Eight-Run First Inning Dooms Wildcats

March 10, 2012

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Behind an eight-run first inning and 10 total hits, No. 1 Alabama defeated the Kentucky softball team 9-1 in five innings on Saturday afternoon in front of 1,246 fans at the UK Softball Complex.

With the victory Alabama remains unbeaten at a perfect 20-0, and 2-0 in Southeastern Conference action. Kentucky falls to 10-10 on the season and 0-2 in league action. Alabama's Leslie Jury (7-0) picked up the win for the Tide, with UK's sophomore Lauren Cumbess falling to 2-3 on the year.

Alabama plated eight runs in the opening inning of action to take a commanding lead with the Wildcats unable to recover from the offensive output. The Tide placed its first runner aboard on a fielding error by the Wildcats. Following three consecutive singles, Courtney Conley connected for a three-run homer to propel the visitor's to the commanding lead. Alabama would tack on two more runs in the frame to stretch the lead to 8-0.

In the bottom of the first Kentucky had a terrific opportunity to answer Alabama's firepower. Junior Kara Dill led off the inning by reaching on an error. Freshman Griffin Joiner singled, senior Rachel Riley walked and junior Alice O'Brien singled to load the bases with two outs. Kentucky, however, could not push across a run as Jury was able to escape the jam unscathed.

After Cumbess struck out the side in the top of the second, sophomore Ginny Carroll got a UK rally started by getting on base via a hit by pitch. Carroll stole second, and was driven in by a single through the left side by Dill to make the score 8-1 in favor of the Tide.

In the top of the fifth, Alabama's Kendall Dawson reached on a single to start the inning, and was brought around to score on a throwing error by the Wildcats to make the final 9-1 margin.

Despite taking the loss on the mound, Cumbess closed out the game in tremendous fashion. The sophomore right-hander notched a career-high 10 strikeouts against one of the top offensive squads in the nation.

The series finale between No. 1 Alabama at UK will be Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. ET at the UK Softball Complex.

Follow along with the UK softball program all season long at UKathletics.com.