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Best of Blue Weekly Awards (week of April 30)

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It can be hard to keep up with everything going on in the University of Kentucky's 22 varsity sports. With that in mind, we will highlight the best from around Kentucky sports each week. We'll recognize the best performances from Wildcat teams and players, we'll show you the coolest videos and photos that you may have missed and we'll mix in some new stuff along the way. Here are your award winners for this week:

Team of the Week: Softball wins weekend series over No. 2 Florida

As Kentucky fights for a spot in the NCAA Tournament, the Wildcats did themselves a huge favor by taking two-of-three over the No. 2 ranked Florida Gators on the road this weekend. 

The Wildcats started the series off right with a 2-0 win in the opener. Seniors Brittany Cervantes and Chanda Bell did the damage as Cervantes belted her 10th home run of the season and Bell shutout the Gators in the circle.

After the Gators evened up the series in game two, head coach Rachel Lawson sent her ace out again. Bell showed up in a big way. She allowed just one run to keep her team in the game. Then fellow senior Rachel Riley blew the game open with a bases loaded double en route to a four-run sixth inning to help capture the series in a 5-1 victory.

Player of the Week: Chanda Bell delivers two Ws in series win over No. 2 Florida

Senior pitcher Chanda Bell set the tone this weekend in their series win over the Gators. In Kentucky's game one victory, Bell hurled 7 shutout innings, allowing just four hits, walking one, and striking out eight in their 2-0 win. The win bumped her record to 13-10 on the season.

Bell was called upon again in the finale, as the Cats needed a win to take the series. As a true senior leader, with her team grasping to post-season hopes, she delivered once more. Facing one of the most vaunted offenses in the country, Bell shut Florida down. She struck out 13 Gators on her way to seven innings of one-run ball, nabbing her 14th win of the season.

Game of the Week: Orta, Nadzam impressive at Payton Jordan Invitational

Some Kentucky runners had huge days over the weekend in Palo Alto, Cal. In the Payton Jordan Invitational, Luis Orta ran the second-fastest 3,000-meter Steeplechase in UK history with a career-best time of 8:47.52. Orta's time was good for fourth, and he was just one second away from a second-place finish.

Josh Nadzam broke his own personal best in the 1,500m with a time of 3:45.10. Nadzam's previous best of 3:47.07 came in his junior year. It was a come from behind win for Nadzam, coming from fourth place, moving up to second on the last lap, and eventually taking the lead to grab the victory.

Several other runners participated in the meet. Sophomore Matt Hillenbrand ran a career-best 3:47.20 in the 1,500m. Junior Walter Luttrell over came his career-best in the 5,000m, beating his old best by 37.3 seconds with a 14:11.79 time. Freshman Keffri Neal finished second in his heat in the men's 800m with a time of 1:51.04, his career-best. And junior Megan Wright ran a 4:34.81 in the women's 1,500m run, also her career-best time in that event.

Video of the Week - "Born a Champion"



Alumnus of the Week - Bledsoe plays key role in historic playoff comeback

With a 9:30 start on the East Coast and the Memphis Grizzlies up by 27 in the 3rd quarter, not many people got to see the incredible finish to the first-round match-up between the Clippers and the Grizzlies in the NBA Playoffs. They also did not get to see former Wildcat Eric Bledsoe help lead the way.

Though they faced the large deficit, the Clippers never felt they were completely out of it. They used a 35-point 4th quarter to grab a 99-98 win in game one. Bledsoe scored 7 of his 9 points in the fourth quarter, including a big three-pointer, while chipping in two assists and grabbing four rebounds in the comeback win.

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