Kentucky Downs UC Davis 2-0 in Nightcap
Feb. 26, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. - Senior Megan Yocke's perfect day at the plate and junior Chanda Bell's second career save lifted the No. 24 Kentucky softball team to a 2-0 victory over UC Davis at the Stanford Nike Invitational. Yocke was 2-for-2 at the dish and scored both of the Wildcats' runs to pace the attack.
Bell entered the top of the fifth with Kentucky clinging to a 1-0 lead and pitched three shutout innings for her second career save. Bell struck out six on the evening in relief of freshman lefty Ellen Weaver. UK's freshman earns her third victory in as many starts with 4.0 innings worked which included a pair of strikeouts and a mere three hits yielded. Kentucky pushes its record to 10-3 on the season with the win.
Yocke led the bats with the 2-for-2 day. She also reached another time on a walk, stole a base and tapped home twice. Sophomore Kara Dill was 2-for-3 and senior Meagan Aull contributed a pair of hits including an RBI single in the third. Freshman Lauren Cumbess added a double in her first career start at first base.
The Wildcats struck first by manufacturing a run in the home half of the third to take a 1-0 edge. Yocke led off the stanza with her second hit of the game by finding a hole in shallow right-center. The Sunnyvale, Calif., native then stole second to move into scoring position. Following a hard grounder back to the pitcher, junior Brittany Cervantes advanced the runner another bag with a deep fly-out to center field moving Yocke to third. Aull then plated the score with her second single of the night as she slipped one through the left side for the RBI single.
UK's heady base running helped tack on another run in the bottom of the fifth to take a 2-0 lead. Following an inning-opening out, Yocke reached base for the third time in the game this time by earning a walk. Dill was able to beat out the throw on a bunt attempt for an infield single to place two runners aboard. The duo then converted a double-steal. During the steal attempt, UC Davis' catcher attempted to catch Yocke at third and tossed the ball into left field enabling Yocke to round home for her second tally of the game.
Kentucky had a prime opportunity to strike first in the home half of the first. Yocke and Dill opened with consecutive infield singles. Following the first out of the inning, Aull singled through the left side gap, but Yocke was caught attempting to score during the play. The inning came to a close with runners in scoring position with an inning-ending strikeout.
UK left a runner aboard in the bottom of the second. Freshman Emily Jolly earned a one-out base after she was plucked with a pitch. She'd swipe second to move into scoring position and shift to third when Weaver grounded out to short. The inning ended with her standing on third with a grounder to the shortstop as the frame's final out.
Weaver and the Wildcat defensive unit escaped a jam in the top of the fourth. After yielding walks to the first two batters faced, Weaver got exceptional help from her defense to retire the next three batters. Jolly took a hopper at second and tagged the runner heading for second before flicking it to Cumbess at first for a double-play. Then Dill avoided a sliding Cervantes in the gap to complete the groundout and preventing the Aggies from tapping home.
Kentucky returns to action for its final contest at the Stanford Nike Invitational on Sunday. UK will take on North Dakota State at Noon ET.
Complete coverage of the Wildcat softball team all season long can be found at UKathletics.com.