Johnson's Blasts Lift UK to 3-1 Win
Feb. 27, 2010
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Senior Molly Johnson's two home runs lifted the Kentucky softball team over the host Chattanooga Mocs 3-1, Saturday afternoon at the Frost Classic. Johnson becomes the second player this season to smack two home runs in a single game as Brittany Cervantes achieved the same feat against Western Michigan earlier this season.
UK (11-3) earns its eighth win in its last nine outings behind Johnson's bat and the right arm of Chanda Bell. Bell claimed her sixth win of the season in a complete game effort. Bell struck out seven batters in the victory.
Kentucky struck first with a run in the top half of the second. Johnson led off the inning with her fourth home run of the season of the right-center wall for the game's first tally. Sophomore Rachel Riley delivered a single into centerfield and Meagan Aull followed with a single into the right-center gap, but she was caught in a run-down as she attempted to get to second. With a runner on third and just one out UK attempted a squeeze bunt, but pinch runner Macy Allen was caught in a rundown as well as she moved too soon on the bunt, ending the UK threat with a 1-0 advantage.
The Lady Mocs knotted the score at one apiece in the bottom of the third inning off of a pair of hits. With two outs on the scoreboard, Chattanooga singled up the middle and then the runner shifted into scoring position with a stolen base. A blooper into shallow right field allowed the runner to round home to tie the score at one.
UK had another opportunity in the top of the fourth, but left two runners stranded without pushing across a run. Megan Yocke opened the inning with a walk and moved to second on a groundout to the third baseman. Johnson was plucked with a pitch to place two runners aboard with just one out. After a pop-up to the shortstop, Yocke shifted to third on a wild pitch. The inning ended on a foul out to the catcher that nearly skimmed the net but just fell in the field of play and allowed the catcher to make the final out.
Yocke opened the top of the sixth by taking her second walk of the game to place a runner on base with no outs. Senior Natalie Smith advanced the runner with a well-placed sacrifice bunt to move Yocke to second setting the stage for Johnson. With a full-count Johnson lifted a ball high into the air that cleared the right field wall for her second round tripper of the game giving UK a 3-1 advantage.
Bell and the UK defense escaped a jam in the bottom half of the frame. After sitting down the first two batters, Chattanooga earned a base runner when she was struck with a pitch. The home team then doubled along the left field line to place two runners in scoring position. Bell forced a pop-up in foul territory to Johnson to end the threat.
Kentucky returns to action March 5 at the Buzz Classic hosted by Georgia Tech. UK will take on Jacksonville State on Friday with a 4 p.m. ET start time. Immediately following that contest, UK takes on Georgia State at 6 p.m.