No. 3 Florida Escapes With 5-3 Win
April 17, 2010
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Kentucky put up a valiant effort in an upset bid of No. 3 Florida, but the Gators were able to score five runs on two home runs including a first-inning grand slam to take a 5-3 victory in the opening game of the series. Junior Samantha DeMartine was 2-for-2 at the dish with two RBI to lead the Wildcats.
UK drops to 26-17 overall on the season and 10-10 in Southeastern Conference action. Third-ranked Florida improves to 32-4 overall and 13-2 in the SEC.
Kentucky's offense struck first in the visitor's side of the first. Senior Natalie Smith was the first base runner on the paths after drawing a one-out walk. Junior Megan Yocke then took a 0-1 pitch straight up the gut to place two runners on base setting the stage for the first run. DeMartine brought in Smith from second with an RBI single into the left-center gap for the game's first tally. With runners on the corners, Meagan Aull drilled a chopper past the shortstop scoring Yocke from third for the 2-0 advantage.
Florida's Aja Paculba walked to place the lead off runner aboard in the bottom of the first. The Gators then doubled into right-center allowing two runners in scoring position with no outs. Kentucky opted to intentionally walk Player of the Year candidate Francesca Enea with runners in scoring position to load the bags. Sophomore pitcher Chanda Bell got her first two outs with consecutive pop-ups to shortstop Molly Johnson. Megan Bush gave the home team a 4-2 lead with a grand slam that nicked the left-field foul pole just bouncing in favor for the Gators. Bell escaped the inning without any further damage with a foul-out to Destinee Mordecai in right field.
DeMartine registered her second hit of the game with a single through the left side in the top of the third. She was able to shift to second on a called illegal pitch by the Gator's right-hander. The inning ended with a deep fly ball into centerfield stranding a runner.
Florida added to its advantage with a solo home run from Kelsey Horton in the bottom of the fourth for a 5-2 lead.
In a comeback effort the Wildcats added a run in the top of the sixth to make the final margin of 5-3. Yocke led off with a triple that smacked off of the left field wall. DeMartine brought the run in with a well-executed sacrifice fly into deep right field. Sophomore Brittany Cervantes doubled into right-center and Aull followed with a single into center to place runners on the corners. Mordecai reached on a catcher's interference to load the bases, but Florida was able to come up with a traditional double play to end the inning preventing the Wildcats from scoring another run.
Complete coverage of the Wildcat softball team can be found at UKathletics.com.