Wildcats Strand Seven in Loss to No. 11 Michigan
Feb. 18, 2012
BOCA RATON, Fla. - In a 3-0 loss to No. 11/11 Michigan, the No. 22/24 Kentucky softball team stranded seven base runners missing out on pushing across runs as the Wildcats fall to 4-4 on the season. Michigan improves to 6-1 with the win. Sophomore Emily Jolly led the bats with a pair of hits including a seventh-inning double.
The Wildcats will wrap-up action at the FAU Kickoff Classic with an 11 a.m. ET tilt against Maryland on Sunday.
With UK trailing 3-0 going into the last at-bat, Jolly led off the inning by roping a double over the left fielder's head. Following consecutive outs, Jolly was caught stealing in an attempt to take third for the final out of the inning.
Junior Kara Dill reached in the top of the first with two outs thanks to a hit by pitch, but UK could not move the runner as the inning ended on a pop-up to second. Despite yielding a two-out double, starting pitcher Ellen Weaver escaped the inning with a strikeout to keep the Wolverines at bay.
Sophomore Lauren Cumbess opened the second with a single into center. Junior Alice O'Brien shifted the runner on a sacrifice bunt. Jolly then sliced a ball up the gut to place runners on the corners, but the inning ended on a pop-up to short leaving two more runners aboard for UK.
Michigan plated three scores in the bottom of the second behind a trio of hits and a Wildcat miscue to grab a 3-0 advantage.
Senior Brittany Cervantes opened the top of the third by lacing a double into the right-center gap and Dill notched a one-out hit by pitch to place two runners aboard. However, Kentucky fell victim to back-to-back pop-ups and could not manufacture any additional offense.
O'Brien singled up the middle to begin the fourth inning. She swiped a bag to move into scoring position and then shifted to third on a wild pitch, but UK could not bring her home suffering three consecutive outs.
Weaver and the Wildcat defense dispersed of Michigan in the home half of the fourth to keep the Wildcats within striking distance. Dill reached base for the third time in the game, this time by utilizing a tremendous bunt single. UK, again, however could not string together hits as the inning ended with her still aboard.
Kentucky responded by retiring the side in the home half of the fifth to keep UK within striking distance. The Blue and White fell in order in the top of the sixth marking the first inning of the game the designated visitor's did not place a runner on base.
Senior Rachel Riley entered in the bottom of the sixth with one out and the bases jammed. She swiftly forced a grounder to Cumbess and Cervantes made a spectacular diving snag to preserve the 3-0 score.