Kentucky Drops Series to No. 2 Michigan
May 1, 2010
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – For the second consecutive game the Kentucky softball team led second-ranked Michigan going into the sixth inning, but once again the Wolverines used a five-run sixth inning to capture the series with an 8-4 win, Saturday in Ann Arbor, Mich. In a back-and-forth offensive battle, Kentucky claimed a 4-3 advantage with two runs in the fifth only to see the high-powered offense of Michigan plate five runs in the sixth frame to earn the win.
Kentucky falls to 29-23 overall while Michigan improves to 40-6 overall. Rachel Riley takes the loss on the mound for the Wildcats despite limiting the Wolverines to just three runs through five innings of action. Michigan has still yet to be shutout in a game this season.
Junior Samantha DeMartine paced the UK offense with a 2-for-4 day which included a two-run single that gave the Wildcats the lead in the top of the fifth.
The Wolverines plated a run in the bottom of the third to take the early lead at 1-0. Michigan put its leadoff batter on base with a single up the middle. A sacrifice bunt shifted the runner into scoring position, and then the runner rounded home on a fielding error by the Blue and White.
UK charged back with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth to claim the lead at 2-1. DeMartine led off the inning with a slicing single along the right field line. Pinch runner Macy Allen promptly stole second and then Brittany Cervantes put the runner on third with a sacrifice bunt. Meagan Aull brought the run in with a double along the right field line. Aull would come around to score on an Annie Rowlands’ single into deep left field for the 2-1 advantage.
Michigan answered with two runs of its own in the bottom of the inning to reclaim the advantage at 3-2. The Wolverines singled up the middle and then a two-run home run tallied the two scores.
Kentucky responded once again during its very next at bat in the visitor’s side of the fifth. Molly Johnson opened the inning with a single into right field. Natalie Smith laid down a terrific sacrifice bunt and was able to reach base on a fumble by Michigan’s third baseman. Megan Yocke charted her 11th sacrifice hit of the season to move both runners into scoring position setting the stage for DeMartine. UK’s clean-up batter delivered a two-run single into left-center as the Wildcats took the lead 4-3 through four and a half frames.
In eerily similar fashion to Friday night’s contest, Michigan entered the home half of the sixth inning trailing the Wildcats and the Maize and Blue turned in its best offensive inning of the game to come back and steal the lead from UK. The Wolverines opened the inning with a solo home run which ignited the offense. The home squad registered four more hits in the inning to plate four more runs and claim an 8-4 advantage.
Johnson opened the seventh inning with her second hit of the game by singling up the middle. Smith continued the rally by charting her second hit of the game with a fly ball that dropped in shallow right-center. However, the Wildcats fell in order from there to strand a pair of runners in the top of the seventh.
Riley and the UK defense escaped a jam in the home half of the second. After getting the first batter out with a groundout to third, Michigan placed three consecutive batters on base behind a walk and a pair of singles. Kentucky’s right-hander picked a prime time to strikeout her first batter for the second out, and then Riley forced a fly out to Rowlands in left field to get out the inning unscathed.
Kentucky returns to action with the final regular season series Friday and Saturday, May 8-9 at Ole Miss. The squads will meet for a doubleheader on Saturday and then complete the series with a single game on Sunday. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. ET both days.
Complete coverage of the Wildcat softball team can be found at UKathletics.com.