Bell's No-Hitter Lifts UK to Sweep of WKU
March 26, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Freshman Chanda Bell, fresh off breaking Kentucky's single season record for strikeouts on Tuesday, became the only Kentucky softball pitcher to throw a no-hitter when she worked seven scoreless innings for a 1-0 win over Western Kentucky. In her complete game, Bell struck out five and walked one in the first game of a doubleheader sweep. UK won game two 12-9 in an error-plagued affair.
Prior to Bell’s incredible feat today, she became the first pitcher since Megan Cooper to throw a one-hitter. Bell allowed just a single hit in a five innings of work in the series sweep victory over Auburn. Cooper recorded her one-hitter in March of 2005 against Youngstown State. She improves to 15-4 on the season with her complete game shutout.
In addition to her no-hitter, Bell would pick up her first career save when she threw two scoreless innings in relief work in the game two victory.
The Wildcats improve to 22-8 with the doubleheader sweep today against their state counterparts. Western Kentucky drops to 17-8 on the season with the two losses.
Sophomore Annie Rowlands registered the first hit of the game when she doubled down the left field line in the top half of the third. Junior Destinee Mordecai advanced the runner to third when she grounded out the shortstop, but the inning ended on a groundout to the pitcher without UK able to push Rowlands across home plate.
The Blue and White struck for the winning run in the top of the fourth when sophomore Meagan Aull led off with a single up the middle. She then promptly stole second for her career-best 16th stolen base of the season. Freshman Brittany Cervantes drove a hard grounder in between the gap on the left side to reach base and advance Aull to third. Junior Natalie Smith delivered the game-winning sacrifice fly with a deep fly ball to right field and Aull tagged up before tapping home giving UK its winning run.
Game one was a pitching duel between Bell and reigning Sun Belt Pitcher of the Week in Ryan Rogge. Rogge threw a complete game yielding just three hits and striking out five in the loss.
Junior pitcher Amber Matousek picked up her seventh win of the season when she went the distance in game two.
The second game featured an error-plagued event by both defenses as the teams combined for 11 miscues on the day which resulted in the high-scoring affair.
To open the second game, Johnson blasted a solo home run to lead off the game giving the Blue and White the early edge of an offensive showdown. Western Kentucky plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame to take its first lead of the series at 2-1.
Kentucky fired back with five runs in the top of the second behind a wild inning that featured just two hits and two Hilltopper errors. Sophomore Samantha DeMartine walked to start the rally and Rowlands earned a base on a bunt single. Freshman Rachel Riley attempted a sacrifice bunt that was carelessly picked up by WKU’s third baseman loading the bases for the Wildcats.
Junior Destine Mordecai drew an RBI walk for the first score of the game, and then two runs came home on Johnson’s pop-up that was muffed by the second baseman. Aull drove in a pair of runs on a single up the middle and she would round home on sophomore Megan Yocke’s groundout to the shortstop for the 6-2 visitor lead through an inning and a half.
UK increased its lead with four runs in the third for a 10-2 advantage. Smith singled into right field to start the inning. DeMartine advanced the runner and reached base on a fielder’s choice. Rowlands drew a walk and then Riley grounded to the shortstop but the catcher mishandled the catch on the force out at home allowing the first run to score. Johnson singled to bring in two runs, and Aull followed with an RBI double to complete the scoring.
Western Kentucky plated four runs of its own in the bottom of the third stanza to make the score 10-6.
The Blue and White added a run in the top of the fourth when Rowlands came around to score on a single by Mordecai. Western scored twice in the bottom of the inning to stay within striking distance at 11-8. The Hilltoppers added are run in the bottom of the fifth to bring the score to 11-9.
Kentucky added an insurance run in the top of the seventh when Johnson came home on a senior Katie McCarty sacrifice fly for the final 12-9 margin.
Kentucky is back in action with a three game series at No. 7 Georgia this weekend. UK and the Bulldogs will play a doubleheader on Saturday and round out the series with a single game on Sunday. Game time Saturday is set for 2 p.m. ET, and on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.