Sophomore Will Bishop led all UK players in qualifying with a score of -14.
Brian Craig and his men's golf team open up their fall slate with a trip to Zionsville, Ind., Saturday with a clear goal in mind: Improvement. But that goal is just one of many goals in Craig's greater scheme.
With Kentucky going up against some very talented golfers from Indiana University, the University of Illinois and Ohio State, among other opponents, UK will get its first early test and an opportunity measure where its game is.
"This is a good (way) to start the season off because it's a good blend," said Craig. "But you will get a gauge because there are some teams that are really good."
In order for Craig's players to be where they need to be, and that's preferably in the top-five when this weekend is all said and done, his players have to focus on themselves rather than the competition. If they do that, Kentucky should be in contention near the end.
"The only thing we can control is the decisions we make, the attitude we have, how we think about ourselves, so my goal would be that we do that well," said Craig.
The object of the fall for the men's golf team this fall is to continue to master its game with an eye toward next spring, when the competition matters most. The spring brings some of the most competitive fields in the country due to UK's affiliation with the Southeastern Conference. The SEC boasts arguably the best golf conference in the nation.
Craig believes that a NCAA championship is attainable at UK, and that the road to that title is via a different title: the SEC championship.
"As a team, our goal is always to be a in a position to win the SEC championship at the end of the year," said Craig. "If we can do that, then we're going to be in a position to win the NCAA championship because the SEC is as good as it gets."
This weekend will give the Wildcats an opportunity to see just how much they have to improve to get to that level. After qualifying, Craig likes what he's seen from his golfers, especially sophomore Will Bishop who ran away with the top spot.
Bishop won the five-round qualifier by eight shots, including a 10-under par round of 62 to post a team-best 14 under for the qualifying rounds. As surprising as that score appears, Craig was hardly surprised by the success of his sophomore.
"No, it wasn't a surprise at all," said Craig. "About March of last year, he became a new player and has been maturing since then and getting better."
Craig described Bishop's transformation as a player as going "from a boy to a man." A good portion of that improvement can be credited to former golfer Mads Kristensen who pulled Bishop to the side last season. Kristensen's message to Bishop made an immediate impact, because since that moment, Bishop hasn't turned back.
"When one of your peers does that, sometimes it sticks, and (Bishop) will tell you it stuck," Craig said. "And ever since that point he's been a different guy and a different player."
But Bishop isn't the only one that has his coach excited. Those who qualified, other than Bishop, senior Chase Parker, juniors Cody Martin and Stephen Powers, and sophomore David Snyder each played well, save for one round during qualifying.
Craig came away from qualifying encouraged, but is looking for more consistency out of his team this weekend.
"It seemed like everybody had one really bad round except from Will," said Craig. "But then we had some really good stuff too, though. We had some good shots as well as some very low scores to go in there with that. We just need to be more consistent overall. You just have to be in men's golf."
The Wolf Run Invitational will present Kentucky with a tough task, as the course itself is one of the most challenging courses they will play on all season. It requires a high golf IQ and the ability to execute in order to find success.
Craig is looking for the Cats to bring both a high IQ and execution out on the course, but he wants them to play with some attitude. While the spring portion of their schedule is the one that counts, they can't reach their goals without first taking care of business in the fall. That's where things went wrong last year.
Last season, UK lacked the consistency necessary to string an entire year together. They struggled mightily in the fall, and despite a strong spring, there failures in autumn held them back. He hopes a more experienced group of players will help them this time around to achieve more consistent results. If they are capable of that, there's no reason they shouldn't be able to achieve their goals.
"This year is all about consistency, because last year we didn't have a good year, but we had a solid spring," said Craig. "The fall killed us. We have no excuses not to be more consistent; these guys are not green behind the ears anymore. We need to get to the point when we have our 'C' games we are still a competitive team in that field, and if we do that, we are going to go a long ways in the post season."
The men's golf team took at foreign trip to Scotland over the summer. (Photo courtesy of Cameron Mills)
If you ask a former athlete or even current professional athletes, they will likely tell you that being a student-athlete in college is one of the most memorable times of their careers. They may not remember every snap, every swing or every play, but certain special moments and experiences with teammates often remain fresh in their minds forever.
