No. 8 Softball Falls 2-1 After Mississippi State Walk-Off
March 8, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky softball team could not get its offense going Saturday, leaving a season-high 12 runners on base, as Mississippi State rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning with a two-out, walk-off double from freshman Katie Ann Bailey to claim a 2-1 series-evening victory over the Wildcats at the MSU Softball Field.
The three-game series concludes Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. Live stats from the game will be available on UKathletics.com, while live video streaming will be available at through hailstate.com (subscription required).
After Mississippi State (20-3) scored first in the game with back-to-back doubles from Caroline Seitz and Logan Foulks to grab a 1-0 lead after four innings of play, Kentucky quickly tied the game at 1-1 with a rally in the top of the fifth inning. The rally started with back-to-back walks to Ansley Smith and Griffin Joiner before senior Lauren Cumbess belted a single off the wall in right field, scoring Ansley Smith to tie the game. The Wildcats loaded the bases with one out in the inning, before a fielder’s choice and strikeout ended the threat.
After both teams went scoreless in the sixth inning, Kentucky got its leadoff runner on in the seventh but could not score, sending the game to the bottom of the frame. After a groundout to start the seventh inning, Ashley Phillips singled to the left side of the infield and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kayla Winkfield. That set the scene for Bailey, who hit the first pitch she saw into the gap in left-centerfield to give the Bulldogs the 2-1 win.
Kentucky (17-3) started Cumbess in the circle with the senior going four innings, allowing one run on two hits with six strikeouts. She was replaced to start the fifth inning by freshman Meagan Prince, who tossed the final 2.2 innings, allowing three hits and one run with one strikeout. The one run was the winning run for MSU, handing Prince her first loss of the season. The freshman is now 5-1 on the year with a 1.85 ERA. Cumbess picked up the no-decision, staying 4-0 on the season with a 2.03 ERA.
The Bulldogs started the game with sophomore Jacey Punches, who went 1.2 innings, allowing one hit with two strikeouts and a walk. She was replaced with the bases loaded in the second inning by freshman Alexis Silkwood, who threw the next 4.1 innings, allowing one run on two hits with four strikeouts. Senior Alison Owen tossed a scoreless seventh inning to get the win, moving to 9-3 on the year.
The Kentucky offense had its chances in the game, stranding a season-high 12 runners on base, including the bases loaded twice. UK recorded three hits in the game, including a 2-for-3 effort from Cumbess, who had the lone UK RBI. Fellow senior Emily Jolly went 1-for-2 with a double. UK drew a season-high tying eight walks.
Seitz paced MSU offensively with a 2-for-3 day, belting two doubles with a run scored, while Foulks was 1-for-3 with an RBI and Phillips was 1-for-2 with a run scored.
Mississippi State 20-3
Kentucky – No. 10 in ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25; No. 8 in NFCA/USA Today Top 25
Mississippi State – receiving votes in ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 and NFCA/USA Today Top 25
Friday, March 7
Kentucky def. Mississippi State 4-0
Saturday, March 8
Mississippi State def. Kentucky 2-1