Cervantes' Homers Lift UK to 9-1 Win
Feb. 19, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Behind a pair of home runs by junior Brittany Cervantes the No. 24 Kentucky softball team downed Georgia Southern 9-1 in six innings Saturday evening in Tallahassee, Fla. Kentucky combined for three home runs in the game, and Cervantes blasted two round trippers for the second time in her career.
Kentucky improves to 7-2 overall on the year, while Georgia Southern drops to 4-6 overall. UK will now move onto the Championship game of the tournament will face Florida State for the second time in as many days.
Cervantes led the bats with a 2-for-3 performance with the pair of long balls. She also contributed three RBI on the afternoon. Senior Megan Yocke was the other UK player to go yard for a two-run shot. Senior Meagan Aull was 2-for-2 with a double and a triple and three runs scored after also reaching in the opening stanza on a walk.
Junior pitcher Rachel Riley went the distance in the circle to improve to 2-1 on the year. Riley tossed a pair of strikeouts and allowed just one run in her winning effort.
The Wildcat offense connected for a run in the home half of the first to take an early 1-0 advantage. Aull reached on a one-out walk and then promptly stole second to shift into scoring position. Classmate Samantha DeMartine drilled a ball into left field and the speedy Aull scooted all the way home for the first strike of the game.
Georgia Southern tied the score at one apiece in the top of the third frame. The Eagles began the stanza with back-to-back hits and the run would cross the plate on a well-executed suicide-squeeze bunt for the tally.
UK reclaimed the lead immediately, however, plating four runs in the bottom of the third behind three consecutive extra-base hits. Sophomore Kara Dill began the rally with a single sliced into right center. Dill then shifted into scoring position following an erroneous attempt at picking her off at first by Georgia Southern's catcher. The placement did not matter as Yocke fired a towering shot over the left field fence that also cleared the bushes behind the wall for her second home run in as many days. Aull kept the hot bats alive with a double into the right-center gap. Cervantes then took a turn with the long ball plucking a ball off of the scoreboard in right-center for the 5-1 advantage.
Kentucky's offense struck for a pair of homers in a single inning for the second time this season. The Wildcats also had two round trippers in one frame in a victory over Ohio State in the opening game of the season. Kentucky also matched its record for home runs in a game with three, just as it also achieved in the same win over the Buckeyes.
Freshman Emily Jolly had a terrific defensive gem in the top of the fifth inning for the Cats. The second baseman chased down a low-flying popup in shallow right field and made a diving over-the-shoulder grab to rob the Eagles of a base hit.
Cervantes connected for her second home run of the game to lead off the bottom of the fifth. UK's junior nearly placed the ball in the same spot as her bomb in the third inning with another shot going over the right-center field fence. It marks the second time in her career that she has put a ball over the wall twice in a game. She also charted a pair of round trippers in a UK victory over Western Michigan in 2010.
Sophomore Alice O'Brien began the bottom of the sixth by charting a two-bagger. Freshman Ginny Carroll drew a walk to place two runners aboard for Aull. UK's lefty tripled into the left-center gap for a two-RBI hit. Aull would come home to end the game by way of the eight-run rule when she touched home following a wild pitch on Cervantes' called fourth ball walk.
Complete coverage of the Wildcat softball team all season long can be found at UKathletics.com.
UK's complete schedule at Florida StateSun., Feb. 19 vs. Florida State,12:30 p.m. ET