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Link: UK leads off espnW's College Softball Notebook

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With an 8-3 start and three wins over ranked opponents on a challenging (and long) West Coast road trip, Rachel Lawson's Kentucky softball team has surged into both polls after beginning the season unranked. The Wildcats are garnering some national attention for their impressive start, including leading off Graham Hays' week 2 College Softball Notebook for espnW. Here's an excerpt from his story:

A lot of programs get good for a short time. Fewer successfully manage the transition to what comes next.

"We're kind of starting a new era with Kentucky softball," Lawson said.

At least the Wildcats are easing into it. Or not.

Kentucky's schedule in the first two weeks was as ominous as any in the nation. First at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., and this past week at the Campbell-Cartier Classic in San Diego. Opponents have included Arizona State, California, Cal Poly, Oklahoma, Oregon State, San Diego State, Stanford and Washington. The Wildcats stand at 8-3, including wins against four Pac-12 teams and San Diego State on its home field.

They took their lumps against Arizona State and Oklahoma, two teams likely to apply them with regularity this season, but they also answered the skepticism that left them unranked to start the season.

"It was a very tough schedule, but it's exciting to get to play those teams," senior shortstop Kara Dill said. "We are in one of the best conferences, so we play Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, Georgia. We play them all the time. So to get to play some Pac-12 teams and some Big 12 teams, it's a different game. We understand SEC softball, but it's just a different game playing those teams. It's exciting.

"You want to be where those teams have been. We want to be in the World Series, and they've been there."

Next up for the Cats are four games this weekend in Spartanburg, S.C. Look for a longer story later in the week here on Cat Scratches, but check out Hays' full notebook in the meantime.

Link: UK leads off espnW's College Softball Notebook

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