Kentucky takes down No. 11 Georgia
Cumbess' no-no gives Cats only second series win vs. Bulldogs
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky sophomore hurler Lauren Cumbess pitched her first career no-hitter in a 4-0 win against No. 11 Georgia on Saturday afternoon in front of 1,123 fans at the UK Softball Complex. With the series-clinching win, UK has taken the series from UGA for just the second time in program history. The only other time the Cats have captured a series against Georgia was in 2000.
"Lauren was just outstanding today," UK head coach Rachel Lawson said. "For her to do what she just did against a great hitting team like Georgia is awesome and I am so happy for her."
The no-hitter was the first thrown against the Bulldogs since Tennessee's All-American Monica Abbott in 2007. The last no-hitter thrown by UK was from pitcher Rachel Riley she tossed a perfect game against Austin Peay on April 6, 2011. Cumbess' no-hitter against an SEC opponent was the first for the Wildcats since Chanda Bell blanked Mississippi State on March 25, 2011.
With the win, Kentucky improved to 21-22 overall and is 8-8 within the Southeastern Conference. The Wildcats have now won five of their last six games. The Bulldogs fell to 33-10 on the year and 11-7 in league action.
With the win, Cumbess improved to 3-4 on the season while UGA counterpart Morgan Montemayor fell to 9-5. Cumbess recorded seven strikeouts, while allowing a mere five batters to reach base throughout the course of the afternoon.
For the second-consecutive game, UK lit up the scoreboard first putting two runs on the board in the opening frame.
Senior Brittany Cervantes led off the game with a hit after a 10-pitch at-bat, which was followed by junior Kara Dill reaching on an error. Riley loaded the bases via a walk. After two non-scoring outs, Cumbess helped her own cause by reaching on another Bulldog error, scoring Dill to put UK out in front 1-0. Sophomore Emily Jolly was hit by a pitch, scoring pinch runner Macy Allen to give Kentucky the 2-0 lead.
The Cats tacked on two more runs in the second frame, highlighted by Cervantes' seventh homer of the season to left field. After a double by Dill and a single by Riley, sophomore Ginny Carroll doubled to right center to bring around Dill and give the Cats the 4-0 lead after two.
"Any time you are fighting for your lives to get above .500 and get to the NCAA tournament, every win is a big win," Lawson said. "To win an SEC series against a quality team like Georgia is a great accomplishment for this team."
Cumbess retired the first six batters she faced in the Bulldogs' lineup. A leadoff hit by pitch in the third put the first Bulldog on base before Cumbess quickly retired the next three batters.
In the fourth, the Bulldogs led off with a walk to get a runner on the base paths. A passed ball would shift the runner to second before Cumbess earned a strikeout and forced a pop-up. An error by the Wildcats allowed runners to reach the corners, until the right-hander escaped the jam with an inning-ending strikeout.
Again, Georgia placed a runner on first base thanks to a two-out walk in the fifth. Cumbess again worked her magic by inducing a foul-fly out to sophomore Ellen Weaver in left field. Cumbess retired all three batters she faced in the sixth.
In the Bulldogs' final at-bat, Cumbess earned a strikeout to open the inning. The Bulldogs would place just their fifth runner aboard with a base on balls. A groundout to Cervantes at third enabled the runner to advance, but placed the second out on the scoreboard. In stylish fashion, Cumbess would complete the no-no effort by striking out the final batter.