Softball Upsets No. 13 Washington in Season Opener
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The University of Kentucky softball team upset No. 13 Washington (0-1) today, Feb. 10, by a final score of 6-1 in its season opener at the UNLV Alexis Resort Kickoff Tournament. The Cats (1-1) nearly pulled a second upset in the nightcap, but fell to No. 12 Oklahoma who rallied in the final inning to win by a final score of 4-3.
UK is now 3-7 in season openers after notching its first since the 2004 season.
Freshman Jessica Trueblood (1-0) allowed just one run on a pair of hits in the bottom of the first. She allowed a third and final hit in the second inning before retiring the next 16 straight to lead the Cats to the upset. Trueblood struck out three and didn’t walk a batter in the complete-game win.
“This is a good way to start off the season,” said second-year head coach Eileen Schmidt. “We put a lot of pressure on Washington and did some great things at the plate. We worked the counts well, ran the bases well and did a great job at the plate. Katie Campbell did a great job calling the game today for Jessica Trueblood who had an outstanding performance in the circle.”
The Huskies plated their lone run when leadoff hitter Dominique Lastrapes scored on a double to right center by Ashlyn Watson. Trueblood retired the next two batters on a strikeout and a liner to first to head to the top of the second trailing 1-0.
The Wildcat bats went to work in the third as Brooke Marnitz doubled to deep left field and went to third on an error. She would score on freshman Megan Miller’s RBI single down the right field line to tie the game at a run apiece.
UK added a pair of runs in the fourth to go on top 3-1. Alli Eckman singled to lead off the inning and moved to second on a base hit to left by Ashley Fertic. Katie Campbell drew a base on balls to load the bases for Ashley Dimkich. The sophomore second baseman walked to drive in another run and put the Cats on top 3-1.
Meghan Cooper drew a walk to lead off the sixth and moved to second as Fertic reached on a fielder’s choice. Campbell laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third. Cooper and Fertic each came around to score on a pair of fielding errors by the UW shortstop to give the Cats the 5-1 lead.
UK scored its sixth and final run in the top of the seventh as Lori Melchi led off with a single to second. Pinch runner Ali Ray moved to second on a wild pitch and went to third on a groundout by Marnitz. Miller followed with her second RBI of the day with a single through the left side.
The Cats outhit the Huskies 6-3 and committed just two errors in the field. Miller went 2-for-4 with two RBIs in her collegiate debut, while Fertic was 1-for-3 with two runs scored.
In the second game of the afternoon, the Cats took the early lead on a two-run homer by Marnitz to deep center field. Campbell added an RBI single that scored Miller from third to put UK on top 3-0.
OU got on the board in the top of the fifth with a pair of runs on two hits to make it 3-2. UK continued to lead until the Sooners rallied in the top of the seventh and took a one-run lead on an RBI double to right field by Savannah Long.
The Cats threatened in the home half of the inning. Marnitz led off with a single but was called out on a close play at second as Miller reached on a fielder’s choice. Eckman then grounded into an inning-ending double play as OU held on for the 4-3 win.
Lindsay Brogdon (0-1) took the loss after allowing two runs on three hits over 2.2 innings of work. Amy Kendall tossed 4.1 innings and struck out six batters, while giving up three hits.
The Cats return to action Saturday, Feb. 11, as they take on Illinois-Chicago at noon ET and Long Beach State at 6:45 p.m. ET.