tigers put a pair of runners in scoring position with two outs in the inning. Senior Macy Allen teamed up with Joiner and Lauren Cumbess to score the first double-play of the season. Allen robbed Pacific of a hit and alertly tossed the ball toward home where a runner was attempting to tag up. Joiner corralled the ball and found Cumbess who completed the out with the tag.
Gaines broke open the no-hitter effort with her first career hit in the top of the sixth. The sophomore drilled a double into the right-center gap to open the frame. UK would leave her stranded, however, with three consecutive outs to end the frame.
Follow along with the UK softball program all season long at UKathletics.com.