Wildcats Set to Play No. 23 Cardinals Wednesday
April 6, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky softball team returns to action when the team travels west on I-64 to face in-state rival Louisville on Wednesday. This marks the second match-up of the season between the two squads as a part of the annual home-and-home series.
Louisville bested Kentucky in an extra-inning affair on March 10 in Lexington. First pitch on Wednesday is set for a 6 p.m. ET start.
UK is fresh off of a conference series win at Mississippi State this weekend. The Wildcats used exceptional pitching performances from sophomores Rachel Riley and Chanda Bell. Riley claimed the series with a 2-0 shutout in game two of a doubleheader. She limited the Bulldogs to just two hits and did not yield a walk in a complete game effort. Bell tossed 10 strikeouts in a 5-4 win in the first game of the series. With the 10 strikeouts to eclipsed the 200-mark for the second consecutive season.
Kentucky's defense was dazzling as the Wildcats only had one error in 21 innings of action. Sophomore Brittany Cervantes was sensational at first base and registered 18 putouts in the second game of the doubleheader. Seniors Molly Johnson and Natalie Smith were flawless and combined for 12 assists on the weekend.
Louisville has continued to succeed since the teams' last meeting in early March. The Cardinals are ranked in the top-25 and hold a 24-12 overall record including a 5-5 mark at home.
Louisville is led at the plate by Melissa Roth who is batting an impressive .464 on the season with a team best 12 home runs and 35 RBI.
In the circle, Kristen Wadwell has returned to form and leads the rotation with a 3.12 ERA and a 13-7 overall record. She's also struck out 95 batters on the season. The series is now tied with both teams having claimed 12 wins. Louisville has won the last six in the series.
After seven scoreless innings of play Kentucky and No. 18 Louisville needed extra frames to decide a winner on March 10. The Cardinals claimed a 3-0 victory in eight innings of action with two home runs in the extra stanza to break the scoreless tie. Juniors Megan Yocke and Samantha DeMartine led the Blue and White with a single each, while sophomore pitcher Chanda Bell tossed eight complete innings and struck out seven in just her third loss of the season. Bell was sensational on the mound for the first seven innings of action, allowing just three hits and a pair of walks before the Cardinals broke the tie in the eighth inning.
Kentucky had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the seventh when Yocke led off the stanza by earning a walk. Senior Natalie Smith shifted Yocke into scoring position with a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt. The inning ended though with Yocke still standing on second base, which forced the extra innings.
For the most up-to-date information on the UK softball team please visit UKathletics.com.