Arkansas Powers Past UK for Series Win

March 22, 2009

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.  –  Despite Molly Johnson's 4-for-4 day at the plate the Kentucky softball team fell just short of Arkansas in an offensive dual, 4-3, Sunday afternoon. The two teams combined for 10 hits on the day which included four home runs.

Johnson was perfect at the plate and led off the game with a solo home run, her 17 th of her career and fourth of the season. But, UK just could not develop enough offense to overcome three home runs by the Razorbacks in the series deciding contest.

Kentucky drops to 18-8 overall and 5-4 in the grueling Southeastern Conference. Arkansas improves to 18-10 and 7-1 in the SEC.

The third game of the series began just like every other one of the series with Kentucky scratching the scoreboard for a run in the top of the first. Johnson took the first two pitches for a 1-and-1 count before drilling a ball over the left center fence into the Bogle Park parking lot and a 1-0 UK lead.

Kentucky added a run in the visitor's side of the third behind a one-out single from Johnson that split the left side of the defense. Sophomore Meagan Aull pushed her ahead two bases with a groundout to second and then sophomore Megan Yocke smacked an RBI double into left-center giving the Wildcats a 2-0 advantage.

Arkansas plated three runs in the bottom of the third frame behind a two-out home run to take over the lead 3-2.

The Wildcats answered with a run in the top of the fourth stanza. In the lead off slot, Smith reached on an error by Arkansas' first baseman. She was able to move to second during the play when the throw rolled near the UK dugout. Arkansas pitcher Miranda Dixon served up a wild pitch to allow Smith to scoot over to third and sophomore Samantha DeMartine brought her home with a sacrifice fly into deep left field to knot the score at three a piece.

UK had a chance to add a run in the fifth when Johnson split the left side for her third hit of the day. After a sacrifice bunt to advance the runner, Yocke earned an infield single to put runners on the corners. Cervantes sent a chopper to the pitcher and Arkansas got the sure out at first, but Johnson took off from third in attempt to score during the exchange. In a play at the plate, Johnson tried to miss the tag and smack her hand against the back end of the plate but she was called out ending the inning without Kentucky adding any runs.

Arkansas plated a solo two-out home run to reclaim the lead by one at 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth.

With Kentucky down by one run and two outs already against them, Johnson found a gap up the middle for her fourth hit of the day to give UK a little life. The inning ended however with an unassisted groundout to the first baseman.

Freshman pitcher Chanda Bell takes the loss in the circle to fall to 12-4 on the season, despite adding seven more strikeouts to her season total.

The Blue and White is back in action Tuesday when they host Kent State for a doubleheader at the UK Softball Complex. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. ET.  Live stats are available at UK's Official Homepage. Additionally, a complete recap of the game will be available at UKathletics.com.