Miscues Doom Wildcats in Loss to South Carolina
April 24, 2011
COLUMBIA, S.C. - A two-out RBI single into right-center enabled South Carolina to walk-off with a 4-3 win in extra innings over No. 16 Kentucky to avoid a sweep in the final game of the series. It marked the first extra-inning loss of the season for the Blue and White, and the first time UK dropped a contest this season when hitting a home run.
With the loss, Kentucky falls to 35-11 on the year and 13-7 in Southeastern Conference action. South Carolina keeps its hopes alive for a bid into the SEC Tournament with a 25-24 overall record and a 6-16 mark in SEC play.
Kentucky was plagued with a pair of fielding miscues that enabled one Gamecock run to score and a base-running error in the top of the eighth doomed a comeback chance.
Senior Megan Yocke was 2-for-3 on the day with a two-run homer in the third to mark the 10th home run of the year for UK's senior catcher. Senior Meagan Aull struck for a pair of doubles in the outing. Senior Samantha DeMartine was 2-for-3 which included her third home run of the series and to push her total to 10 for the year and a team-high seven in SEC action.
Freshman Lauren Cumbess takes the loss on the mound in a career-long outing of eight innings tossed. Cumbess yielded seven hits and just three earned runs in the ball game.
After UK knotted the score in the sixth inning, Kentucky's defense came through to force extra innings to have a chance to complete the comeback effort. After failing to score despite putting two runners on base with no outs in the eight, South Carolina answered with two outs in the home half of the frame for the walk-off win.
Molly Brossart singled through the left side with one out to place a runner on base. Cumbess sat the second out down behind a strikeout looking, when starting pitcher Julie Sarratt helped her own cause with the game-winning RBI hit into the right-center gap.
South Carolina jumped out to a 1-0 advantage behind a double and an infield single to grab the first advantage of the series.
Freshman Emily Jolly opened the top of the third with a single through the left side gap. Yocke then connected with her 10th long ball of the year to lift UK to a 2-1 edge. Yocke's smack dipped over the left-center fence to run her career season-high to double-figures.
The home team struck back for a run in the home half of the third to knot the score at two apiece. The Gamecocks benefited from a Wildcat throwing error to make the run unearned.
South Carolina reclaimed the lead with a solo home run by Evan Childs in the fourth to grab a 3-2 edge.
DeMartine fended off an eight-pitch at-bat and drilled her third round tripper of the series to tie the score at three with two outs in the top of the sixth. With the senior from Marlboro, N.Y.'s homer it marks the first time in school history three different UK players have totaled 10 or more long balls in a single year.
Cumbess and the Wildcat defense escaped a jam in the bottom of the sixth to preserve the tie score. South Carolina's two leadoff batters reached base, but Cumbess forced three consecutive outs to end the inning unscathed. Junior Brittany Cervantes and Dill both made spectacular catches to end the stanza.
UK missed out on a terrific opportunity in the top of the eighth. Aull doubled for the second time in the game to open the stanza. Cervantes was then intentionally walked to place two aboard with no outs. A wild pitch scooted both runners into scoring position. Junior Rachel Riley sent a screamer into right field and Aull tagged up to attempt to take the lead. South Carolina's Hannah Milks made an outstanding throw home to get the lead runner. DeMartine was then intentionally walked to place two more runners on base, but the inning would end on a fly out to right without UK pushing across a run.
Kentucky returns home to host Ole Miss in the final SEC doubleheader of the season on Wednesday, April 27. First pitch of the opening game is set for 4 p.m. ET.
Complete coverage of the UK softball team can be found at UKathletics.com all season long.