Pitchers Dominate in Fall Exhibition Games

Oct. 4, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky softball team took to its newly renovated softball field to play in a pair of doubleheaders this weekend to kick off the fall exhibition season. The pitching staff for the Wildcats carried over its success from last season's Super Regional appearance to this year's fall exhibition showdowns.

All four of Kentucky's hurlers saw action as starters and relievers. The quartet combined to throw 47 strikeouts in 27 innings of work. Senior Chanda Bell and sophomore Lauren Cumbess each posted 14 strikeouts per seven innings of work. Senior Rachel Riley and sophomore Ellen Weaver allowed a mere two hits while not yielding a single run in their performances.

"We feel good about the place that our pitching staff is at during this point in the season." UK Coach Rachel Lawson said. "It is clear that each member of our staff prepared during the off-season and is committed to improving their individual performances. Assuming that they continue to exhibit the same work ethic and approach during the next four months, our pitching staff is positioning itself as the cornerstone of our run towards another post season bid."

Pitching dominated in the circle, but the offense was equally impressive. Senior Macy Allen charted a .500 batting average while launching the first home run of the fall. Fellow senior, Brittany Cervantes, continued her hitting prowess by batting .333 with a round tripper, double and three RBI.

Ashleigh Gustafson, a senior infielder and pitcher batted .400 with two runs batted in while also tapping home twice and recording two sacrifice hits. Senior Erika Silence provided power with her first blast of the fall and also hit a double to right center. Riley provided some offense to go along with her pitching output by charting a .333 clip which included a two run gap-shot to left center.

Sophomore infielder Krystal Smith recorded a .500 average at the dish with a double, run scored and a sacrifice hit. Kara Dill was the most effective all-around player for the Wildcats. The junior shortstop hit .400 with a double. Dill also scored three times and swiped three bags.

"It was nice to see that we were able to score runs both by generating offense and by hitting the long ball." Lawson said, "It was also promising to see some of our less experienced players really step up and compete offensively."

Kentucky will resume fall action with a doubleheader at Marshall on Saturday.

Follow along with the UK softball program all season long at UKathletics.com