Cumbess Tabbed SEC Pitcher of the Week
April 16, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Sophomore pitcher Lauren Cumbess has been tabbed the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week it was announced by the league office on Monday afternoon.
The honor is the first weekly recognition by the conference office in Cumbess' two-year career. The achievement marks just the second time in the history of the Kentucky softball program that a UK player has been recognized as the top-pitching performer for the week. Keary Camunas last won the honor during the 2000 season.
In just her second start of the season in SEC action and against a top-10 ranked team, Cumbess pitched her first career no-hitter in the series-clinching victory vs. No. 10 Georgia. She limited the Bulldogs to five base runners and struck out seven in her second shutout win of the season.
The no-hitter was the first thrown against the Bulldogs since Tennessee's All-American Monica Abbott turned the trick in 2007. The last no-hitter thrown by a UK pitcher was Rachel Riley in 2011. Cumbess' no-hitter against an SEC opponent was the first for the Wildcats since Chanda Bell blanked Mississippi State on March 25, 2011, and it marks just the second in conference play in school allure.
Not only did Cumbess turn in the best pitching performance of the season for the Wildcats, she was equally impressive offensively for UK this week. She batted .471 in five combined games with a team-high eight hits and two doubles. Cumbess contributed in nearly every scoring inning for the Wildcats and currently leads UK with a .409 average in SEC action.
Cumbess retired the first six batters she faced in the Bulldogs' lineup in her quest for an unprecedented no-hitter. A leadoff hit by pitch in the third was the first player to reach base for the visitor's in the contest before Cumbess quickly retired the next three batters she faced.
In the fourth the Bulldogs led off with a walk to get a runner on the base paths. A passed ball would shift the runner to second before Cumbess earned a strikeout and forced a pop-up. An error by the Wildcats allowed runners to reach the corners, until the right-hander escaped the jam with an inning-ending strikeout.
Again, Georgia placed a runner on first base thanks to a two-out walk in the fifth. Cumbess again worked her magic by inducing a foul-fly out to sophomore Ellen Weaver in left field. Cumbess retired all three batters she faced in the sixth.
In the Bulldogs' final at-bat, Cumbess earned a strikeout to open the inning. The Bulldogs would place just their fifth runner aboard with a base on balls. A groundout to senior Brittany Cervantes at third enabled the runner to advance, but placed the second out on the scoreboard. In stylish fashion, Cumbess would complete the no-no effort by striking out the final out.
Kentucky will return to the road for a midweek doubleheader with Ole Miss on Wednesday afternoon with game one slated for a 5:00 p.m. ET start. UK will then travel to Starkville, Miss., for a three-game weekend series with Mississippi State beginning Friday night.
For continuing coverage of the 2012 UK softball season, log on to UKathletics.com.