Kentucky's Rally Falls Short in Loss

March 13, 2012

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Wildcats plated three runs over the final three innings, but the late-game heroics fell just short as Kentucky dropped a 5-4 decision to Western Illinois on Tuesday afternoon on a gorgeous afternoon at the UK Softball Complex. Sophomore Ginny Carroll provided the Cats with an offensive spark with a two-run homer in the fifth frame.

With the loss, the Wildcats drop to 10-12 on the season while Western Illinois improves to 8-13. UK will continue non-conference play when it plays host to the UK Invitational Friday-Sunday. Kentucky will welcome NC State, UAB and UMKC for a three-day tournament this weekend.

Kentucky struck first for a run in the home half of the second to grab an early 1-0 edge. Sophomore Emily Gaines reached by way of a hit by pitch with one out to place a runner aboard. Sophomore Lauren Cumbess struck for a single and classmate Ellen Weaver plated the score to lift the Wildcats to an early advantage.

Western Illinois utilized a five-run fourth inning to take a 5-1 lead it would never relinquish. The Fighting Leathernecks plated the scores on seven hits including a double and a three-run homer by Teagan Walsh.

UK's rally began in the home half of the fifth. With two outs, junior Kara Dill singled up the middle to place a runner on the base paths setting the stage for Carroll. The sophomore drilled a ball over the left center fence for her second round tripper of the season and bridging the gap to 5-3 in favor of the visitors.

Senior Rachel Riley sliced a double into right-center to open the sixth inning. Pinch runner Kara Howard would round home on an RBI single from Cumbess' bat. The tally made the score 5-4 and brought the Wildcats within striking distance.

Dill attempted to rally the Wildcats in their final at-bat with her second single of the game this time finding a hole in right field. She'd shift into scoring position with her 13th stolen base of the season. However, the Wildcats could not complete the rally as the inning ended on consecutive groundouts.

Live stats and web streaming of the game between Kentucky and Western Illinois is available at UKatheltics.com.