LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky senior Brittany Cervantes hit her third home run of the season to deep center field in the bottom of the first inning as the Wildcats fell in the opener of a three-game series with the South Carolina Gamecocks 9-1 in five innings, Friday night at the UK Softball Complex.
The Wildcats fall to 16-21 overall on the season with the loss, including a 3-7 record within the Southeastern Conference. The Gamecocks pick up their third SEC win of the season to improve to 23-16 overall with a 3-9 SEC mark.
With the win, Gamecocks’ pitcher Audrey Broyles improves to 7-5 on the season, while Wildcats’ pitcher Ellen Weaver drops to 2-4.
In the top of the first, South Carolina struck for five runs, with most of the damage coming from a bases-clearing double from Kaela Jackson. The Gamecocks would add an additional two runs after Chelsea Hawkins hit a home run to center, with Jackson scoring.
In the bottom of the first, Cervantes connected for a solo home run to deep center, putting the Wildcats on the board. The homer was Cervantes’ third of the season as she drove in her 17th run of the season on the long ball.
In the top of the second frame, Evan Childs hit a home run to extend the Gamecocks’ lead to 7-1 after Lauren Lackey drew a walk. Senior Chanda Bell, who came in relief for Weaver, struck out the final two batters in the inning to get out of the jam.
After a lead-off single in the top of the fifth by Kaitlin Westfall, Molly Bossart hit a home run to deep left off the foul pole to give South Carolina the 9-1 advantage.
Ginny Carroll, Emily Jolly and Rachel Riley all recorded hits for the Wildcats in the game as UK stranded seven base runners in the contest.
The Wildcats and Gamecocks will play the second of a three-game series on Saturday afternoon with a scheduled first pitch of 1:00 p.m. ET. The series will conclude on Sunday with the opening pitch slated for 1 p.m. ET as well.
For continuing coverage of the 2012 UK softball season, log on to UKathletics.com.