UK Falls in Back and Forth Battle with Georgia Tech
March 6, 2010
MARIETTA, Ga. - In a showdown of top-25 ranked teams, the game lived up to its billing in an offensive back-and-forth battle in which No. 9 Georgia Tech edged out 23rd-ranked Kentucky, 6-3. The Wildcats could not convert on its chances in the late innings leaving seven runners stranded throughout the game.
Kentucky (13-5) lost its second straight game for the first time this season. Georgia Tech hit three home runs to help overcome a gutsy performance by the Wildcats. Senior Molly Johnson was 3-for-4 on the day with two runs scored and a triple. Junior Megan Yocke drove in a pair of runs with two singles.
Sophomore pitcher Chanda Bell takes the loss in the circle despite striking out 11 Yellow Jacket batters on the night.
Johnson led off the first inning by earning a walk to put a runner on base. After swiping second, the Wildcats would leave her stranded with three consecutive outs following her leadoff base on balls.
Georgia Tech took a 1-0 edge early with a solo home run in the bottom half of the first stanza. Jen Yee, the reigning Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Week, hit a solo home run over the left center wall for the tally.
After both pitchers retired the side in the second frame, Johnson rallied the Wildcats with a two-out single into the left-center gap. The senior shortstop then moved into scoring position with her second stolen base of the game. Yocke delivered an RBI single to knot the score at one apiece with a single along the right-field line.
UK had another prime opportunity in the top half of the third. Meagan Aull led off with a single through the right side and then moved into scoring position with a stolen base. A fly out into right field allowed her to tag up and move to third, but the inning ended with a pop-up to the second baseman leaving a runner aboard.
Bell and the UK defense escaped a jam in the bottom of the third frame. Yee earned her second hit of the game with a single to place a runner on base. Bell then yielded her first walk of the game to place two runners on base. After a sacrifice bunt to place both runners in scoring position, Bell was at her best. She forced a pop up to Brittany Cervantes at third and then sat her seventh batter down on strikes to end the inning.
Johnson helped the Wildcats break open a tie score with a two-out triple along the left field line. Yocke brought her in with her second RBI single of the game. Natalie Smith then roped a ball along the right field line and the right fielder mishandled the hopper allowing Yocke to round all the way home for the second score of the inning and a 3-1 UK advantage.
The Yellow Jackets responded quickly as Yee hit her second home run of the game, this time with two runners aboard to lift the designated home team to a 4-3 advantage.
Kentucky made things interesting in the top half of the sixth. With one out back-to-back runners reached base when Georgia Tech fielders muffed plays. Freshman Kara Dill hit a chopper to the shortstop and pinch runner Macy Allen headed for home, but was called out at the plate. The inning ended with a groundout leaving three runners stranded.
Georgia Tech added to its lead with two runs in the home half of the sixth. The Yellow Jackets plated their scores on a solo home run and an RBI double making the final 6-3 margin.
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