Underdog Bulldogs dominate UK softball

Chase Campbell

On Friday, No. 16 UK softball took the field in their final regular season series before heading off to all but confirmed postseason play. The only obstacle in the way of the Cats: the unranked, 35-18 Mississippi State Bulldogs, a team that ranks 12th in the conference in runs scored, only above UK.

The Bulldogs steamrolled the Cats 6-2, hurting UK’s chances to host a matchup in the regional round of the NCAA tournament.

The Bulldogs got on the board early, notching their first run in the first inning after an RBI double from third baseman Caroline Seitz. The Cats wouldn’t find their way to the scoreboard until the fifth inning, where they scored two runs after Brooklin Hinz hit a homerun to right field.

That was the only scoring play for the Cats, as the Mississippi State defense locked down, preventing the comeback that UK softball is so accustomed to making.

For the first time in seven games, the Cats didn’t score in the sixth or seventh inning, where they are outscoring opponents by a margin of 27 in the last two innings over the last 10 games.

While Hinz had a quality game with her homerun, the Cats couldn’t generate any other offense, as they only notched three more hits on the game. The only member of the UK offensive trio that got a hit was Katie Reed, as both Abbey Cheek and Breanne Ray went without a hit during the Cats’ struggles in the box.

The Cats were also unable to stop the Bulldogs from getting whatever they wanted offensively, as they only notched two strikeouts. Because there were so few strikeouts, the Cats were forced to field more often, exhausting them by the time they stepped into the batter’s box.

UK will look to even the series and hold on to their national ranking Saturday at 4 p.m.