Riley Throws Perfect Game, Drives in Six
April 6, 2011
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. -- One perfect game was not enough for the No. 18 Kentucky softball team, as junior Rachel Riley turned in the performance of her career with a flawless pitching effort and a perfect 4-for-4 day at the dish in leading UK to a 13-0 win in the second game of a doubleheader with Austin Peay. Riley posted a home run, a double and a single and brought in a school record-tying six RBI to pace the Blue and White.
Junior Chanda Bell tossed the first perfect game in UK history in the opener of the doubleheader, and Riley matched the feat while also notching her first career no-hitter effort.
Kentucky improves to 27-7 overall on the year behind Riley's masterful performance. Senior Meagan Aull was also a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate and hit her fifth homer in the last six games for the Blue and White.
For the third time in UK's last four games Aull opened the game with a leadoff homer this time finding a spot in left field to tally the game's first run.
Following consecutive groundouts, junior Brittany Cervantes and senior Samantha DeMartine drew back-to-back walks setting the stage for Riley. UK's starting pitcher connected with her third home run of the season when she lofted the ball over the left field fence for a 4-0 UK advantage in the first.
After Riley sat the top of Austin Peay's lineup down in order, Aull opened the second stanza just narrowly missing out on her second homer of the game when she nicked the top part of the wall in right-center for a stand-up double. During senior Megan Yocke's at-bat a misplay by the Lady Govs' third baseman allowed the speedy Aull to round home to increase the margin to 5-0.
Following consecutive flawless innings from Riley, Aull opened the fourth with a single through the left side to jump start a seven-run inning to run the score to 12-0. Yocke would bring her home with a single into center. Sophomore Kara Dill then put runners on first and second with a successful infield bunt. The bases became loaded when Cervantes drew her second walk of the game.
After a pop-up in the infield, Riley drilled a bases-clearing double along the left field line to run her total of RBI up to six for the game. Sophomore Alice O'Brien reached on a fielding error by the second baseman to place runners on the corners. Freshman Lauren Cumbess then cleared the bases with a double into right-center to keep the rally going.
Freshman Emily Gaines drew a walk to place runners on first and second and Cumbess would round home on an infield single by Aull.
Riley's gem continued into the bottom of the fourth when the junior right-hander forced a pair of groundouts and a foul-out to Cervantes at third.
Cervantes became just the third player in school history to hit 30 or more career home runs with her career-best 11th of the season over the left field wall to begin the top of the fifth. With the third home run of the game combined for the Blue and White, the team has now matched its entire out-put for long balls in a season as its 42 from a season-ago.
With a perfect game on the line, Riley was masterful in getting the final three outs of the game. She forced a grounder to Cervantes at third and then picked up her final two strikeouts of the game to complete the feat.
Kentucky returns to action for an Southeastern Conference showdown at No. 2 Georgia beginning Friday night at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Complete coverage of the UK softball team can be found at UKathletics.com all season long.