UK softball gets downed by Tennessee defense


Kentucky freshman Abbey Cheek hits the ball during the Wildcat’s game against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels John Cropp Stadium on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Taylor Pence

Chase Campbell

Saturday brought about the second game of a three-game weekend series in which UK softball hosted the Tennessee Volunteers.

The first matchup was a dominating 9-0 victory by the Volunteers, when the Cats had more errors than they did hits. The second contest wasn’t as crushing, but it was still a silencing performance by the Volunteers, as they took the win 5-2.

The Cats weren’t beat as bad as the score may suggest. There was a lot of passion from the team, and they had several chances to score in the third and fourth innings. UK ended up with 6 runners left on base, and with 2 runs, that’s quite a few to not push all the way home.

In the third, Tennessee center fielder CJ McClain made two diving catches in the outfield to keep the Cats from catching up, while left fielder Abby Lockman made a diving catch of her own in the fourth to keep the Volunteers ahead.

“That’s what hurts you, you put runners on with a lot of tough at-bats, and you don’t come up with the timely hit when you need it.” said UK head coach Rachel Lawson.

“I was just trying to be consistent and have good at bats today,” said Abbey Cheek. “There was a runner on base and I was just like ‘hit it hard and see the ball’, and it just happened.”

Offense didn’t come to UK until the 6th inning, when Cheek hit a two-run homerun over center, her seventh of the season, to bring the Cats within three. It would stand as the lone scoring play for UK, but it’s impressive given Tennessee had a perfect 100 fielding percentage, with only one extra base hit allowed.

The Cats will have one more chance to get a win in the series Sunday at 1:00 p.m.