Kentucky Falls to Oregon on Final Day of Houston Invitational
Feb. 23, 2003
With a chance to win its first tournament title this season, the University of Kentucky softball team fell to 25th-ranked Oregon 5-1 on the final day the round-robin Houston Invitational Sunday. The Cats went 2-2 in the tournament and stand at 6-8 overall. In Saturday's late game, Kentucky defeated Houston 5-4 in eight innings.
Against the Ducks, the Cats would score first for the third time in the tournament. Freshman Ingrid Lochelt led off the top of the second inning with a home run to deep left center field. It was Lochelt's second of the season.
In the bottom of the third, two walks, two Kentucky errors and only one hit allowed three Ducks to cross the plate. The next inning, another UK error put Jackie Eliades on first. With one out, Oregon's Beth Boskovich hit a shot over the center field fence to give the Ducks the 5-1 advantage.
Although Kentucky held Oregon scoreless the rest of the game, the Cats could not put any more runs on the board as they fell 5-1. Kentucky committed a season-high six errors in the loss. In a thrilling Saturday night match up, Kentucky needed a clutch home run and an extra inning to get by host Houston.
The Cats got on the board in the fourth when a double by Ingrid Lochelt brought home Rachel Friberg and Jessica Nance. The 2-1 lead lasted until the top of the sixth. Houston's Kristen Glowacz's double broke up a no-hitter by freshman Becky Abner. Two batters later, Michelle Keith singled home Glowacz to tie the score.
A two-run seventh gave the Cougars a 4-2 lead and Kentucky its last chance. Nikki Jones came up in the bottom of the seventh with one out and beat out the throw on an infield grounder, her fifth hit of the tournament. Sophomore Megan Brooks, who had struck out twice that game, hit a drive to deep center field that cleared three fences and came to a stop on a median on the adjacent street. The two-run blast tied the score and sent the game to an extra inning. Brooks' home run came one year to the day after her first career home run as a Wildcat.
In the international tiebreaker inning, the Cats were able to hold the Cougars scoreless and came to bat with a chance to win. After Rachel Friberg was placed on second to start the inning, Jessica Nance bunted her over to third and reached first on an error. Lochelt hit a sacrifice fly to left allowing Friberg to score and giving UK the 5-4 win.
Nikki Jones led UK in the tournament with a .438 batting average. She hit safely in all four games with two hits in three of the four games. She also had two RBI's and scored five runs. Lyndsey Angus had five hits for a .417 average, plus her second home run of the season. Weather permitting, the Cats will host Youngstown State and Eastern Kentucky in the UK Invitational, March 1 & 2.
Saturday night R H E Houston 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 4 5 2 Kentucky 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 1 5 7 2