After 1-0 loss, UK Softball hopes for Sunday wins



By Les Johns

A raucous sold-out home crowd went home disappointed as the UK Softball team lost the first game of the NCAA Super Regional to California 1-0.

The normally potent UK offense was completely stymied by sophomore Cal pitcher Jolene Henderson.  Henderson allowed just one hit over the seven innings, earning the shutout victory.

After the game was over, UK head coach Rachel Lawson gave Henderson credit.

“She changes her motion throughout the game, throughout the inning, and throughout the batter,” Lawson said.  “That was something we were having a hard time adjusting with, timing wise.”

UK starting junior pitcher Chandra Bell scattered six hits over her performance and struck out eight Cal batters.

The deciding run was scored on a solo home run by Cal center fielder Frani Echavarria. With one out in the bottom of the fourth inning, Enchavarria drove a 2-1 pitch deep over the wall in left-centerfield.

The Cats strongest scoring threat came in the top of the third, when they left runners stranded on the corners.  UK shortstop Kara Dill scorched a line drive to the left side of the field, but Cal third baseman Jace Williams snagged it to snuff out the rally.

The Cats were encouraged by the energetic crowd.

“There is nothing better than a Kentucky fan,” said Lawson, after the game.

The second game of the Super Regional takes place at the Softball Complex Sunday at 1 p.m.  The Cats need to win that game to force a third game, which would take place at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.  The winner of this Super Regional will advance to the Softball College World Series, which takes place In Oklahoma City, Okla., June 2-8.

Promising that the proper adjustments will be made for tomorrow, senior catcher Megan Yocke said, “We’re just going to win.”