Bell Throws One-Hitter to Complete Series Sweep

April 11, 2010

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Sophomore right-hander Chanda Bell was nearly flawless in the circle tossing a one-hitter and fanning 10 batters while guiding Kentucky to a series sweep of South Carolina with an 8-0 victory in five innings on Sunday afternoon. Bell posted her 14th game of the season with 10 or more strikeouts and earned her fourth shutout of the year in front of a record-crowd of 582 fans and UK's first appearance on ESPNU in school history.

With the win the Wildcats improve to 25-16 overall and 10-9 in Southeastern Conference action. South Carolina drops to 10-30 overall and 0-19 in conference play.

Bell improves to 14-8 on the season in her 22nd start of the year. She has now added to her single-season strikeout record by running her total to 228 on the year. Last season, as a freshman, she posted the single-season record with 216 for the year.

"Chanda has really grown up in the last two-to-three weeks and is really turning into a big-time pitcher," UK coach Rachel Lawson said. "She gets us so many crucial outs with the way she pitches, and she is just really improving right in front of our eyes. It is incredible to watch."

UK's offense was spectacular registering 10 hits with seven different batters registering at least one hit. Senior Natalie Smith was a perfect 3-for-3 at the dish with two doubles, two RBI and a run scored. Senior Destinee Mordecai and junior Meagan Aull each blasted a solo home run, and senior Molly Johnson was 1-for-2 with two runs and a walk. With two more runs on the year, Johnson has now scored 148 runs in her career to take over another offensive school record. She already held school records in home runs, batting average, slugging percentage and doubles.

The only base runners that reached under Bell's watch saw the base paths in the top of the first inning. After registering a pair of outs, Laura Mendes found a gap in shallow right-center to record the Gamecocks' only hit of the afternoon. A UK throwing miscue on a routine groundout enabled the visitors to place runners in scoring position. Bell quickly quelled the threat with her second strikeout of the game. The sophomore's remaining four innings of action would be perfect as she did not allow a single runner to reach on a hit, error or walk.

Kentucky jumped out to an early 2-0 advantage with a pair of runs in the home half of the first stanza. Johnson opened the game by reaching on a walk. Smith's single through the left side and then heads-up base running allowed both seniors to move into scoring position. Megan Yocke earned the second base on balls to load the bags. Samantha DeMartine delivered a two-run single through the left side and both Johnson and Smith would round home for the game's first tallies.

UK increased its lead to 4-0 through two innings with two more runs in the bottom of the second. Mordecai connected on her third home run of the season over the left field fence for a one-out solo shot. After a pop-up to the catcher, the Wildcats rallied for another score with two outs. Johnson singled up the middle and would come home to score when Smith found a gap in right-center for a stand-up double.

In the home half of the third, Kentucky increased its lead to 7-0 with three runs in the third frame. Aull led off the stanza with her second round tripper of the year when it dipped over the right-field wall. Freshman Kara Dill singled to the shortstop and was able to move to second when the throw landed in the visitor's dugout. Annie Rowlands brought Dill home with a screaming single along the left field line. Smith's second double of the game would score Rowlands from second after the left fielder shifted to second on her fifth stolen base of the season.

Aull would score the game's last run and make the final margin of 8-0 with a run in the bottom of the fourth. After a pair of outs to begin the stanza, Aull reached on a walk. Rachel Riley found her way on the base paths when South Carolina's shortstop muffed the grounder. Mordecai's second extra-base hit of the game brought in Aull from second when the senior found a hole in right-center for the game's third double.

Kentucky returns to action on Wed., April 14 at the UK Softball Complex. The Wildcats will host in-state opponent Western Kentucky for a single game beginning at 6 p.m. ET. Following play between the two squads, the UK Athletics staff will participate in a Home Run Derby with Rachel Lawson tossing pitches to the batters.

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