Kentucky Grabs Victory Behind Riley, O’Brien
|Kentucky 3, Morehead State 1
|Mississippi Valley State 4, Ole Miss 1
|Mississippi State 9, Memphis 1
|Florida 2, LSU 1
|LSU 1, Florida 0
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Behind a three-hit outing from senior pitcher Rachel Riley and offensive help from Alice O’Brien and Emily Jolly, the University of Kentucky softball team powered its way past Morehead State 3-1, on a windy Tuesday afternoon at the UK Softball Complex in Lexington, Ky.
Riley went the distance allowing only three hits and one run while striking out seven batters in the game. Riley improves to 7-7 on the year with the win.
Kentucky now stands at 24-26 overall with the outcome while the Eagles suffer their 32nd loss of the season, as they now stand at 12-32 in 2012.
UK jumped out in front in the first inning of the game as Kara Dill tapped home to give the Cats the 1-0 lead in the early going. With one down in the inning, Dill singled through the right side, which was followed up by another single from Riley through the right side as well. Ginny Carroll came through with two outs, lacing a hard ground ball down the third-base line, scoring Dill from second.
The Wildcats would play add-on in the second inning as junior Alice O’Brien would crush a ball deep down the right-field line that crushed the foul pole in right for her first home run of the season. O’Brien would end the day 1-2 at the plate.
Morehead State would not quit late in the game, as the Eagles would strike for their only run of the game in the top of the sixth. MSU’s Adrena Anderson reached on an error to lead off the inning and would later be brought around to score as Elizabeth Wagner’s sacrifice fly would bring home Anderson to cut the UK lead to 2-1 through five and a half.
Kentucky would tack on its final run of the game in the bottom of the sixth when Emily Jolly went yard to left field to connect on her fifth home run of the season.
Riley would retire the Eagles in the top of the seventh to conclude the game at 3-1.
Kentucky next travels to Gainesville, Fla., for a three-game Southeastern Conference series beginning on Friday night against No. 2 Florida.
Errors Plague Rebels In Loss To Mississippi Valley State
OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss defense committed three errors that led to two unearned runs and the Rebel bats left six runners on base, as the Rebels dropped Tuesday night’s game 4-1 to Mississippi Valley State at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.
Ole Miss (17-29) threatened in the first after leadoff batter Corrine Doornberg reached on a bunt single to start the frame and moved to second on a throwing error by Valley third baseman Kayla Mercado. With one out, shortstop Allison Brown singled to left and then stole second to put runners on second and third. After first baseman Londen Ladner walked to load the bases, starting pitcher Kendall Bruning struck out swinging and catcher Marina Parra popped out to short to strand all the runners.
The Delta Devilettes (27-17) grabbed a 3-0 in the top of the third with three runs aided by a pair of Ole Miss errors. Bruning walked the first two batters of the inning and shortstop Allison Brown booted a grounder to load the bases. After a fielder’s choice, designated player Nichole Burr singled to left to plate one run and left fielder Brittany Broome’s errant throw allowed another run to score.
Mississippi Valley added another run in the fifth after third baseman Cali Overbeck booted a ground ball to start the frame and Burr had an RBI single later in the frame that put MVSU up 4-0.
The Rebels responded in the bottom of the fifth after Doornberg earned a two-out, bases-empty walk and Broome followed with an RBI triple to left center that cut the deficit to 4-1.
Ole Miss threatened in the bottom of the seventh after freshman Jenna Hollenkamp led off the inning with a single up the middle and moved to second on a Dallas Hardin sac bunt. However, Natalie Nimmo struck out swinging and Doornberg struck out looking to end the game.
Bruning (13-15) suffered the loss after giving up four runs, two earned, on five hits in five innings of work. She struck out five and walked two. Erinn Jayjohn entered in relief to start the sixth and pitched a perfect final two innings.
The Rebels will travel to Knoxville, Tenn. this weekend to face the No. 6-nationally ranked Tennessee Lady Vols in a three-game series beginning on Friday. The first two games will be televised on Fox SportSouth, while Sunday’s series finale will be shown on Fox Sports Net South.
Cooley Goes Yard Twice As MSU Softball Run-Rules Memphis
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State junior left fielder Jessica Cooley belted home runs in back-to-back innings Tuesday night as the Bulldog softball team (29-19) defeated Memphis (19-34), 9-1, in six innings at the MSU Softball Stadium.
