LEXINGTON, Ky. – Despite the Kentucky pitching duo of Chanda Bell and Rachel Riley striking out eight Louisville batters, the UK softball team fell 1-0 in a pitchers dual to No. 11 Louisville, Wednesday night at the UK Softball Complex.
Bell struck out seven batters in five innings of work, falling to 8-6 on the season. Louisville pitcher Tori Collins improves to 13-0 on the season, only allowing two hits while striking out four UK batters. Riley pitched two innings of scoreless softball, including a strikeout.
With the loss Kentucky drops to 15-17 on the season, while Louisville stretches its record to a perfect 28-0 mark. The Cardinals are the only remaining team in the country without a blemish on their record. This marked the lowest-scoring output of the season for Louisville who as a unit bats .341 on the season.
Kentucky’s Brittany Cervantes continued to perform well at the plate as of late, launching a double to center field in the bottom of the first inning to give the Wildcats their first base runner of the night. Consecutive outs prevented the Wildcats from bringing her in for an early tally.
After Bell retired nine of the first 10 batters she faced, including striking out five, Cardinal right fielder Kristin Austin hit her first home run of the season to left field. The homer came in the top of the fourth inning to give the Cardinals the 1-0 edge and it would prove to be the only scoring the visitor’s would need in the win.
In the bottom of the second inning, Wildcat first basemen Lauren Cumbess laced a ball to left center that was tipped over the left fielder enabling Cumbess to round to second and move into prime scoring position. Again Kentucky could not string together hits to bring in the runner.
With one down in the bottom of the sixth, Kara Dill laced a single through the right side. After a wild pitch by Cardinal pitcher Chelsea Leonard, Dill advanced to second. A groundout ended the Wildcat threat in the bottom half of the frame.
In the bottom of the seventh, with Ginny Carroll advancing to first on a walk and Lauren Cumbess at the plate with two outs, Cumbess hit a blooper just over the first basemen’s head which fell after the Cards’ second basemen, Katie Keller, bobbled the ball and dropped it into shallow right field. Cumbess stopped at first, with Carroll advancing to third on the erroneous play. The Wildcats left two runners on in the bottom of the last frame to end the game 1-0.
UK will resume Southeastern Conference action and head to Knoxville, Tenn., to take on the No. 9/10 Tennessee Lady Vols for a three-game series beginning Friday night at 6:00 p.m. ET.
For continuing coverage of the 2012 UK Softball Invitational and the 2012 UK softball season, log on to UKathletics.com