Former UK Softball star Brittany Cervantes did it again. After hitting a home run to lead Mexico to its first-ever softball win yesterday vs. Italy, Cervantes went 2-2 with two singles and a run scored to push her country past Australia 4-1 to the medal rounds this morning. Mexico will now play Canada in the bronze medal game Tuesday at 12:05 a.m. ET. The game will be shown live on CNBC, Peacock, and NBCOlympics.com with Beth Mowins, Michele Smith and Jessica Mendoza on the call. USA and Japan will face off for the gold medal Tuesday at 7 a.m.
Today was Cervantes’ first multi-hit performance of the Olympics. For the tournament, she is hitting .333 with four hits in 12 at bats, two extra base hits, two runs scored, a home run and a double. In yesterday’s 5-0 win over Italy, Cervantes became the first UK player to ever hit a home run and score a run in the Olympics. She has appeared as team Mexico’s starting catcher, and played two games in the outfield, as well as the designated player.
Cervantes was Rachel Lawson’s first-ever recruit at Kentucky, playing from 2009-12. She set the school’s career home run record, which Abbey Cheek broke in 2019. Cervantes was a First Team All-Southeastern Conference selection in 2012 as well as All-SEC Defensive Team honoree. She was All-Region in 2011, her junior season, and is one of only two UK players to hit 10+ home runs all four years of her career.
After her career at UK was over, Cervantes went on to win the 2019 Cowles Cup with the USSSA Pride, her fourth-career NPF championship. The California native hit a pair of home runs in the championship series and was again one of the most explosive offensive players in the 2019 NPF season before moving into her current role as director of softball operations.
Canada sends Alexia Lacatena and Italy home
In other “Kentucky Softball in the Olympics” news, incoming freshman Alexia Lacatena closed out an impressive performance Monday for Team Italy, ending the games with 9.2 innings pitched and only five earned runs allowed against the best five teams in the world. The Italians lost to Canada 8-1 earlier today. Lacatena pitched at least 1.2 innings in four of the five games Team Italy played, including not allowing a run in two innings against Team USA on July 20. The UK signee did not allow more than two runs in any performance in the circle and recorded seven strikeouts during the event. Lacatena will be on campus in Lexington this fall and a part of the 2022 Kentucky Softball team for her freshman season.