Cumbess' First-Career No-Hitter Clinches Series Over Georgia
April 14, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky sophomore hurler Lauren Cumbesspitched her first-career no-hitter in a series-clinching 4-0 win over No. 10/11 Georgia on Saturday afternoon in front of 1,123 fans at the UK Softball Complex. With the series-clinching win, UK has taken the series from UGA for just the second time in program history. The only other time the Cats have captured two-of-three from Georgia was in 2000.
"Lauren was just outstanding today," UK head coach Rachel Lawsonsaid. "For her to do what she just did against a great hitting team like Georgia is awesome and I am so happy for her."
The no-hitter was the first no-no thrown against the Bulldogs since Tennessee's All-American Monica Abbott threw one in 2007. The last no-hitter thrown by a UK pitcher was Rachel Riley in 2011, when Riley tossed a perfect game against Austin Peay on April 6, 2011. Cumbess' no-hitter against an SEC opponent was the first for the Wildcats since Chanda Bellblanked Mississippi State on March 25, 2011.
With the win, Kentucky now improves to 21-22 overall and is now an even .500 at 8-8 within the Southeastern Conference. The Wildcats have now won five of its last six games. The Bulldogs suffer just their 10th loss on the season, falling to 33-10 on the year and an 11-7 mark in league action.
With the win, Cumbess improves to 3-4 on the season while UGA counterpart Morgan Montemayor falls to 9-5. Cumbess recorded seven strikeouts, while allowing a mere five batters to reach base throughout the course of the afternoon.
For the second-consecutive game, UK lit up the scoreboard first putting two runs on the board in the opening frame. Senior Brittany Cervantes led off the game with a hit after a 10-pitch at-bat, which was followed by junior Kara Dill reaching on an error. Senior Rachel Riley loaded the bases via a walk. After two non-scoring outs, Cumbess helped her own cause by reaching on another Bulldog error, scoring Dill to put UK out in front 1-0. Sophomore Emily Jolly was hit by a pitch, scoring pinch runner Macy Allento give Kentucky the 2-0 lead after one.
The Cats tacked on two more runs in the second frame, which was highlighted by Cervantes' seventh homer of the season to left field. After a double by Dill and a single by Riley, sophomore Ginny Carrolldoubled to right center to bring around Dill and give the Cats the 4-0 lead after two.
"Anytime you are fighting for your lives to get above .500 and get to the NCAA Tournament, every win is a big win," Lawson said. "To win an SEC series against a quality team like Georgia is a great accomplishment for this team." Cumbess retired the first six batters she faced in the Bulldogs' lineup. A leadoff hit by pitch in the third was the first player to reach base for the visitor's in the contest before Cumbess quickly retired the next three batters she faced.
In the fourth the Bulldogs led off with a walk to get a runner on the base paths. A passed ball would shift the runner to second before Cumbess earned a strikeout and forced a pop-up. An error by the Wildcats allowed runners to reach the corners, until the right-hander escaped the jam with an inning-ending strikeout.
Again, Georgia placed a runner on first base thanks to a two-out walk in the fifth. Cumbess again worked her magic by inducing a foul-fly out to sophomore Ellen Weaverin left field. Cumbess retired all three batters she faced in the sixth.
In the Bulldogs' final at-bat, Cumbess earned a strikeout to open the inning. The Bulldogs would place just their fifth runner aboard with a base on balls. A groundout to Cervantes at third enabled the runner to advance, but placed the second out on the scoreboard. In stylish fashion, Cumbess would complete the no-no effort by striking out the final out.
The three-game series will wrap up on Sunday afternoon at the UK Softball Complex with the first pitch slated for 1:00 p.m. ET as UK will go for its first SEC series sweep of the season.
For continuing coverage of the 2012 UK softball season, log on to UKathletics.com.