By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
The Colonels (23-16) came up a little short in their quest of beating Kentucky for the first time since 2006, dropping a pair of games Wednesday, 6-2 and 4-3, in Richmond.
But unlike the last two times the teams played, both 7-0 wins by UK in 2009 and 2011, Wednesday the No. 18 Wildcats had a battle on their hands from the Colonels right up until their final at bat in both contests.
In the first game of the doubleheader the Wildcats got a run in the first inning and two in the third to go up 3-0.
That lead held up until the fifth inning when the Colonels finally got to UK pitcher Lauren Cumbess.
Lauren Mitchell got things started for the Colonels with a lead-off single to right field. She moved to second on a ground ball to second by Carissa Reisinger.
After Melissa Costa drew a walk, freshman Kayla Joyce drilled a line-drive double to the wall in center field scoring Mitchell to make it 3-1 and sending Costa to third.
Haley Schenasi brought Costa home with an infield single to cut the lead to 3-2. But, Cumbess retired the next two batters to get out of the jam, leaving runners on second and third.
The Colonels threatened again in the sixth inning, getting a two-out double by Mitchell, but Cumbess got Carissa Reisinger to ground to second to end the inning.
EKU starting pitcher Leanna Pittsenbarger struck out the first two Wildcats to start the seventh, but then surrendered a solo home run to Cumbess and two batters later a two run shot to Nikki Sagermann to make the final 6-2.
Pittsenbarger went the distance in the circle for the Colonels, giving up six runs on nine hits. She struck out seven and walked three.
In game two, UK had to come from behind to snag the win.
The Colonels drew first blood, scoring a run in the first on an RBI single by freshman Sarah Fobbs.
The Wildcats took the lead in the second inning on a home run by Alice O’Brian and an RBI single by Krystal Smith.
EKU re-took the lead in the bottom of the inning thanks to a throwing error by UK to take a 3-2 lead.
Colonels pitchers Hayley Flynn and Shaylon Robb made that lead hold up until the seventh inning when the Wildcats, down to their final strike, got a two-run single up the middle from O’Brian to pull out the 4-3 victory.
Flynn started in the circle for the Colonels and went three innings, giving up five hits and two runs. She struck out one batter and had no walks.
Robb pitched four innings in relief, giving up two hits and two runs, while walking five batters.
The Colonels return to conference action on Saturday against Tennessee State at Hood Field.
Baseball falls to Ohio
The Eastern Kentucky University baseball team saw its four-game winning streak come to an end with a 10-3 loss at Ohio University on Wednesday.
Ohio (7-24) took advantage of an error in the first to score two runs. The Bobcats extended their lead to 7-0 with five runs in the third. Cody Gaertner drove in a run with a double to center. Dan Schmidt and Ben Otto had RBI singles.
EKU (9-20) got on the board in the fourth. An RBI double by Alex Hughes followed by a run scoring single from Matt Phipps cut the deficit to 7-2. Phipps scored after a pair of stolen bases and an Ohio throwing error.
Gaertner had a 2-run single in the sixth to put Ohio in front 9-3. Gaertner finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run. Jake Badsen and Schmidt each had three hits. Schmidt also had three RBIs.
Hughes finished 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI, while Phipps went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Sean Hagen also had two hits.
Cameron Langfels (0-3) suffered the loss after allowing two runs in two-thirds of an inning. Brett Barber (1-3) earned the win after tossing one and one-third innings. He allowed one hit and one walk while striking out two.
The Colonels return to Ohio Valley Conference play at home this weekend against Tennessee-Martin. The series opener is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Friday.