Softball Sweeps Tennesee
May 3, 2000
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky softball team closed out the regular season with two wins over Tennessee to sweep the four-game series from the Lady Vols. UK erupted with eight runs in the bottom of the sixth in the opener to defeat UT, 10-2, while putting four runners across in the sixth to down the Lady Vols 4-0 in the nightcap. The Cats finish the regular season with a 36-27 record overall and 15-13 in the Southeastern Conference.
Junior Leslie Kwiatkowski and freshman Lyndsey Angus led UK's offensive explosion, helping the Cats' to their first sweep in school history over a Southeastern Conference opponent in a four-game series. UK outscored the Lady Vols, 26-3, in the four-game set.
On the day, Kwiatkowski went 5-for-6 with a double, a triple and hit her fourth home run of the season. She also scored three runs and recorded four runs batted in. Angus, a native of Leominster, Mass., went 6-for-7, including her first career triple, to go along with two RBI and three runs scored.
"I am very proud of the way we came out ready to play for the SEC Eastern Division crown," UK coach Beth Kirchner said. "It was an excellent way to send off our seniors, who have had a huge part in building this program."
The Cats lead the SEC Eastern Division by three and a half games over Florida. The Gators have a four-game series against Georgia beginning Saturday in Gainesville, Fla. If Georgia wins one of the four games, UK will win the SEC East and be the second seed in the upcoming SEC Tournament next weekend in Columbus. If the Gators sweep the Bulldogs, the Cats will finish second in the East and be the tournament's six seed.
The SEC Tournament will be held, May 11-14, at South Commons Stadium in Columbus, Ga., the same venue that hosted the 1996 Olympic softball tournament.
UK fell behind in the opener, 1-0, on UT catcher Maura Mollet's RBI-single to left field, scoring April Phillips who reached on a triple to start the game. Starting pitcher Keary Camunas was pulled after one-third of an inning and replaced by reliever Morgan Marr.
The Cats took the lead in the bottom of the fourth on Kwiatkowski's two-run blast to right off UT starter Leslie Poole. The Lady Vols tied the game at 2-2, in the top of the sixth on Janette Koshell's RBI-single that scored Phillips from third.
In the bottom of the sixth, UK lit up Poole for 10 hits and eight runs as the Cats' scored a 10-2 victory in six innings due to the eight-run mercy rule. Marr was strong in relief, scattering just five hits the rest of the way. The freshman hurler from Vienna, Va., improved to 7-7, while Poole dropped to 9-10 with the loss. Tiffany Kruse added a 2-for-4 performance at the plate for UK with two RBI and scored a run.
In the nightcap, UK's Jen Howland and UT's Jackie Beavers were locked in a pitchers duel until the bottom of the sixth when the Cats hit back-to-back-to-back doubles off Beavers with two outs.
Nikki Jones and Beth Fogle each popped up for the first two outs of the inning. Angus then came to the plate and singled, as the ball deflected off UT third baseman Amanda Venable's glove. Kwiatkowski hit a RBI-double to right center that scored Angus, followed by a Kruse double to left center, scoring Kwiatkowski. Shortstop Angie Dal Pozzo belted a double down the left field line as Kruse came across, giving UK a 3-0 lead. Andrea Eilertson, who went 2-for-3, followed with a RBI-single to right center, scoring Dal Pozzo to give the Cats a 4-0 win.
"This season has been much more rewarding in terms of winning and the hard work by our kids is starting to pay off," Kirchner said.
R H E UT 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 8 2 UK 0 0 0 2 0 8 10 11 1