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By Tyler Spanyer
On a mild windy day at the UK Softball Complex the Cats defeated the Morehead State Eagles 3-1 in a game of defense and pitching.
UK senior right-hander Rachel Riley participated in her 16th start of the season, going the distance and allowing only three hits while striking out seven.
“She was great for us today, in a game like this where both teams bring their A-game you have to have a player to keep everyone calm,” UK head coach Rachel Lawson said, “and that’s what Rachel did today.”
The Cats struck early with an RBI single from sophomore Ginny Carroll in in the bottom of the first followed by a solo-homerun by junior Alice O’Brien in the bottom of the second. From then on it, became a pitching duel between Riley and the Eagles’ junior Katie Pfost, as neither team was able to get any offense going.
In the sixth inning the Cats showed their first signs of weakness.
Senior Brittany Cervantes mishandled a grounder and in her rush to get the ball to first, she missed her target. The ball skirted away toward the opposing dugout, allowing the Eagle runner to advance to second.
A sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly brought that runner home and made the game 2-1 headed to the bottom of the sixth.
In the bottom of the sixth, sophomore Emily Jolly crushed a solo-homerun over the left field wall to give the Cats the lead for good.
Riley then struck out two in the seventh to give UK its 24th victory of the year.
“We survived,” Lawson said. “We fought hard and with Rachel’s help we pulled out a win.”
The Cats next travel to Gainesville, Fla. to face off with the SEC leading Gators in their last SEC road trip of the year.