DeMartine Paces UK to History-Making Series Win
April 23, 2011
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Senior Samantha DeMartine became the fifth different Kentucky player to hit two home runs in a game in leading 16th-ranked UK to a 3-2 victory to clinch the series with South Carolina Saturday afternoon. With the series win, Kentucky has now captured five Southeastern Conference series victories for the first time in school history. DeMartine's two long balls pushes UK's season total to 58 to set a new single-season mark in that category.
Kentucky improves to 35-10 on the year and increases its SEC mark to 13-6 on the year. South Carolina drops to 24-24 and 5-16 in conference action. The squads will complete the three-game series with a 1 p.m. ET tilt on Sunday, April 24.
Junior Rachel Riley matches her single-season record for wins in a year with her 11th victory of the year in a complete-game effort. Riley yielded a mere five hits and just one earned run in helping UK to the series win.
Sophomore Kara Dill extended her career-long hitting streak to 14 games while also tapping home in the sixth. DeMartine was 2-for-2 with the two round trippers. Senior Meagan Aull also matched her season-long hitting streak to 10 outings.
Neither team could muster much offense through the first three innings of play. The squads combined for a pair of base runners as Audrey Broyles and Riley matched each other pitch for pitch in a pitching duel. DeMartine reached by way of a walk in the second, and South Carolina had a two-out single just over the outstretched glove of Dill at short in the third.
DeMartine broke open the scoreless tie in the top of the fifth with a no-doubt solo shot over the left field fence. Fittingly, a senior's bomb sets the new standard for home runs in a single season by the Blue and White. In game one of the series, Aull's two-run shot tied the mark.
UK tacked on another run in the top of the sixth to increase its lead to 2-0. Dill extended her hitting streak to 14 games with an infield single. She was able to trot to second on a high throw to first during the play. Aull delivered an RBI single up the middle to plate the score.
Junior Brittany Cervantes then drew a walk to place two runners aboard with a pair of outs to keep the rally alive. Riley smacked a well-hit ball into the right-center gap, but South Carolina's centerfielder made a spectacular run to rob the Wildcats of additional tallies.
The Gamecocks bridged the gap to just one run in the bottom of the sixth benefiting from a UK mishap to plated the unearned run to make the score 2-1. The Gamecocks posted consecutive hits on bunt singles. An erroneous throw to first and nobody covering home enabled the speedy runner to round all the way home from first for the unearned score.
DeMartine drilled her second shot of the game with a solo ball that dipped over the left center wall to give UK a 3-1 edge. The Wildcats appeared to strike for another run in the frame, but a runner-left early call doomed the Blue and White's late-inning rally.
Freshman Aubrey Lamar drew a walk and sophomore Alice O'Brien sliced a ball into left center. Freshman Emily Jolly's sacrifice bunt shifted both runners into scoring position. Senior Megan Yocke was intentionally walked to load the bases. Dill appeared to send a fly ball to center and the initial call at home was interference on the catcher allowing the sac fly to score. However, the third base umpire ruled UK's base runner left early for the third out of the inning preventing the additional score.
South Carolina's last-ditch comeback effort plated a score in the home half of the seventh following consecutive two-out hits to make the final 3-2 margin.
Complete coverage of the UK softball team can be found at UKathletics.com all season long.