Softball sweeps doubleheader against Toledo in home opener

Amidst flurries of snow and cold temperatures, the UK softball team took to the field at the UK Softball Complex in its home opener yesterday and swept a doubleheader against the Toledo Rockets.

In the first-ever matchups between the two teams, the Cats powered their way to two victories, winning 9-3 in the first game and 15-5 in the second, and improving their overall record to 5-7 on the season.

Amber Matousek (2-4) overcame a shaky start in the day’s first game to earn her second win of the season.  The sophomore pitcher struck out 10 batters, tying her career high, and logged seven innings of work while giving up just one earned run on seven hits and five walks.

Trailing 3-0, UK rallied with three runs in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game.

Freshman designated player Samantha DeMartine gave the Cats their first lead with an RBI single in the fifth inning. The hit was the first of her college career.

With the bases loaded in the sixth inning, DeMartine blew the game open with a three-run double. DeMartine finished the day perfect, combining to go 4-for-4 in the two games with seven RBIs.

“It was exciting,” DeMartine said. “Anything to help the team out and get runs on the board for us. It felt really good actually.”

The Cats came out strong to the start the second game, scoring three runs in the first inning thanks to another bases-clearing double from DeMartine.

Toledo battled back to even the score 4-4 in the top of the third inning.

But in the bottom half of the frame, junior third baseman Katie McCarty slammed an RBI triple to the wall in right-center field to put UK back on top for good.

The Cats blew the game open in the bottom of the fourth, scoring eight runs on seven hits. With only one out, senior Audrey Meyer executed a perfect squeeze bunt that plated a run and extended the lead to 8-5. With two outs and two runners on base later in the inning, sophomore shortstop Molly Johnson hammered a three-run home run, scoring the Cats’ 15th run of the contest. Johnson finished the second game 4-for-4 from the plate with four RBI’s and scored three times.

“(The home run) solidified the deal,” Johnson said, “but we put a lot of hits on the board so I was pretty confident we could come out with the win.”

Senior pitcher Lindsay Brogdon (1-0) earned the win for UK, tossing five innings and giving up seven hits and five earned runs. The game was called after only five innings of play because of the mercy rule, with the final score of 15-5.

“We had two great performances on the mound. We were very happy with that,” head coach Rachel Lawson said. “Offensively we did a great job generating runs. Everybody took advantage of opportunities that were presented to us. I’m very pleased of how we did offensively. Sam DeMartine coming in today was huge for us.”