Offense Stalls as Cal Defeats Kentucky
Feb. 13, 2010
TEMPE, Ariz. - After a quality offensive performance earlier in the day the Kentucky softball team's offense stalled in a loss to No. 11 California, 6-1, Saturday afternoon. Kentucky generated just five hits and left six base runners stranded in the loss.
Kentucky (3-2) dropped just the second game of the season after facing a brutal opening weekend where all five opponents faced were either ranked or receiving votes in the preseason polls to begin the year. Sophomore Chanda Bell dropped her first decision of the young season despite adding five more strikeouts to her season total in the loss.
In the final at-bat of the game, freshman Kara Dill reached base on a muffed fielding error by the Golden Bear's shortstop. Samantha DeMartine sent a chopper to short, but Dill's speedy feet allowed both runners to remain safe. Meagan Aull hit into a fielder's choice and Cal opted to tag the lead runner leaving runners on first and second with an out. The runners advanced on a passed ball to shift runners into scoring position. A single by Destinee Mordecai allowed pinch runner Macy Allen to tap home for UK's first score of the game. The inning would end with UK stranding two more base runners with a strikeout and a groundout to the pitcher.
Natalie Smith charted the game's first hit when she found a gap in left field. Kentucky could not advance the runner any further, however leaving Smith stranded. Bell retired the side to conclude the first inning.
With two outs in the top of the second, Aull lined one back to the pitcher who could not handle the sizzling hit and the speedy Aull reached on an infield base hit. Mordecai then followed suit with a single into left field, but the inning would end with a groundout to second leaving two runners aboard.
The Golden Bears plated two scores in the bottom of the second to go ahead 2-0 on the Cats early. Cal earned a leadoff solo home run to strike the scoreboard first. The designated home team then charted a one-out single into right field before Bell plucked the second batter with a pitch to put two runners aboard. After the second strikeout of the inning, Cal sent a one-run single up the middle for the second run of the inning.
Cal added a pair of runs in the bottom of the third to increase its lead to 4-0. Back-to-back singles put runners on base and then the Golden Bears earned a double steal to place runners in scoring position. A two-out double into the right-center gap brought both runners around to score.
Kentucky had a chance in the top of the fourth when Brittany Cervantes led off with a double into the right-center gap. Rachel Riley hit into a fielder's choice back at the pitcher and Cervantes was caught in a run-down attempting to advance to third. Dill swept a bag to place a runner into scoring position, but the Wildcats would leave the runner stranded ending the inning with consecutive outs.
Cal added two more scores in the bottom of the sixth to increase their lead to 6-0. An opening walk came around to score on a one-out double into right center. The second run came around to score after moving to third on an error by the Blue and White and tapped home after a sacrifice fly.
Kentucky will next be in action in Boca Raton, Fla., for the Florida Atlantic tournament next weekend. UK will face Maryland on Friday in the opening game of that tournament.