Kentucky Softball Downs Boilermakers, Fall to Wildcats

Feb. 15, 2002

SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The University of Kentucky women's softball team split a pair of games on Friday, Feb. 15, defeating Purdue, 1-0, in nine innings and falling to Bethune-Cookman, 3-1. Freshman Meghan Cooper earned the win and knocked in the lone run of the game against Purdue to earn her first collegiate win while four Wildcat errors prevented UK from taking two on the first day of the Fast Pitch Express College Classic. The Wildcats' record now stands at 3-4.

Cooper's one-out RBI single in the top of the eighth pushed sophomore Rachel Friberg home with the lone run of the game as UK outlasted Purdue in the first game of the day. Senior Andy Eilertson had started the inning on second due to the international tie-breaking rule and advanced to third on freshman Jessica Nance's ground out. Eilertson then tried to score but was thrown out at home, allowing Friberg to reach on the fielders' choice. After a Friberg steal of second, Cooper lined a single to center, pushing Friberg home.

Pudue's chances in the bottom of the ninth were limited as Cooper recorded her lone strike out of the game and then got Purdue's Shelli Messer to fly out to center, starting the 7-4 double-play which picked off PU's Andrea Hillsey from second who was running on a attempted hit-and-run.

Cooper (1-1), who entered the game with two outs and the bases loaded in relief of senior starter Jennifer Howland, pitched 3.1 innings, allowing just one hit. Howland also pitched very well, allowing four hits in 5.2 innings of work.

"It felt good to go out there in that situation and come out on top," Cooper said. "It gave me a lot of confidence to go out there and pitch strong and also come up with a key hit when I knew we needed one."

In the second game of the day, the Wildcats allowed just six Bethune-Cookman hits, but the inability to erase BCC hitters led to three unearned runs and a 3-1 BCC Wildcat win.

Kentucky, playing as the visiting team, opened up game two with an early run. Lyndsey Angus singled to left and then advanced two bases on a Bethune-Cookman pitcher Jessica Cabato's wild pitch. Angie Dal Pozzo then singled her home for the early UK lead.

BCC answered quickly, however, thanks to two Kentucky miscues in the second half of the first to knot the game at 1-1. Bethune-Cookman scored two more unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth for the final margin.

UK tried to staged a rally in the seventh, getting two runners on, but could not advance any past second to close out the game.

"I am disappointed in our lack of aggressiveness both offensively and defensively," UK Coach Beth Kirchner said. "I think we were a half a step slow. Hopefully we will learn from this."

The Wildcats will return to action on Saturday as they play host Texas-San Antonio at 12:30 p.m. CT and then Wichita State at 5:30 p.m. CT.

Game 1Kentucky000000001-1 6 1Purdue000000000-0 5 1WP: Cooper  (1-1). LP: Burke (1-2). S: none

Game 2Kentucky1000000-1 7 4Bethune-Cook.100020X-3 6 1WP: Cabato (1-1). LP: Mar (1-3). S: none