Lady Rattlers drop season opener to No. 6 Kentucky

Kenya Pereira about to wind up – Courtesy FAMU Sports Info.

Florida A&M University’s softball team lost its home-opener to the University of Kentucky, 4-2, but the Lady Rattlers see the glass half-full going toe-to-toe with a top-10 nationally ranked team.  

FAMU started slowly on defense as miscues in the outfield allowed the Kentucky to jump out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning. 

FAMU misplayed several pop-up balls, which set up runs for the Wildcats.The lady rattlers also struggled with Kentucky’s pitching, losing the hitting differential 7-5.

Despite losing the game, assistant coach Lori Goodart was proud of how her team performed and of the of the 207 people in attendance that provided support for the team.

“We did lose, but overall I’m proud of our girls’ poise and how they came out and played against a nationally ranked opponent like they did,”

Goodart said. “I thought tonight we had a great crowd for a four o’clock game… the support on the hill and in the stands that makes all the difference we showed Kentucky that we are strong with rattler nation.“

FAMU picked up it's offense in the second inning due to a RBI that lead to Naesha Lewis scoring the first run of the game for the rattlers tying up the score 1-1.  

Sophomore pitcher Kenya Pereira pitched the entire game facing 30 batters, and had a few at bats. Pereira was pleased with her performance against the number six-ranked team in the nation..

“Physically I feel fine,” Pereira said. “Throughout the game I tried to stay focused [Coach] instructed me to throw away from certain hitters that’s why some of my pitches seemed off.”

Despite being on the mound all game, Pereira said she was not fatigued and was grateful for the performance of her outfield.

“The outfield did good they definitely saved me a lot, but our outfield works hard during practice so I expected it,” Pereira said. “As far as this being the first game, and pitching to a great team… think I did a pretty good job.”

The lady rattlers went scoreless for three innings because of the pitching of Kentucky’s Meagan Prince. The drought ended after junior right infielder Jessica Nathan hit a RBI that led to Tashay Irvis scoring setting the score at 4-2.

Nathan feels that her poise led her to have a good hitting performance, and is looking forward to this season.

“I felt really confident today, and I can honestly say I didn’t feel pressured at all from the beginning of the game I felt really relaxed,” Nathan said. “I’m looking forward to this season, and I just want everyone to come support us.”

FAMU hits the road to take on Troy University this weekend and will return home to take on Florida State University Tuesday, February 10th.