Kentucky Swept In Doubleheader by Tennessee for 18th-Straight Loss
April 9, 2003
The University of Kentucky softball team fell to 9-31 overall and 1-19 in the SEC after falling in both games of a doubleheader with Tennessee (38-13, 11-6), April 9 at Tennessee Field.
The Lady Vols took the early lead in game one. After walking the first two batters, UK pitcher Amy Kendall got Amber Rhinehart to ground into a double play. With a runner on third and two out, UT's Lauren Mattox hit a pop fly that landed just inside the left field line on the warning track. The double scored Katherine Card and gave the Lady Vols the 1-0 lead.
The score remained 1-0 until the bottom of the fifth when the Lady Vols pounded out seven hits to score seven runs and win by the mercy rule, 8-0. The loss was Kentucky's 17th in a row, breaking a school record. Despite getting only two hits in the game, the Cats did not strike out in the game for the first time this season. UT pitcher Stephanie Humphrey improved her record to 14-2, her 14th win in a row.
Kentucky started the second game strong. After the first two runners grounded out, Lyndsey Angus walked and Rachel Friberg singled. Amy Kendall stepped up and knocked a single up the middle scoring Angus and moving Friberg to third. Jessica Nance then hit a slow roller to the first baseman that took a bad hop and ricocheted off her leg. The error allowed Friberg to score and gave UK the 2-0 lead.
The Lady Vols scored a run on three hits in the bottom of the first to cut the lead in half.
In the top of the second, the Cats struck again. Following a Megan Glenn groundout, junior Crystalie Wolfe hit a double to right center - her first extra base hit of her career. Nikki Jones singled her over to third but rounded first base to far and was thrown out trying to get back. With two outs, freshman Lori Melchi hit her first career extra base hit, a triple to right field that scored Wolfe and extended the lead to 3-1. Humphrey came back in to pitch for UT and got Angus to line out, ending the inning.
Tennessee scored another run in the bottom of the third when a two-out double by Christy Anch scored Humphrey, who was on third.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Lady Vols took the lead. Two doubles, a triple and two Kentucky errors led to four runs and gave Tennessee the 6-3 lead.
Humphrey seemed to be shutting down the Cats, allowing two hits through the next three innings. In the sixth, however, Wolfe came up with two outs and doubled (her second of the game) over the centerfielder's head. Nikki Jones followed that with a triple to right center. Tennessee's Christy Anch came in to pitch in relief of Humphrey and got Melchi to ground out, ending the inning.
Amy Kendall reached base in the top of the seventh for the Cats, but a ground out to the shortstop ended the game.
Friberg extended her hit streak to four games by going 4-6 in the doubleheader.
The Cats will head home for a day off before they leave for Baton Rouge to take on the No. 11 LSU Tigers in a weekend series, April 12-13.