UK Stretches Winning Streak to Seven Games
March 17, 2009
OXFORD, Ohio - The Kentucky softball team scored a combined 16 runs as it stretched its winning streak to seven games with a pair of wins over Miami (OH) Tuesday afternoon in Oxford. Kentucky earned a 10-1 six-inning win in the first contest, and then downed the Redhawks 6-3 in game two.
Kentucky improves to 17-6 on the season with the two victories today in Oxford, while Miami (OH) drops to 12-11 on the year. The seven game winning streak ties the 2008 squad for the second most consecutive wins. The 2001 team holds the school record with eight straight.
The Wildcats were led at the plate by sophomore Megan Yocke and junior Molly Johnson. Yocke went 3-for-6 which included an RBI double in game one and a two-run triple in the second game. Johnson blasted her second home run of the season good for a pair of scores in the opening game, and then added two hits in game two.
Freshman Chanda Bell earned her 11 th win of the season with a victory in the first game pitching six innings and striking out three batters. The win moves her into seventh on the single-season charts for victories in a season.
To open the first game both squads put a runner on base, Yocke walked while Miami had an infield single but neither team was able to do anything with their base runners as the inning ended in a scoreless tie. UK's freshman catcher Brittany Cervantes and Johnson did hook up to catch a Redhawk runner attempting to steal to highlight the defensive performance in the first frame for the Wildcats.
Junior Destinee Mordecai posted the first hit of the day for Kentucky when she found a gap in right-center for a two-out stand-up double in the top half of the second. Kentucky, donning its black uniforms with blue and white trim accompanied with green socks in honor of St. Patrick's Day, was unable to convert with a runner in scoring position.
Miami scratched the scoreboard with a solo home run in the bottom half of the second for the early 1-0 advantage.
Bell got out of a jam in the bottom of the third, after back-to-back hits she got the third out of the inning by getting the number three-hole hitter to sit down on strikes preventing the home team from doing any more damage.
Junior Natalie Smith dropped a ball just over the second base bag to earn a single in the top of the fourth, but once again UK could not string together a run to push anybody across the plate.
Cervantes led off the visitors' side of the fifth with a double that fell over the left fielder's out-stretched glove to get a leadoff batter in scoring position to start the inning. Mordecai converted a sacrifice bunt to advance the runner, and she would come home when the Redhawks' shortstop lost a ball in the sun and it hit her in the chest as sophomore Annie Rowlands reached base on the error. Johnson then made the home squad pay with a two-run shot over the right field fence for a 3-1 UK lead.
Kentucky got out of another jam with a dazzling double-play led by the freshman pitcher in the bottom of the fifth stanza. With runners on first and second and just an out on the scoreboard, Bell forced the Redhawks' leadoff batter to line out to her and she quickly whipped around and got the base runner out at second to end the inning.
The Blue and White added to its lead with a seven-run sixth inning. UK got a runner on base to open the inning thanks to an error by the second baseman. The first out came on a fielder's choice, but Kentucky would strike in a hurry. Cervantes delivered her second double of the game into left field to put both runners into scoring position and then Mordecai walked to load the bases.
Freshman Kristen O'Haver sent a well-hit ball to the second baseman that she mishandled and two runs came around to score. In a steal attempt at home, Mordecai was called out at home to put the second out on the scoreboard. Freshman Erika Silence kept the inning alive with a double into the right-center gap, and Rowlands re-entered to run the base paths and moved ahead a bag on a wild pitch. Johnson took a base on balls to put runners on the corners. They both would find their way home when Aull doubled into right field, and the seventh run of the inning rounded home on Yocke's double to nearly the same spot for the final 10-1 margin.
In game two, UK wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. With two outs, Yocke found a hole in right-center for a single. Cervantes followed with a walk, and then Smith split the left side as Yocke rounded home for the 1-0 first inning lead.
Kentucky added to its lead in the top half of the third when Johnson led off with a double when she sent a shot that just clipped the tip of the right-field wall and fell back into the field of play. Aull laid down a bunt and reached on a fielder's choice when Miami attempted to get Johnson at third and were unable to convert the play. Yocke then continued her hot-hitting streak with a two-run triple that reached the right-center field fence.
Cervantes continued the rally with a beautiful bunt to score Yocke, and she reached first when the play was attempted to be made at home. Smith added a sacrifice bunt of her own to advance the runner. Cervantes came home on a muffed catch by the right-fielder when sophomore Samantha DeMartine drilled a ball into shallow right-center. The inning ended with UK plating four more scores for a 5-0 advantage.
DeMartine added to UK's damage with a solo shot over the left field fence for a two-out bomb in the top of the seventh to add an insurance run.
Miami (OH) rallied for three runs in the bottom half of the seventh to bring the score to its final margin at 6-3.
Junior pitcher Amber Matousek tossed a complete game for her sixth win of the season. The right-hander fanned three batters in the victory.
Kentucky returns to the field for a three-game set with Arkansas this weekend. UK travels to Fayetteville for two games on Saturday and a single game on Sunday. First pitch both days is slated for 2 p.m. ET.