Cervantes' Four-RBI Day Leads UK to 5-0 Win
Feb. 12, 2011
MIAMI - Junior Brittany Cervantes matched a career high with four RBI on a pair of extra base hits to lead Kentucky to a 5-0 victory over the host FIU Golden Panthers at the FIU Combat Classic to conclude the first day of round-robin action. Cervantes plated her scores behind a three-run homer and a one-run double to provide the only scoring of the contest.
Kentucky (2-0) picked up its second consecutive shutout behind the right arm of junior Rachel Riley. Riley went the distance; tossing six strikeouts and giving up just four hits and a walk to keep the slate clean for UK. The junior also went 2-for-2 at the dish with a pair of singles and reached base for a third time with a walk.
The Wildcats broke open the scoring with four runs on three hits in the bottom half of the third. Riley led off with a single that plucked the center field wall. Sophomore Kara Dill followed with a bunt single to place two runners on base. Senior Megan Yocke then drew a walk to load the bags. Pinch runner Ginny Carroll came home on a wild pitch to score the game's first tally. Cervantes then stepped to the plate and drilled a no-doubt home run over the left field fence for the 4-0 UK lead.
Cervantes plated her fourth run of the game in the home side of the fifth. Yocke led off with her second consecutive walk of the game. She then shifted to second with a stolen base and rounded to third when the catcher tossed the ball into center field in an attempt to catch Yocke stealing. With an out on the scoreboard, Cervantes went opposite field with a double off of the right field wall to plate Yocke for the game's final run.
Both teams placed a runner aboard in the opening inning behind a pair of singles, but the teams mirrored each other as each runner was left stranded to begin the game. In the second inning, both squads sat down in order.
Riley yielded a walk in the visitor's side of the third, but was able to pick up two strikeouts and escaped the inning with FIU leaving a runner aboard.
FIU earned a leadoff single to open the fourth, but Riley forced the Golden Panthers into three consecutive groundouts to Dill at shortstop to get out of the stanza. Riley earned a base by drawing a two-out walk in the bottom half of the inning, but the inning ended with her still on base when FIU's left field made a spectacular diving snag to deny Dill a hit.
Riley forced three consecutive groundouts in the top of the fifth. The right-hander began the top of the sixth by getting her seventh consecutive out by way of a grounder before yielding her third hit of the game into right-center. Riley, however, responded in a big way by forcing the No. 3 hitter into a double-play lineout to Dill at shortstop who turned and fired to senior Samantha DeMartine at first.
UK had another great chance to tack on some additional runs, but the Wildcats would strand two in the frame. Riley earned her second hit of the game with a single through the left side and Dill would get on base behind a walk. UK, however, would close the inning with a strikeout.
FIU had its best chance in the top of the seventh stanza. The Panthers placed a runner on base with one-out with a single that laced the left field line. Following a strikeout, FIU put a run into right-center to place runners on first and second. Riley, however, quelled the threat with her sixth strikeout of the game to end the game and preserve her first shutout of the season.
Kentucky returns to action with a pair of games Saturday. UK will first take on DePaul at 6 p.m. ET, followed by a matchup with North Florida at approximately 8 p.m.
Live stats and complete coverage of the Wildcat softball team at the FIU Combat Classic can be found at UKathletics.com.
UK's Complete Schedule at the FIU Combat Classic
Feb. 12 (Sat.) Kentucky vs. DePaul, 6 p.m.
Feb. 12 (Sat.) North Florida vs. Kentucky, 8 p.m.
Feb. 13 (Sun.) Memphis vs. Kentucky, 11 a.m.