Errors Doom Wildcats in Series Finale
May 3, 2009
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Four costly errors doomed the Kentucky softball team as seven of South Carolina's nine runs were unearned in a 9-2 win over the Blue and White Sunday.
Having already clinched a spot in the SEC tournament last weekend, the Wildcats were among a number of teams playing for seeding this weekend. UK is guaranteed the sixth seed and will face a first-round match-up Thursday against third-seeded Georgia at a time to be determined.
UK committed two errors in a six-run first inning and another in a three-run sixth inning as South Carolina capitalized on the Wildcat miscues. Kentucky drops to 31-20 on the season and 13-14 in the Southeastern Conference. South Carolina concludes its season with a win and improves its record to 21-24 and 6-21 in the SEC.
Junior Molly Johnson led the way offensively for Kentucky with a pair of hits including a triple and an RBI single on the day.
In the top of the first Kentucky was able to get a pair of base runners on but could not push across a run. Sophomore Meagan Aull drew a walk and freshman Brittany Cervantes singled through the left side, however the inning ended on a groundout to second base.
South Carolina found a burst of offense on its Senior Day in the bottom of the first. The home squad plated six runs on four hits and two costly errors by the Wildcats to take a commanding 6-0 lead.
Junior Natalie Smith singled up the middle with two outs in the top of the fourth and then promptly stole second to move into scoring position. However, the inning once again ended without Kentucky able to scratch the scoreboard.
The Gamecocks put two runners on base behind a fluke infield base hit and another UK error in the fourth. But, the Wildcats rallied behind freshman pitcher Rachel Riley and got three straight outs to keep South Carolina from adding to its lead.
Kentucky scored in the top of the fifth to dent the Gamecocks' lead to just 6-1. Sophomore Samantha DeMartine singled along the left field line to get things going for the UK offense. Sophomore Annie Rowlands advanced pinch runner Macy Allen to second on a groundout to the first baseman. Johnson delivered an RBI single into centerfield for the run.
UK notched another run in the top of the sixth behind two hits. Sophomore Megan Yocke opened the inning with a double along the left field line and Smith brought her home with a single up the middle. DeMartine had a tremendous at-bat taking the count to 3-2 and fending off a number of pitches. She lofted ball into right-center, but Carolina's Kristen Stubblefield laid-out and robbed the Wildcats of another run with the score stuck at 6-2 in favor of the home team.
Riley held the Gamecocks scoreless through her first four innings before yielding three unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth. Another costly Kentucky miscue kept the inning alive and the home squad capitalized on the mistake to make the score 9-2.
Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information about the UK softball team.