Softball Cats Defeat 23rd-Ranked Hawkeyes
May 3, 2003
Iowa City, Iowa - The University of Kentucky softball team (16-40) won its first game of the season over a ranked opponent Saturday afternoon, when they defeated the 23rd-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes (38-13) at Pearl Field. The Cats plated four runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth for the 7-4 victory.
The Hawkeyes put the first run of the game up on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first. With two outs, third baseman Stacy May got a hold of a high fastball and sent it over the left field wall for her sixth home run of the season. Iowa added another run in the third on a triple and a sacrifice fly and led 2-0.
In the top of the fourth, the Kentucky bats would come alive. Freshman Lori Melchi and senior Lyndsey Angus led off the inning with singles. Junior Rachel Friberg hit a shot down the left field line. Melchi would score and Angus and Friberg advanced bases on the throw. UK pitcher Amy Kendall stepped to the plate and blasted the first pitch from Iowa's Lisa Birocci into left center field. Kendall's sixth double of the year would score both runners and give UK the 3-2 lead.
With still no one out, sophomore Jessica Nance placed a bunt down and beat out the throw for the base hit. The second baseman covering first wasn't able to handle the throw from the first baseman, which allowed Nance to advance to second. The next batter, freshman Megan Glenn, attempted a squeeze with Kendall on third, but couldn't get the bunt down and Kendall was picked off at third. After a strikeout, sophomore Megan Brooks hit a grounder to the third baseman. The throw pulled the first baseman off the base and Brooks was safe at first. Nance came all the way around from second and put Kentucky ahead 4-2.
Iowa would tie it up in the bottom of the inning. Three Kentucky errors paved the way for two Iowa runs which knotted the score at four.
The Wildcats would take the lead right back in the top of the fifth. Senior Nikki Jones led off with her second infield hit of the game. After a sacrifice bunt moved her to second, Lyndsey Angus walked for the 27th time this year, breaking the UK single season record. Angus owns the top four spots on that list.
The Hawkeyes would change pitchers following the walk and new hurler Ali Arnold would get Friberg to ground out. With first base open and two outs, Iowa decided to intentionally walk Kendall, who had doubled the inning before.
Nance stepped up and knocked a three-run triple down the right field line. Her third three-bagger of the year put the Cats ahead 7-4.
Jones singled again in the sixth inning, giving her three hits on the day. It was the 19th game of her spectacular career with at least three hits.
Kendall retired all six Hawkeye batters in the sixth and seventh innings to gain her 11th win of the year. She gave up four hits and struck out five.
The win was especially important for head coach Beth Pruitt. "It's fun getting a win over my alma mater but it's huge for the program to get this win over a nationally-ranked team," said Pruitt. "The players have played hard the entire season and it's a tribute to them. They played with a ton of fight and heart today."
The Wildcats will close out the 2003 season when they take on the Hawkeyes Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.