LEXINGTON, Ky. - The No. 22 LSU softball team put the go-ahead runner into scoring position in the seventh inning, but the Tigers were unable to complete the comeback effort as Kentucky held on to claim a 2-1 win Saturday during the middle game of a SEC weekend series.
In the process, the Wildcats (28-27, 14-13 SEC) secured their first series win over LSU (34-20, 15-12 SEC). The Tigers were able to outhit Kentucky by a 6-4 margin, but stranded five of their seven runners in scoring situations.
The Tigers executed a double steal with Heyward and pinch runner Heidi Pizer to place the go-ahead runners into scoring position. Cassie Trosclair knocked a ground out to second base, but was thrown out by a half-step to end the game.
"Our offense swung well and was able to outhit them," head coach Beth Torina said. "Unfortunately, we were unable to get that timely hit. We made some moves in the lineup, maybe that wasn't the right combination. I felt like we needed to shake things up a bit. We'll do something different tomorrow, and do whatever it takes to find the winning combination."
Kentucky jumped ahead by a 1-0 margin on Brittany Cervantes' leadoff home run during the first inning.
The Tigers used two-out magic to draw even in the third inning. Supak was hit-by-pitch, and Langoni smacked a single though the left side. On a 0-1 offering, Trosclair delivered a RBI single down the left field line to score Supak and knot the tally at 1-1.
Ginny Carroll vaulted Kentucky back in-front with a solo dinger over the left centerfield wall to regain a 2-1 advantage.
With the loss, Brittany Mack fell to 14-10 on the season. The senior right-hander notched nine strikeouts versus three walks. She held UK to a pair of runs on a quartet of hits.
Rachel Riley scattered six hits and surrendered one run in 6.1 innings of work before giving way to Bell for the final two outs. The win enabled Riley to improve to 8-7, while Bell picked up her third save.
"It's a pride thing at this point about not getting swept," Torina said. "We need a win to hold onto our seeding in next week's SEC Tournament. The bottom line is we have to swing better, pitch better and play better overall softball game."
The winner of Sunday's regular season finale for both teams will claim the No. 5 seed in next week's SEC Tournament. First pitch is slated for 12 p.m. CDT from the UK Softball Complex.
Live audio and live stats are available inside the Geaux Zone on LSUsports.net. The game also will be carried live on Country Legends 104.9 FM in the Baton Rouge area with Patrick Wright and Matt Dunaway set to call the action.
Fans can follow every pitch of LSU softball this season via live in-game updates on LSU softball's social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsusoftball and @lsu_softball on Twitter.