LEXINGTON, Ky. — Chanda Bell tossed her fifth career no-hitter and Alice O’Brien provided a two-out RBI single in the sixth inning to lift Kentucky to a 1-0 victory and series sweep over the LSU softball team Sunday.
Next, LSU (34-21, 15-13 Southeastern Conference), seeded sixth, will face No. 3 seed Florida at 11:30 a.m. Thursday in the SEC tournament at Alabama’s Rhoads Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. That game will be televised by ESPNU.
UK (29-27, 15-13 Southeastern Conference), which entered the series 3-35 all-time against LSU, swept the series by winning all three games by one run. The Wildcats will face off Georgia in the touranment.
Bell (16-10) retired the first 12 batters she faced and finished with six strikeouts and two walks.
“Bell was really tough and did a great job of keeping our offense off balance,” LSU coach Beth Torina said. “All the credit and hats off to her for being able to turn in that type of performance on her senior day.”
LSU’s best opportunity to score came in the sixth when A.J. Andrews drew a two-out walk and stole second base. But Bell struck out Cassie Trosclair on a full count to end the threat.
In the bottom of that inning, Griffin Joiner worked her way to a walk on 12 pitches with one out and moved to second on Ginny Carroll’s check swing groundout. O’Brien’s chop single over the circle was stopped by a diving Allison Falcon. However, Joiner scored standing up as Falcon’s throw home was off-line.
Rachele Fico (16-11) struck out eight, with three walks. It was the seventh time this season the junior right-hander received zero runs of support.
“I think it’s good for us right now at this point to go back to being 0-0 with the start of the postseason and to have a fresh mentality,” Torina said. “We need to understand that all of the things that we’ve worked hard for start right now. This group wants to win a championship, and the opportunity is right in front of them with the SEC tournament.”
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