Wildcats Rally From Seven Back to Down Cardinals
April 20, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. - After yielding seven runs in the opening two frames, the 16th-ranked Kentucky softball team roared back to capture a 14-8 victory over Louisville Wednesday at the UK Softball Complex. Junior Rachel Riley claimed the win in the circle for the Cats and was a perfect 4-for-4 day at the plate to lead the charge.
Sophomore Kara Dill turned in a 3-for-4 day at the plate with a three-run triple that tied the game in the third inning. Freshman Aubrey Lamar connected with a two-run home run for the first round tripper of her career in the sixth to lead the way offensively for the Blue and White.
The Wildcats improve to 33-10 overall on the season with the win, while Louisville drops to 32-14 on the year with the loss. UK's win in today's contest between the two instate rivals snaps an eight-game losing streak to the Cardinals dating back to 2007.
"It's a big monkey off our back," Lawson said. "This senior class, they've accomplished so much, and I know this was on their bucket list of things to get done before they graduated. To be able to do this in their last opportunity was cool for them."
Kentucky's seven-run deficit was the largest they have overcame this season. UK previously earned a three-run comeback in an upset of then-ranked No. 7 Tennessee in early March.
The story was the incredible dual performance from Riley. She was exceptional working 5.2 innings of relief to earn her 10th victory of the season. The junior from Bowling Green, Ky., yielded just one run while giving up three hits and striking out four. At the plate, she was a perfect 4-for-4 with a homer run and three RBI.
Louisville struck for six-opening inning runs to capture the early advantage. It marked the largest-scoring inning surrendered by the Wildcats this season. The Cardinals added to its advantage with a tally in the top of the second to take a commanding 7-0 lead.
It would be all UK from that point on; however, as UK struck for 14 unanswered runs before Louisville posted one run in the top of the seventh for the final score of the game.
After falling behind by seven, the Wildcats scorched the Cardinals for eight runs in the third to take over the lead at 8-7.
Dill ignited the rally with a leadoff single to open the home half of the third. Senior Meagan Aull sent a chopper to second and the play was muffed allowing two base runners aboard. Junior Brittany Cervantes drew a walk to load the bases for Riley. UK's junior brought in the first run for the Blue and White with a sacrifice fly to deep left field.
Senior Samantha DeMartine's slow-runner to the shortstop was bobbled, loading the bases once again. Sophomore Alice O'Brien's single up the middle plated Aull from third. The rally continued with a walk from Lamar to push the score to 7-3.
Following the second out of the inning, Yocke drew the second RBI-walk of the game to plate stanza's fourth run setting the stage for Dill's second at-bat of the frame. The sophomore from LaGrange, Ohio, registered the first triple of her career by finding a gap in left-center to clear the bases and knot the score at seven. Aull's single splitting the right-side plated the inning's final run to give UK the lead for the first time in the game, and one it would never relinquish.
From there, UK would score at least one run in every inning to continue to increase its advantage.
In the fourth, Riley smacked a one-out solo home run to left-center for the seventh round tripper of the season for the winning pitcher.
Kentucky plated an additional run in the fifth to grab a 10-7 edge. Dill once again began the rally by reaching base by way of a walk. A fielder's choice captured the lead runner at second, but the heads-up base running by Aull enabled the speedy center fielder to swipe second and shift into scoring position. A wild pitch by Louisville's right-hander scooted Aull to third, where she would come home on Riley's RBI single into left field.
Lamar led the way in the sixth with her first career bomb. O'Brien opened the inning with a walk. Lamar quickly brought her home with the homer to right-center. Yocke singled back to the pitcher and Dill posted her third hit of the game to place two runners aboard. Following a grounder back to the pitcher that advanced both runners, Cervantes plated the game's final two scores with a single into left field.
The Wildcats return to Southeastern Conference action Friday to begin a three-game series at South Carolina. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. ET.
Complete coverage of the UK softball team can be found at UKathletics.com all season long.