Kentucky Upsets No. 5 Alabama with Five Runs in the Sixth
March 16, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Trailing by two runs going into the sixth inning the Kentucky offense finally found some rhythm and plated five runs to mount a terrific comeback and edge No. 5 Alabama, 5-4 in the nightcap of a doubleheader at the UK Softball Complex. A five-run sixth inning ignited by home runs from Megan Yocke and Brittany Cervantes enabled the Blue and White to knock off its second top-five opponent of the season. UK defeated then No. 5 Arizona State in the season opener in February.
The win over the Crimson Tide marks just the second win all-time against Alabama. The last victory for the Wildcats came in 2004, also in Lexington.
Kentucky now holds a 16-9 overall record and a 2-3 mark in Southeastern Conference action after Alabama took game one of the doubleheader by a 7-2 margin. The Tide stand at 18-7 overall and 3-2 in the SEC.
Yocke was superb at the plate for the Blue and White as she hit a two-run bomb in both games with the Tide. Meagan Aull and Natalie Smith were both .500 for the series with each registering three hits including clutch singles in the sixth-inning comeback effort.
Sophomore right-hander Rachel Riley tossed a complete game in the win over the Tide. She now improves to 5-2 on the season after registering a pair of strikeouts and leading a tremendous defensive effort by the Wildcats. UK recorded 21 putouts and 18 assists on the day in the game two victory.
Trailing 2-0 going into the bottom of the sixth inning, the Wildcats began their comeback effort with a single by Smith. Yocke then tied the score during the next at-bat with a two-run home run over the left-center wall. Riley claimed a single to keep the rally going and Aull put another runner aboard with a single through the left side setting the stage for Cervantes. The sophomore blasted her fourth home run of the season in nearly the same spot as Yocke to give the Blue and White a 5-2 edge.
"Brittany is such an exciting player so it was really nice to see her do well," Lawson said. "She works really hard and it is just nice to see her compete." The Crimson Tide added two runs in the top of the seventh in a last ditch comeback effort, but Riley and the UK defense held on for the win and the upset.
"It was a great win, especially since we haven't been Alabama in so long," Lawson said. "Anytime you can knock off a team you haven't beaten in so many opportunities is a good day for the Wildcats."
Alabama went ahead in the early going with a run in both the third and fourth innings. Reigning SEC Player of the Year Charlotte Morgan hit a solo home run in the fourth to give the Tide a 2-0 advantage.
In the first game between the two schools, Yocke gave the Wildcats an early 2-0 lead with a two-run home run over the left field fence. However, that was all the offense the Blue and White could manage in a 7-2 loss. The Tide registered four home runs in the game to plate all seven of its scores.
Kentucky returns to action on Thursday in a non-conference match-up with Morehead State. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. ET at the UK Softball Complex.
Live stats and complete coverage of the UK softball team can be found at UKathletics.com.