UK Strands 10 in Loss to No. 16 Stanford
Feb. 26, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. - Despite out-hitting the 16th-ranked Stanford Cardinal, the 24th-ranked Kentucky softball team fell 4-2 after stranding 10 base runners in the contest. Kentucky's offense could not string together enough successive hits to take down one of the Pac-10's top squads.
UK falls to 9-3 overall on the season, while Stanford improves to 10-3 on the year. Junior pitcher Chanda Bell takes the loss in the circle. Bell worked 4.0 innings, striking out six and yielding all four of Stanford's runs. Freshman Lauren Cumbess worked 2.0 flawless innings in relief in just her second career appearance.
Senior Megan Yocke led the bats with a pair of doubles and a run scored. Sophomore Kara Dill was 2-for-3 with a run scored and Cumbess was the third Wildcat player to have multiple hits with two singles. Junior Brittany Cervantes stretched her hitting streak to eight games with a single in the opening frame of play.
Following a leadoff foul-out, Kentucky had consecutive hits from the bats of Dill and Cervantes. Senior Meagan Aull advanced the runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, but UK would not be able to move the runners any further as the inning closed on a strikeout.
Stanford jumped out to the early edge with a three-run first frame. The Cardinal carved up an advantage behind a three-run home run from the bat of Jenna Rich.
The Wildcats tallied a pair of scores in the top of the third to inch closer and bridge the gap to a 3-2 Stanford edge. Yocke led off the inning with a double off of the right field wall. Dill then earned a walk to put runners on first and second. Cervantes drilled a deep fly ball into right field to advance Yocke a bag and put runners on the corners.
In a suicide-squeeze attempt, the bunt attempt misfired and Yocke began to race home. A throwing error back to the third base bag allowed UK's catcher to tap home and Dill shifted to second. Kentucky's crafty base running would score the second run when Dill caught the Stanford defense off-guard by coming all the way home from second on a wild pitch that skipped off of the backstop.
The Cardinal answered UK's rally with a run of its own in the home side of the third to stretch the lead to 4-2. Back-to-back doubles to begin the inning were all the more offense the home team would need to plate the run.
Kentucky had a chance to scratch the scoreboard with a few more tallies in the fourth. Following an opening out, freshman Emily Jolly reached base on a fielding error by the Stanford's third baseman. Yocke then smacked her second double of the game, this time plucking the left field wall to place two runners in scoring position. UK could not push across a run, however, as the inning on consecutive outs with two more runners left stranded in scoring position.
The Wildcats missed out on another opportunity in the top half of the fifth. Senior Samantha DeMartine reached with a fielding error in right field with one out on the scoreboard. Cumbess then singled into right field for her second hit of the outing. O'Brien then sent a hopper between in the left side gap, but Stanford's shortstop made a diving snag and was able to get lead pinch runner Ginny Carroll out at third. The inning came to a close with two more runners left on the base paths following an inning-ending strikeout.
Dill registered her second hit of the game with two outs in the top half of the sixth, but once again UK's offense could not rally for a run leaving its 10th runner of the game standing on base.
UK returns to action with a 9 p.m. ET tilt against UC Davis. Live stats are available via Kentucky's official website at UKathletics.com.
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 vs. UC Davis, 9 p.m. ET
Sun., Feb. 27 vs. North Dakota State, Noon ET