Johnson Leads UK to Sweep of Morehead
March 10, 2009
MOREHEAD, Ky. - Junior Molly Johnson's amazing day at the plate lifted the Kentucky Wildcats to a sweep of Morehead State Tuesday afternoon in Morehead. Johnson went 5-for-8 at the plate for the day with a pair of doubles, a game-winning home run and six runs batted in to pace the Blue and White.
In the second game with Kentucky trailing 3-1 in the top of the seventh inning, sophomore Megan Yocke got on base with a two-out walk. Junior Natalie Smith kept things going with a single through the left side to put the go-ahead run on base for Johnson who had gone 4-for-6 combined for the day. Behind in the count 1-2, the shortstop took the sixth pitch of the at-bat and sailed her first home run of the season over the right-center field wall propelling Kentucky to a 4-3 advantage.
"It was nice to see the team fight back in the second game and continue to show the grit that we've show all year," said head coach Rachel Lawson. "It really paid off for us, because we were able to come through and get a win in the seventh inning."
Morehead State jumped out in front to an early 3-0 lead after one inning of play. The Eagles plated three runs on three consecutive doubles.
The Blue and White put tallied a run in the top half of the fifth when Yocke sent a towering shot over the center field wall for her team-leading third round-tripper of the season making the score 3-1 in favor of the home team.
Junior pitcher Amber Matousek gets the win in the circle for the Wildcats after tossing all seven innings in the game. She threw six strikeouts to aid in the victory.
After a pair of scoreless innings to open the first game, junior Destinee Mordecai registered the first hit of the game with a leadoff double into left field to begin the top of the third. Mordecai would eventually find her way to third when she tagged up on a fly ball into right field off the bat of sophomore Annie Rowlands. Johnson brought her home with a powerful two-out double that ricocheted off the center field wall to give the Blue and White a 1-0 edge.
Morehead State fired back with a score of its own in the bottom of the frame to knot the score at one a piece through three innings.
Mordecai ignited a UK scoring inning in the top of the fifth when she led off with a walk. Senior Katie McCarty singled with a ball that dropped just beyond the third base bag to put runners on with the opening two batters. Rowlands laid down a beautifully played sacrifice bunt to advance the runners into scoring position. After fending off a dozen pitches, Johnson delivered her second double of the game to score both runners when she found a gap in left-center. Sophomore Meagan Aull stepped up to the plate and continued the rally when she lifted a ball in shallow left center for a double, once again putting both runners on base in scoring position as Johnson shifted to third. Yocke laid down a bunt into the middle of the infield and the speedy Johnson beat the throw home for the third score of the inning and a 4-1 advantage in favor of the visitors.
The Blue and White added another run in the top half of the sixth without registering a hit. Freshman Brittany Cervantes was struck by a pitch and freshman Allie Jest, Rowlands and Aull received walks to push the run across the plate for the final 5-1 margin.
Freshman pitcher Chanda Bell went the distance for the Blue and White in the circle. In addition to her complete game and eighth win of the season, the right-hander fanned 11 batters in the win. It is the fifth time this season she has struck out 10 or more batters in a game. UK's win over the Eagles in game one snapped a nine-game winning streak by Morehead State.
The Wildcats are back in action with their first home games of the season this weekend. UK hosts SEC-foe Auburn beginning Saturday with a doubleheader that kicks off at 1 p.m. The two squads will meet again Sunday for the third game of the series at 1 p.m. Live stats and complete coverage will be available at UK's official homepage at UKathletics.com.