Bell Tosses No-Hitter in Series Win Over Bulldogs
March 26, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Junior pitcher Chanda Bell earned the third no-hitter of her career and the second this season in leading the No. 23/24 Kentucky softball team to an 8-0 (5) win over Mississippi State Saturday. The victory over the Bulldogs marks the third consecutive season that UK has captured the series between the two teams.
Bell just missed out on a perfect game as the lone Bulldog base runner reached by way of a muffed fielding error by the Wildcat defense in the top of the fifth inning. UK's righty worked 5.0 innings and struck out 11 marking the 29th time in her career she has notched 10 or more strikeouts in a single outing. Today's no-hitter marks the first UK no-no tossed in Southeastern Conference action in school history.
Junior Macy Allen led the bats with a perfect 2-for-2 day at the dish to claim the first multiple hit performance of her career. Sophomore Kara Dill also recorded a pair of hits to lead five UK players with at least one hit. UK scored eight runs on seven hits in the contest.
"Chanda was outstanding today and it was nice to see her return to form," UK coach Rachel Lawson said. "She was throwing hard and all of her pitches were moving. I thought it was awesome for her to come out and be able to do that. I was really proud of our offense for coming out in the first inning and really taking care of business, so it was a total team effort today."
Kentucky improves to 21-7 overall on the season and 7-3 in SEC action. Mississippi State falls to 15-16 overall and 5-4 in league play. Bell earns the win on the mound and pushes her record to 8-4 on the year.
The Wildcats wasted little time offensively as the Blue and White plated six runs on five hits in the opening frame of action. Senior Megan Yocke led off by drawing her 100th career walk. Dill then found a gap through the right side and the base runners were able to shift into scoring position with some heads-up base running. Yocke would tap home on a wild pitch for the game's winning score.
Senior Meagan Aull sliced a ball up the middle to plate Dill and keep the rally going. Junior Brittany Cervantes put runners on first and second by drawing a walk and freshman Lauren Cumbess doubled into right-center to clear the bases.
Following a foul out to first base, freshman Emily Jolly brought in a score with a punch-double into the right-center gap. Allen would bring in the final run of the stanza with a single to second base for the 6-0 advantage.
Mississippi State brought in little-used pitcher Lindsey Dunlap who quieted the Wildcat bats for two innings, but UK would not stay down for long.
Allen began the two-run rally in the fourth with a single through the left side. Yocke then drew her second walk of the game to place runners on first and second. Dill singled with a bunt and the runners would all advance two bases thanks to a bad throw by Mississippi State's third baseman for the final two runs of the game.
Kentucky has now captured the series from Mississippi State in three successive seasons for the first time in school history. It is the second longest such streak in school history as UK has captured the series in four straight seasons over Ole Miss.
The squads will wrap-up its three game set with the final game of the series set for Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
Complete coverage of the UK softball team can be found at UKathletics.com all season long.