Cats’ 13 runs not enough to beat IU

By Bobby Reagan

The UK softball team came out hot yesterday against Indiana, scoring 13 runs in the second game of a doubleheader. But if the Cats were hot, the Hoosiers were on fire, scoring 16 runs to win 16-13 in extra innings and sweep both games.

After giving up a solo homerun to Emily Bergeson in the top of the first inning, the Cats (13-19, 1-8 Southeastern Conference) struck in the bottom of the second. Freshman left fielder Annie Rowlands led off the inning with a single. With two on base, senior first baseman Ashley Dimkich hit a line drive double, giving the Cats a 2-1 lead.

The game became a roller coaster in the fourth inning, as the teams combined for 13 runs, and UK head coach Rachael Lawson was ejected for arguing a strike call.

“The ups and downs in a game come with being a softball player,” sophomore shortstop Molly Johnson said. “All of us have been in close games and extra inning games, but it’s never easy.”

Indiana (9-23, 0-4 Big Ten Conference) tallied 7 runs to take a 8-3 lead in the top half of the fourth inning with the help of 9 hits.

But the Cats, unphased by the deficit, answered with 6 runs of their own, all coming with two outs. Johnson smacked a three-run home run to deep center field. Freshman designated player Samantha DeMartine followed the shot with her best “Simon Says” impression, drilling a solo home run on the very next pitch, pulling UK ahead 9-8.

The euphoria of the comeback was short lived though, as Indiana rallied with another big inning in the top of the fifth, scoring five runs to seize a 12-9 lead.

“We score a lot of runs, but we give up too many runs on the defensive end,” Lawson said. “Due to that, every one of our games is close and a roller coaster ride for everyone.”

The Cats fought back to cut the lead to 13-12 going into the bottom of the seventh inning. Johnson, who finished 4-for-5 on the game, drove in her fifth RBI on a single through the right side of the infield that sent the game into extra innings.

Indiana provided the final blow in the eighth inning, as pinch hitter Stephanie Pellerito hit a two-run homer to center field. The Hoosiers added an insurance run before retiring UK in the bottom half to end the game.

The Cats dropped another heartbreaker in the first game, falling in the contest’s final inning. Trailing 4-2 going into the last frame, the Hoosiers scored three runs in the top half to take a 5-4 lead they would hold for the final three outs.

Johnson said the team had trouble shaking off the disappointment from the loss in game one.

“You try to forget about the first game as much as you can but it’s always going to be sitting there,” said Johnson, who plated two runs on three doubles in the contest. “We just try to work on our mistakes and go out and win the second game.