Bell Quiets Georgia Southern in 7-0 Win
Feb. 18, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Junior pitcher Chanda Bell tossed a near-perfect game in a 7-0 No. 24 Kentucky victory over Georgia Southern in the opening game of the Florida State Tournament. Bell matched her own single-game record when she struck out 15 batters and allowed just one base runner with a leadoff hit in the top of the seventh inning.
Kentucky improves to 5-1 on the young season, while Georgia Southern drops to 3-4 overall on the year. Bell earns her third victory and second shutout of the season with an outstanding effort from the circle.
UK's offense posted five hits and plated seven runs in the game, led by a two-RBI day in one plate appearance from junior Rachel Riley.
Kentucky struck for three runs in the home half of the first to take a commanding early lead. After an opening out, senior Meagan Aull and junior Brittany Cervantes each drew a walk. The duo then swiped a bag to put runners in scoring position. Senior Samantha DeMartine loaded the bases after getting plucked with a pitch. Following a grounder to the third baseman that got Aull out at home, Riley delivered the game's first hit.
Riley sliced a well-hit ball through the left side to drive in Cervantes and DeMartine. When the center fielder mishandled the chopper, freshman Emily Jolly was able to round all the way home from first for the 3-0 edge.
Bell dominated from the circle in the early going. The right-hander sat down 10 of her first 12 batters faced on strikes, including sitting down eight consecutive batters down with strikeouts.
Kentucky tacked on four runs in the home side of the fourth to push its lead to 7-0, and determine the game's final score. Following an opening out, sophomore Alice O'Brien found a gap in left-center for a stand-up double to get the rally going. Freshman Lauren Cumbess drove in the first run of the frame with a single into right-center field.
Sophomore Kara Dill drew a walk to put runners on first and second, and after a passed ball both runners advanced a bag. Senior Megan Yocke then earned the second walk of the inning. Senior Annie Rowlands, who reentered to run for Cumbess, rounded home on an illegal pitch for the second run of the inning. Aull drilled a deep fly ball to right field to plate Dill with a sacrifice fly., and Yocke came home for the final run of the inning with an illegal pitch and a seven-run cushion for the designated home team.
Georgia Southern broke up Bell's perfect game and no-hitter with a leadoff single up the middle in the top of the seventh. Bell, however, responded admirably by getting the next three batters to drop. Among one of those outs was her 15th strikeout of the game to match her own single-game UK record which she has now set on five different occasions.
Kentucky will return to action immediately with a 12:30 p.m. ET contest against Middle Tennessee State.
Complete coverage of the Wildcat softball team all season long can be found at UKathletics.com.
UK's complete schedule at Florida State
Fri., Feb. 18 vs. Middle Tennessee State, 12:30 p.m. ET
Sat., Feb. 18 vs. Florida State, 12:30 p.m. ET
Sat., Feb. 18 vs. TBA, 3 p.m./5:30 p.m. ET
Sun., Feb. 19 vs. TBA, 10 a.m./12:30 p.m. ET