Seniors Power Wildcats Past Auburn
May 7, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Led by offensive stalwarts Meagan Aull, Samantha DeMartine and Megan Yocke the 16th-ranked Kentucky softball team downed No. 23 Auburn 10-2 in six innings of action Saturday at the UK Softball Complex. The trio combined for an 8-for-10 day at the dish with six runs scored and eight RBI.
The win for the Wildcats matches the UK program record for wins in a season with a 36-12 overall mark and a 14-8 clip in Southeastern Conference action. The 2000 squad owns the 11-year record with 36 wins overall and 15 league victories. Today's win sets up an all-important rubber-match between the two teams on Senior Day Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. Aull, DeMartine and Yocke as well as classmate Annie Rowlands will be honored prior to first pitch.
"The top of our order really did a nice job today," UK coach Rachel Lawson said. "Meagan's (Aull) home run really broke the game open for us which was really special for her because she's had such a great season for us."
Aull went a perfect 4-for-4 with a career-high five RBI day including a three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth frame. Yocke posted a 2-for-3 day which also included a walk. She tapped home three times in the outing to aid the UK cause. DeMartine struck for a 2-for-3 day with three runs driven in on the afternoon.
Junior Chanda Bell captures the win in the circle for the Blue and White. Bell went the distance working 6.0 innings and striking out seven on the afternoon. She improves to 13-5 on the season and 6-2 against league foes.
Kentucky struck first with a pair of tallies in the home half of the first. Yocke opened the stanza by drilling a single up the middle. Sophomore Kara Dill brought in the game's first run with her second triple of the season along the left field line to plate Yocke. Aull then brought in her first run of the game with a single that found a hole in shallow right field for the early 2-0 advantage.
A leadoff home run by Auburn's Kyndall White in the top of the third bridged the gap to just one run with UK out in front 2-1.
The Tigers knotted the score with its second inning-opening long ball of the game this time from the bat of Katie Colton in the third to make the score two apiece.
Kentucky quickly fired back with a pair of strikes in the bottom of the third to reclaim the lead and go ahead 4-2, a lead it would never relinquish. Yocke once again jump-started the rally with a double along the left field line. Dill advanced the runner with a chopper to first base. Aull's single into right brought in Yocke for the frame's first run. Junior Rachel Riley found a hole in left-center with two-outs to place runners on the corners setting the stage for DeMartine. UK's first baseman sent a liner along the right-field line to bring in Aull and give UK a two-run edge once again.
UK's defense would hold Auburn to just two more singles the rest of the way as Bell began to find a nice rhythm striking out three of her final six batters faced.
Aull's three run bomb in the fourth increased the Wildcat lead to 7-2. Following an inning-opening strikeout, freshman Emily Jolly earned a two-bagger to left field. Yocke then drew a walk to place two runners aboard. A pop-up to short turned in the second out of the frame. However, Aull quickly turned on a pitch and drove a ball over the right-field wall for her ninth round tripper of the season.
Kentucky completed the run-rule with a three-run sixth inning to claim the win as a slight drizzle began to fall at the UK Softball Complex.
With two outs on the board, Aull earned her fourth hit of the game with a single to second base just past the outstretched arms of Kelsey Cartwright. With extra-life, junior Brittany Cervantes extended the frame by drawing her third walk of the game. Riley then posted her second hit of the afternoon with a double into left to plate Aull from second. DeMartine ended the game with her second walk-off hit of the season when she singled into the right-center gap to bring in the game's winning tallies.
Kentucky concludes its regular-season with the final game of the series tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET. A win over the Tigers tomorrow would match a program-record for conference victories in a season and give the 2011 team the most wins in a single-season in school history. The senior class already owns the program's most wins in a career and best career winning-percentage and will look to continue to make history tomorrow.
Complete coverage of the UK softball team can be found at UKathletics.com all season long.