“It was a lot of fun out here tonight,” Head Coach Vann Stuedeman said. “Cooley was able to finish it off early for us, which is good since we are preparing hard for finals and need to go to bed early.”
Cooley finished the night 2-for-4 with four RBIs, two round-trippers and two runs scored. Fellow All-SEC candidate Brittany Bell was not far off in production, going 2-for-3 in the leadoff spot with a three-run dinger of her own and two runs. Last week’s SEC Player of the Week Ka’ili Smith went 1-for-3 with a pair of two-out RBIs.
Reigning SEC Pitcher of the Week Stephanie Becker earned the start for the Bulldogs, throwing one scoreless inning. Fellow junior southpaw Kylie Vry replaced her in the second and went the distance, giving up one unearned run in 5.0 innings of work to improve to 9-6 on the 2012 campaign.
Holding a narrow 2-1 lead, State went to work offensively in the bottom of the fifth frame. Senior right fielder Brittany Gates was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, before stealing second during sophomore center fielder Jessica Offutt’s at-bat. Offutt then joined her on the basepaths with a full-count walk. With two on and nobody outs, Bell used her power to hide a 2-2 pitch in the trees beyond left field for a monstrous three-run homer. For the first time in the Vann Stuedeman era, MSU hit back-to-back jacks, as Cooley stepped up next and deposited a 3-2 offering over the wall in left for a solo four-bagger.
Up by five runs in the bottom of the sixth, the Bulldogs kept barking with a leadoff walk by sophomore shortstop Erin Nesbit. In the next at-bat, pinch hitter Ashley Phillips was hit by a pitch to put a pair of Starkville’s own on base. Cooley, fresh off her parking-lot bomb in the fifth, ended the game by detonating a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left for a three-run home run.
Starkville's Team now travels to Hattiesburg Wednesday for a 6 p.m. matchup at in-state foe Southern Miss at the Southern Miss Softball Complex.
No. 23 LSU Battles to Valiant Split at No. 2 Florida
WATCH GAME HIGHLIGHTS HERE
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Brittany Mack fired a four-hit shutout as the No. 23 LSU softball team grinded out a 1-0 victory to earn a split of a SEC doubleheader versus No. 2 Florida Tuesday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
It marked LSU’s (33-16, 14-8 SEC) win over Florida (42-6, 19-3 SEC) in Gainesville since the 2005 season, and the Tigers second win over the No. 2 team in the nation under head coach Beth Torina. LSU knocked off then No. 2 Alabama by a 3-2 margin on April 7.
Mack notched eight strikeouts versus two walks to improve to 14-8 on the season. She escaped a bases loaded jam with one out during the sixth inning by forcing Bailey Castro and Ensley Gammel to pop out and ground out in succession.
The Tigers platted the contest’s lone run during the second inning. With one out, Ashley Applegate worked her way back from a 1-2 count to 3-2. She proceeded to rip a triple to centerfield.
Two batters later, Applegate scored on Lauren Houston’s two-out, RBI single. It was Houston’s first RBI since the Oklahoma State game back on March 3.
Game 1 – No. 2 Florida 2, No. 23 LSU 1 [8 Innings]
LSU carried a 1-0 advantage down the final strike in the seventh inning before Ensley Gammel connected for a solo home run on a 1-2 offering.
The Gators used a Michelle Moultrie RBI double that bounced off the chalk down the left field line to plate Jess Damico, who reached on a hit-by-pitch for the 2-1 victory.
Rachele Fico turned in a masterful performance and equaled a season’s best with 11 strikeouts. She limited the potent Florida lineup to a pair of hits in the first six frames.
LSU appeared to grab a 1-0 advantage in the fifth inning. Tammy Wray cranked a leadoff single through the middle, and pinch runner Alex Boulet alertly scooted to third base on Morgan Russell’s ground out to the catcher.
Boulet scampered home on Dylan Supak’s sacrifice fly, but home plate umpire Cindi Brunot ruled that Boulet left early from third base after a highly-contested appeal by Florida head coach Tim Walton.
LSU broke through for the game’s official first run during the sixth inning. Ashley Applegate coaxed a leadoff walk and advanced to second base on a Wray sacrifice bunt. That set the table for pinch hitter Kailey McCasland, who delivered a clutch RBI single to put the Tigers ahead by a 1-0 margin.
LSU wraps up the home portion of its schedule and welcomes No. 12 Georgia for a SEC weekend series. Game times are slated for 6 p.m. [Friday], 4 p.m. [Saturday] and 1 p.m. [Sunday].