LSU Squeaks by Kentucky to Even Series 1-1
March 19, 2011
BATON ROUGE, La. - A bases loaded hit by pitch plated the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth as the 25th-ranked LSU Tigers squeaked out a 2-1 win over No. 21 Kentucky, Saturday in Baton Rouge, La., to even the series at one game apiece. Kentucky stranded six runners throughout the game as the Wildcats offense charted four hits compared with just two for LSU.
Kentucky falls to 19-5 on the year and 5-2 in Southeastern Conference play. The loss snaps a four-game winning streak in league play for the Blue and White. LSU improves to 16-12 on the year and picks up its first win in SEC play to improve to 1-6.
The teams will decide the series with a 2:07 p.m. ET first pitch Sunday, March 20. UK is seeking to capture its first-ever series over LSU in school history.
Four different Wildcats recorded a hit, led by senior Meagan Aull who extended her hitting streak to eight games which matches a career-long run. Junior pitcher Chanda Bell takes the loss on the mound despite yielding just two hits on the afternoon and striking out nine. Bell falls to 7-3 on the year.
LSU was able to get two runners aboard in the bottom of the second by way of a walk and a hit by pitch. Bell escaped the jam with her fifth strikeout of the early going and a lineout to senior Annie Rowlands in left.
Sophomore Alice O'Brien broke open the no-hitter with a leadoff single through the right side of the infield in the top of the third. Rowlands executed a sacrifice bunt to advance the runner into scoring position, but UK would leave her stranded following a strikeout and a fly out to center.
The Tigers struck for a run in the home half of the third. Following a walk, Ashley Langoni doubled into right-center to plate the run for a 1-0 edge.
Kentucky tied the score at one apiece in the top of the fourth. Aull extended her team-best hitting streak to eight games with a one-out single up the middle. The speedy centerfielder, however, was ruled out during a steal attempt for leaving early to place two outs on the scoreboard. Junior Brittany Cervantes drew a walk and classmate Rachel Riley followed suit. Freshman Lauren Cumbess singled into left field to load the bases. With two outs, O'Brien drew an RBI-walk to tally the run. The inning came to a close with a strikeout as UK left three runners aboard.
UK put another runner on base in the top of the fifth, but once again the Wildcats would leave the runner stranded. Sophomore Kara Dill recorded a two-out single through the left side and the moved to second on a stolen base to shift into scoring position. The inning would come to a close on a fly-out to right field.
The home team reclaimed the lead with a run in the bottom of the fifth. The Tigers led off the stanza with an infield single. Following a pair of fly outs, LSU loaded the bases with consecutive walks. The run walked home when Tammy Wray was plucked with an inside pitch.
Cervantes opened the frame with a leadoff walk, but UK would suffer three consecutive ground outs to end the stanza with another runner left on base.
Bell escaped a jam in the bottom of the sixth to keep the Wildcats within striking distance. Following an inning-opening hit by pitch and a sacrifice bunt, Bell forced a groundout. The Tigers then put another runner aboard thanks to a walk, but Bell quickly dispelled of the threat with her ninth strikeout of the game.
Complete coverage of the UK softball team can be found at UKathletics.com all season long.