Aull leads UK in win against Florida
Kentucky coach Lawson gets 200th career victory
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Meagan Aull smashed a pair of home runs to lead an eight-run first inning and guide No. 23 Kentucky to a 9-2 victory over No. 5 Florida to claim a sweep of the Gators for the first time in school history.
Aull entered the series with Florida owning just one round tripper on the season and six in her illustrious career. She drilled two homers in today's contest and went yard in all three games with the Gators for a total of four long balls on the weekend. Two of her four homers during the series came in the leadoff spot of the opening inning to lift UK to leads it would never relinquish.
Kentucky now owns a 25-7 overall record and an 11-3 mark in Southeastern Conference action. The Blue and White have matched a program record with four series won in a single year in league play. Florida falls to 30-7 overall and 7-6 in league play.
"I don't even know what to say about Meagan Aull, her home runs speak for themselves," UK coach Rachel Lawson said. "She clearly had an incredible weekend, and it's great to see because she's one of our hardest workers. For her to be able to perform like this on a national stage is awesome."
The win marked the 200th career victory for Lawson. She previously notched her 100th career win at the helm of the UK program in the opening game of the Arkansas series.
UK utilized all four pitchers this weekend and all performed admirably against the potent offensive attack of Florida. Lauren Cumbess earned her first career SEC win in the circle with a five-inning outing in today's contest. Cumbess allowed just two runs while striking out seven. Chanda Bell tossed two innings of relief work, striking out three while yielding just one hit.
The Wildcats erupted for eight runs in the home half of the first and never looked back en route to its second convincing win over the visiting Gators. For the second consecutive day, Aull went yard to open the game with a solo shot over the left-center wall.
Megan Yocke walked and Kara Dill sliced a ball through the left side to place runners on first and second to keep the hot start going. Brittany Cervantes drew the second walk of the frame to load the bases and then Cumbess executed a beautiful suicide-squeeze to plate Yocke. Cumbess was able to reach when Florida opted to try and get the lead runner at home.
DeMartine followed with a chopper back to the pitcher and Florida threw home to get Dill allowing DeMartine to reach. In an attempt to turn a double play, Florida tossed the ball towards first and the ball rolled into the dugout enabling Cervantes to round home for the third run of the stanza.
With runners in scoring position, Rachel Riley drew a walk, the third issued by Hannah Rogers in the inning. Annie Rowlands' well hit ball plated Cumbess, but Florida's Aja Paculba made a nice scoop to get Rowlands out at first.
Emily Jolly lofted a ball into shallow centerfield to plate a pair of runs to run the total to 6-0, setting the stage for Aull's final stamp on the game.
The senior blasted a shot that plucked the left field foul pole for her second long ball of the inning and extended the Wildcat advantage to 8-0.
Cumbess was terrific in the early stages of the game as Florida placed runners on base in the opening two innings, but UK's freshman was able to force a few groundouts and pick up multiple strikeouts to escape the jams.
UK tacked on an insurance run in the home half of the fourth to take a 9-0 edge. Jolly opened the inning with a double into left center. Yocke was able to shift the runner into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, and during the play, Florida attempted to get the quick runner at third and chucked the ball into UK's dugout, enabling Jolly to round home for the tally.
Florida plated a pair of runs on a two-run double by Paculba in the top of the fifth to prevent UK from earning its second run-rule win of the series.
Aull, Dill and Jolly each had two hits in the contest as the Blue and White strung together 26 runs on 27 hits in the series.