Seniors Lead Wildcats to a 4-0 Win over UMKC
March 17, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Led by the bat of senior Brittany Cervantes and the right-arm of senior Chanda Bellthe Kentucky softball team returned to its winning ways with a 4-0 victory over University of Missouri-Kansas City on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon at the UK Softball Complex. Cervantes hit a pair of doubles, scored and drove in a run. Bell logged her 33rd career game with 10 or more strikeouts with 12 total Ks in a complete game shutout effort.
With the win, Kentucky improves to 11-14 on the season while UMKC drops to 10-10 on the season. Kentucky will hit the field again for a 5:30 p.m. ET game against NC State as bracket play begins at the UK Invitational.
After striking out the side to open the game for the Wildcats, UK's offense plated a score in the home half of the inning to up 1-0. Junior Kara Dillsliced a double into left-center to place the leadoff runner aboard. Dill would shift to third on a wild pitch and walk home on an illegal pitch by the Roos' right-hander.
Bell continued to stymie the UMKC offensive effort in the second. Following a one-out single by the visitors, Bell struck out the next two batters she faced to end the threat running her total to five strikeouts in the first two innings.
UK upped its advantage to 2-0 with an additional tally in the bottom of the second. Cervantes opened the frame with a double into the left-center gap to get the rally started. Following a pop-up, runners moved to the corners after UMKC's shortstop registered a fielding error. Sophomore Krystal Smith'ssingle up the middle plated Cervantes for the two-run lead.
Bell logged two more strikeouts in the top half of the third. Her final out of an unscathed inning came on a fly out to Cervantes in left field.
Kentucky continued to add to its lead with another run in the home half of the third. Freshman Griffin Joinerreached base with one out on a hit by pitch. She'd advance a base on the second called illegal pitch of the game. Cervantes delivered with an RBI double that laced the left field line to increase the lead to 3-0 in favor of the home team.
UMKC posted an inning-opening infield single in the fourth, but Bell and the Wildcat defense quickly dispelled of the threat by recording three consecutive outs including an inning-ending strikeout.
The Wildcats trend of scoring one run per inning continued in the home half of the fourth to run its total to a 4-0 lead. Sophomore Aubrey Lamar began the stanza with a single into left field. Pinch runner Ellen Weaver would move into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt from Smith. Junior Alice O'Brienthen delivered a two-out RBI double into the right-center hole for the fourth run of the game for the Blue and White.
The Roos placed a runner on in the top of the fifth with a leadoff single that landed in shallow center field. Bell wasted little time, however, as she then struck out the next three batters she faced to run her total for the game to 11 through five innings.
For the first time in the game the Wildcats did not produce a run in the home half of the fifth. Despite getting two runners aboard thanks to a hit by a pitch and a walk, UK was unable to bring in a score.
In the top of the sixth the visitor's again opened the stanza with a leadoff single. Bell and the Wildcats, though were unfazed as they recorded three consecutive outs to end the inning unscathed.
Smith began the home side of the sixth by earning a walk and then Dill picked up her second hit of the game with a single up the middle. A pop up and a lineout into a double play ended the inning without UK adding any additional scores.
In a last-ditch comeback effort for the Roos the visitors placed both of their first two batters on the base paths to begin the seventh. The leadoff runner reached thanks to a hit by pitch while the next batter logged a single through the left side. Bell forced a fly out to sophomore Emily Jollyin center before recording her 12th strikeout of the game for the second out. She would then promptly pick up her 13th K of the game with a game-ending strikeout looking.
UAB defeated NC State in the day's first game as the Blazers earned the tournament's No. 1 seed. UAB will meet UMKC at 3:35 p.m. ET, with Kentucky talking on the tournament's No. 2 seed in NC State a half-hour following the conclusion of the first game of bracket play.
For continuing coverage of the 2012 UK Softball Invitational and the 2012 UK softball season, log on to UKathletics.com