Softball’s six-run third inning helps down WKU 9-3



By Chandler Howard

The UK softball team was down early Wednesday night, but it was never out.

Another intrastate rival traveled to  the UK Softball Complex on Wednesday. UK (26-16, 10-9 Southeastern Conference) squared off against Western Kentucky University (25-15), a team sophomore Chanda Bell pitched a no-hitter against in last season’s contest.

But Bell’s hope for a repeat no-hitter vanished early. The Lady Toppers were able to put two runners on base before clean-up hitter Lindsay Antone caught enough of one pitch to send it just over the left-field wall in the top of the first inning.

Though UK loaded the bases in the bottom of the second inning, WKU escaped with no damage and a 3-0 advantage.

The bottom of the third inning showed a different offense for UK. On a pair of singles from first baseman Samantha DeMartine and third baseman Brittany Cervantes, second baseman Natalie Smith and catcher Megan Yocke each scored. Center fielder Meagan Aull then nailed a double to left-center field, scoring DeMartine. Right fielder Destinee Mordecai smashed a home run for the second consecutive game, a shot that notched three additional runs.

“I’m just seeing the ball really well right now,” Mordecai said. “I battled my way though the at-bat until I saw my pitch. Once I did, I was able to make the contact to take it over the fence.”

Holding the 6-3 lead, UK scored another run in the bottom of the fourth inning when shortstop Molly Johnson easily reached home due to WKU’s third fielding error.

Cervantes added to her success on the night in the bottom of the fifth inning when she landed a solo shot behind the outfield wall, her ninth of the season. The Cats continued to pour on the points when Aull successfully stole third but was able to advance home because of a throwing error, putting the game out of reach for WKU at 9-3.

Neither team produced any more offense.

Bell received the win in the circle, pushing her record to 15-8 on the season. Mordecai and Cervantes, who went 2-2 and 2-3, respectively, totaling five RBIs, led UK offensively.

“It’s great to see the team come back from the hole we put ourselves in early,” UK head coach Rachel Lawson said. “We definitely aren’t satisfied with where we are right now. But we are happy that we’ve been able to win a few. We have put ourselves in a pretty good position. As long as we keep taking care of business, our fate is in our own hands.”