Cervantes, Dill with Multi-Hit Days, Georgia Takes Series
April 9, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. - Junior Rachel Riley plated a pair of scores while Brittany Cervantes and Kara Dill each notched multiple-hit performances, but the No. 18 Kentucky softball team dropped its second conference series of the season as No. 2 Georgia won its second straight over UK today by an 8-3 score.
Kentucky falls to 27-9 on the season and 11-5 in Southeastern Conference play. Georgia improves to 34-6 and 10-5 in league action.
The squads will return to the field Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET to complete the three-game series. Kentucky will look to avoid being swept in a conference series for the first time this season.
UK's offense totaled 10 hits with eight different players recording at least a single in the game. It marked the first loss of the season for the Blue and White when the offense registers 10 or more hits. Kentucky had previously owned an 11-0 mark and 5-0 record in league play when totaling double-digit hits.
The Wildcats just could not string enough hits together to match Georgia's high-octane offensive performance. Cervantes led the way with a 2-for-4 outing an RBI and a run scored. Dill posted a 2-for-4 outing with a pair of singles and a run scored. Senior Meagan Aull had a double and Riley was 1-for-3 with the pair of RBI.
For the second consecutive game the Wildcats struck first in the contest. UK plated two scores in the top half of the first to take an early 2-0 advantage. Senior Megan Yocke led off the game by drawing a walk. Dill extended her season-long hitting streak to five games with a single through the left side to place two runners aboard. Cervantes then delivered an RBI-single for the second straight day with a ball into left field and Yocke was able to trot home.
Aull shifted both runners into scoring position with a grounder back to third base and Riley sent a chopper to second base to plate Dill for the two-run edge.
Georgia fired back with four runs in the bottom of the inning to capture a 4-2 edge. The Bulldogs benefited from two walks and a UK fielding error in the stanza.
UK could not convert on a prime opportunity in the top of the second. Following an inning-opening ground-out, freshman Emily Jolly and junior Macy Allen charted consecutive singles to reach base. Yocke shifted the runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, but UK would leave the runners on board with a strikeout to end the inning.
The home team increased its lead to 6-2 through three innings of action following a two-run homer by Kristyn Sandberg.
Kentucky bridged the gap to three runs with a score in the top of the sixth. Cervantes opened the frame with a single into left-center to mark the 10th multiple-hit game of the season for UK's third baseman. Aull doubled into deep center to place both runners into scoring position. Riley delivered an RBI-single into shallow center to make the score 6-3, but Kentucky suffered three consecutive outs with runners on the corners to end the inning.
Georgia responded quickly in the bottom half of the sixth. An Ashley Razey two-run homer to make the final 8-3 margin.
In a last-ditch comeback effort, Yocke reached with a one-out single into left field during the visitor's side of the seventh. Dill kept the rally alive with her second single of the day finding a gap in left field, but the game ended with consecutive outs and both runners left aboard.
Complete coverage of the UK softball team can be found at UKathletics.com all season long.