Bell Throws No-Hitter on Record-Breaking Day
Feb. 25, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. - Junior right-hander Chanda Bell tossed the second no-hitter of her career in leading No. 24 Kentucky to a 7-0 victory over Colorado State to open the Stanford Nike Invitational. Bell's history-making day did not end there; however, as the ace also posted a single-game record with 16 strikeouts in the outing on the same afternoon she broke Keary Camunas' career-strikeout record. Bell passed Camunas' 550 career strikeouts with her 26th career game of 10-or more strikeouts tossed on her record setting day. The Indianapolis native nearly completed a perfect game effort as well, as the lone base runner reached on a walk in the sixth inning.
Bell was the story of the afternoon for the Blue and White who improve to 9-2 overall on the season, while Colorado State drops to 2-8.
"Obviously, Chanda was outstanding today," UK coach Rachel Lawson said. "Any day that you can break two records at the same time is pretty exceptional."
Bell now has totaled 561 career strikeouts to become UK's all-time career leader in that category. With the 16 strikeouts in the game she surpassed her own single-game record of 15 strikeouts which she had achieved on four different occasions throughout her career.
Today's no-hitter is the second of her career after tossing the first one in school history during her freshman season. In two of her last three starts she has allowed just one base runner, also achieving the feat in a win over Middle Tennessee State in Tallahassee, Fla., a week ago.
Kentucky's offense was outstanding as well as three players charted a home run and six batters combined for nine hits in the game. Senior Megan Yocke posted a four-RBI day on a 2-for-4 outing at the plate that included a double and a three-run home run. Senior Annie Rowlands blasted her first home run of the season, and junior Brittany Cervantes continued her hitting streak with her fourth home run over the last three games with a two-run shot in the sixth frame.
"Offensively Brittany and (Megan) Yocke continue to come through for us," Lawson said. "I think Kara Dill is also really solidifying herself at the top of the order. I'm really pleased with our effort today and I hope we can carry that momentum into tomorrow's game with Stanford."
Bell's chase for the career-strikeout record got off to a good start in the bottom of the first. The right-hander forced the first two batters to sit down on strikes and then a foul-out to Yocke behind the plate ended the frame.
UK was kept off the base paths in the second, but Bell continued to dominate in the circle. The junior retired the side in order behind three strikeouts running her total to five strikeouts among six batters faced. Her third strikeout of the stanza tied her for the UK career-record with Camunas at 550.
Kentucky struck first with a run in the top of the third to earn a 1-0 edge. O'Brien recorded the game's first hit with a single into center field. Yocke then drilled an RBI double into the left-center gap to lift UK to the early lead.
History was made with the first batter faced in the bottom of the third for Bell. Needing to throw just three more strikes to set the career record for strikeouts tossed, Bell sat the Rams' Brianna Donahue down looking for the new record. She did not stop there, however, as she followed up the record with two more strikeouts. To begin the game, Bell sat down eight of the first nine batters she faced on strikes.
Aull opened the fourth with a double that ricocheted off the left field fence to place a runner in scoring position for the Cats. Following two consecutive outs, freshman Lauren Cumbess sent a blooper into shallow center field, but Colorado State's second baseman made a spectacular snag on the run to prevent UK from extending the inning and stranding a runner.
Bell tossed an addition pair of strikeouts in the fourth frame to run her total for the outing to 10. It marked the 26th time in her career she has charted 10 or more strikeouts in a single game.
UK extended its lead with the two home runs in the fifth inning. Rowlands opened the stanza with a bomb to left center. Following consecutive outs, Dill singled up the middle to put a runner aboard for Cervantes. UK's power-hitter connected for her fourth home run in three games with a two-run shot over the center field fence to lift UK to a 4-0 advantage.
Bell's perfect game was broken up in the bottom of the sixth when Ivory Allen drew a full-count walk to become the first Ram batter to reach base in the game. Bell quickly dispelled the threat by throwing her 14th strikeout of the game to end the inning.
The Wildcats added three insurance runs in the top half of the seventh to stretch the lead to 7-0. Rowlands led off by reaching base after she was plucked with a pitch. Freshman pinch hitter Ginny Carroll then drew a walk to place two runners aboard. Following a passed ball that put runners in scoring position, Yocke got a hold of a pitch and drove it deep over the center field wall to score all three runs.
Bell capped her history-making day with a pair of strikeouts in the bottom of the seventh to run her total to the single-game record of 16.
Kentucky returns to action with matchup against No. 16/17 Stanford and a nightcap with UC Davis, Sat., Feb. 26. UK takes on Stanford at 4:30 p.m. ET and UC Davis at 9 p.m. ET.
Complete coverage of the Wildcat softball team all season long can be found at UKathletics.com.
UK's complete schedule at the Stanford Nike Invitational
Sat., Feb. 26 at No. 16/17 Stanford, 4:30 p.m. ET
Sat., Feb. 26 vs. UC Davis, 9 p.m. ET
Sun., Feb. 27 vs. North Dakota State, Noon ET