GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Ansley Smith's body language told the whole story Sunday afternoon.
The UK junior clenched the face guard of her helmet with both hands as she stared at the dirt.
She staggered over to the dugout railing in disgust, both hands holding her head.
First base umpire Danny Bowman had ruled that she went around on an 0-2 pitch from Florida ace Lauren Haeger. It was the final out in Kentucky's 1-0 loss to the Gators in Game 2 of the Gainesville Super Regional.
Just like that, the Cats' bid for a second consecutive Women's College World Series appearance was over, derailed by their SEC rival.
For the second time in as many days both Haeger (28-1) and UK's Kelsey Nunley (14-16) took the circle.
After managing just two hits in Game 1 against Haeger, the Cats (32-26) tried to play small ball by manufacturing runs with aggressive base running and pushing the defense of Florida (55-6).
On Saturday, the Cats didn't have a runner on first with one out until the sixth inning. But UK was able to do that in both the third and fourth innings on Sunday.
After Sylver Samuel reached base with a one-out single in the third, Lawson called for a hit-and-run with Griffin Joiner at the plate. Joiner hit a rocket to left field that was corralled by Nicole DeWitt as she crashed into the wall. DeWitt's throw to Kayli Kvistad at first base got Samuel as she tried to scramble back.
In the fourth, Maisie Steed reached base on a one-out walk. Lawson asked the next batter, Erin Rethlake, to bunt Steed over. Rethlake's attempt popped up midway between Florida catcher Aubree Munro and Haeger. Fully extending herself, Munro made a diving catch and got to her knees to throw Steed out.
Both were momentum-killing plays. But they were risks Lawson was willing to take.
"The bigger the game, the bigger the risk (especially) when you are the underdog," Lawson said. "On the ball Joiner hit ... (Samuel) was (attempting) a steal. That was just a risk we were taking to get a run in. She hit it on the nose. ... It was a gamble we took because Samuel has such great wheels and Joiner's a very good situational hitter.
"The other time ... that was more about lack of execution at the plate than it was about base running."
Kentucky's two other hits were leadoff singles by Nikki Sagermann in the first and Steed in the second.
Haeger (28-1) extended her scoreless streak against the Wildcats to 292⁄3 innings while allowing just nine hits over that span.
Already looking ahead to next season, Lawson said she wants an even higher level of consistency from her team. She wants the Cats to be in Lexington for the 2016 regionals and super regionals.
"We know how to win, we know how to get to the postseason," Lawson said. "We are trying to be a team that constantly gets a national seed, a top-eight seed. When you have home-field advantage, (you) have all the energy, the passion of the hometown fans. We have to do (everything) so that we can be a national seed ... not just one time but ... every time."
With 17 players returning, including seven juniors, the pieces are in place for UK to take another step forward.
"We are going to be very good," Lawson said "We are smart. We have a lot of people returning. We have outstanding pitching, and we will be back."