LEXINGTON, Ky. - The No. 22 LSU softball team was unable to hold a 3-0 advantage as Kentucky turned the tables to pick up a 4-3 comeback victory Friday to open a SEC weekend series at the UK Softball Complex.
Due to forecasted rain in the Lexington area, the contest was delayed at the start by two hours.
LSU (34-19, 15-11 SEC) had its 13-game winning streak in the Commonwealth come to a close. The Wildcats (27-27, 13-13 SEC) have now won four of their five games.
The Tigers struck for single runs during the third, fourth and fifth inning. Allison Falcon put LSU on the scoreboard and cranked a solo home run to start the third inning.
Juliana Santos ripped a leadoff double during the fourth inning. Two batters later, Santos crossed the plate on Ashley Applegate's single down the right field line. She was able to score and made it 2-0 aided by a UK fielding error.
After a Dylan Supak opening walk to open the fifth inning, A.J. Andrews cranked a triple off the centerfield wall. Pinch runner Heidi Pizer was thrown out at the plate as Kentucky executed a textbook relay play.
The next batter, Cassie Trosclair, connected for a sacrifice fly to push the Tigers to a 3-0 advantage.
"I thought this was one of the better offensive performances that we've had in a while," head coach Beth Torina said. "I liked our approach and our effort. We swung big and hit the ball hard. Allison did a fantastic job all and had three quality at-bats. I was happy to see her get back on-track."
Kentucky charged back with two runs in the home half of the fifth inning. With runners on the first and second base, Brittany Cervantes belted a 2-2 change-up into the right centerfield gap to clear the bases. She extended the game with two outs in the seventh inning and tacked on a solo homer to straight-away centerfield to even the tally at 3-3.
"Give a lot of credit to Cervantes, she's a great hitter," Torina said. "She is one of the best players in the league. She showed it tonight and provided two timely hits in clutch situations for them."
The Wildcats took advantage of an Ashley Langoni error on a dropped fly ball to place the finishing touches on the 4-3 comeback win.
Rachele Fico, the nation's ERA leader, was tagged with the setback and fell to 16-10 on the season. She was touched up for four runs, three earned, on four hits. The junior right-hander recorded eight strikeouts versus four walks.
Reigning SEC Pitcher of the Week, Chanda Bell, won her third straight decision over a ranked opponent. She surrendered three runs off four hits. The senior right-hander tallied 10 strikeouts against three walks.
"Entering the weekend, our goal was get our offensive mentality better," Torina said. "We did a great job of that in this game. If we add that to our quality pitching and quality defense, I think we'll be fine."
Game two of the series is scheduled for Saturday at 12 p.m. CDT with live audio and live stats inside the Geaux Zone on LSUsports.net. The game also will be carried live 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.