Offense Stalls as Georgia Claims Series Opener
April 8, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. - The 18th-ranked Kentucky softball team had its eight-game winning streak snapped at the hands of No. 2 Georgia in a 6-1 loss Friday night in Athens, Ga. UK's offense was held in check for the first time in nearly a month with the Blue and White managing just one run on two hits in the contest.
The teams will resume its three game series Saturday for a 2 p.m. ET first pitch. The game will air live on ESPNU with Cara Capuano and Michele Smith calling the action.
UK falls to 27-8 on the season and 11-4 in Southeastern Conference action. Georgia improves to 33-6 overall and 9-5 in league play. In addition to the eight-game winning streak snapping, UK's six-straight victories in league play came to an end.
Kentucky converted on a Georgia miscue in the opening inning to grab an early 1-0 lead. Senior Meagan Aull led off the game by reaching first on a fielding error by Georgia shortstop Laura Trout. An illegal pitch shifted Aull into scoring position and following consecutive outs junior Brittany Cervantes plated her team-best 36th RBI of the year with a single into the left-center gap.
Georgia would then go on to score six unanswered runs in the contest. It marked the first time this season the Wildcats struck first and relinquished its lead. Kentucky had previously won 20 games when being the first team to tally a score.
The home team responded immediately to Kentucky's run with a pair of ticks in the bottom of the first to capture a 2-1 lead it would never yield. Taylor Schlopy drew a leadoff walk and Alisa Goler charted her 14th homer of the season over the right field wall for the only two tallies the second-ranked Bulldogs would need.
UK narrowly missed out on an opportunity in the top half of the third. Sophomore Kara Dill recorded a two-out infield single to put a runner aboard. Cervantes then got a hold of a pitch and sent it to dead-center where Schlopy hauled in the catch with her back against the 220-foot wall.
The Bulldogs increased its lead to a 4-1 advantage following the second home run of the game by Goler to lead off the bottom of the third and a two-out RBI-double from the bat of Kristyn Sandberg.
Georgia tacked on two more runs in the home half of the fourth with Schlopy and Brianna Hesson recording a pair of doubles in the frame to earn a 6-1 lead.
The home squad had an opportunity in the bottom of the fifth, but relief pitcher Lauren Cumbess worked her way out of a jam by forcing three consecutive outs to leave runners on the corners and prevent Georgia from increasing its advantage.
Kentucky had a prime opportunity in the sixth when senior Megan Yocke and Cervantes both reached base on walks. The duo shifted into scoring position on a passed ball, but the inning came to a close with an inning-ending strikeout leaving the base runners stranded.
Complete coverage of the UK softball team can be found at UKathletics.com all season long.