The Kentucky men's golf team had one of those experiences over the summer. In head coach Brian Craig's tenure at Kentucky, he has been able to take his starters on a foreign trip, each of the last two times to Ireland. This year, he decided to mix things up.
In 2012, men's golf was afforded the opportunity to take all 10 players, staff and a couple of extra guests on a trip to the birthplace of their sport: Scotland.
The birthplace of golf offers a different style of golf than is played in the United States. Their courses are considered "links-style," a faster, longer, firmer type of course that vastly contrasts from the traditional course in the U.S., which often leads to a more difficult game. But that didn't keep the Wildcats from having the time of their lives.
"It was obviously a one-of-a-kind trip," said senior Joseph Barr, "And the scenery, you can't beat. It's, everywhere you go, beautiful mount sides, green. It doesn't have the city feel to it. But when you actually do go into the town and city parts, everything's really bunched together and it's a great time."
In fact, the difficulty of some of the most famous and scenic courses in the world was looked upon as a challenge and opportunity to improve. It not only tested the will of these UK golfers but also their creativity.
But if the style of the courses did not make it challenging enough, the wonderfully gloomy weather that is Scotland played a hand in the conditions as well.
"It rains every day in Scotland," said senior Cody Martin. "You just have to accept that you're going to get wet. But we got used to that after about five days. The conditions are the same every day. It's cloudy, it's cool and it rains."
This was no sight-seeing tourist trip, however. They came to Scotland with a purpose: improve their golf game no matter the conditions. Each day brought more golf, new courses and new experiences. Scotland wasn't about learning about Scotland, which they did, but it was learning about themselves and how they could adapt their game.
Though the styles of play vary so much to the point that links golf vaguely resembles the game they are used to playing in the United States, there were still several lessons to be learned.
"You can for sure use your talents of knowing how to play in the wind because the wind you get there is nothing like you get here," said Barr. "It's so dramatic. So when you come back here, you're like, 'Oh, this isn't bad at all.'"
Craig, who decided that he would play with and against his players to generate a competition within the group, believes that his team had a great time regardless of the results or conditions just because the experience was that unique.
"The reaction was, they loved it; every one of them," said Craig. "Even though the weather was not very good over there, it doesn't bother you because the golf is so special."
Despite the gloomy weather, the players kept a bright outlook each day. After all, they were playing on some of the world's top courses and honing their craft. They got to play on Open Championship courses like The Old Course at St. Andrews, Carnoustie, The Turnberry Resort, and the Royal Troon Golf Resort.
If you're a serious golfer, that's golf heaven.
While the golf may have been special and the sightlines otherworldly, the greatest impact the trip may have made was within the team itself. For the first time since Craig began taking foreign trips, he had an entire team intact to absorb a once-in-a-lifetime experience together.
"We normally only take the starters," said Craig. "But this time we took all 10 guys. We obviously were together all the time, but I think the best part of the trip for the guys was that they got to bond together all the time."
Both seniors echo their coach's sentiments. For most tournaments during the regular season, teams often only travel five or six of their best players. Those guys often get to know each other better than the others and the team rarely gets to share experiences as a unit. For really the first time, this group was able to do just that.
"Even on the days where played 36 holes and that's what we did all day, and even when we were miserably tired and it was pouring down rain, we were still loving it," said Barr. "Turnberry was our favorite golf course and it poured down rain all day and we had the greatest time. We'll just always be able to have this camaraderie that we were able to enjoy this together."
Spending time with teammates is great, and this team certainly came together just as well as Craig could have hoped, but it was the special guests that made this trip extra special. Playing countless rounds of golf in Ireland with your buddies is fantastic. Playing countless rounds of golf with your father, with your brothesr, or with a Kentucky basketball legend can only enhance what was already going to be a fantastic experience.
Stephen Powers was fortunate enough to have his father John join the team on the trip. Barr had his brother and former Kentucky Wildcat Cale Barr, who had previously been on one of the Ireland trips during his time playing for Craig. Then to cap off the guest list, former Kentucky basketball great and two-time national champion Cameron Mills received an invite from volunteer assistant coach Tim Philpott.
For the Barr brothers, it was a very special moment that they will be able to share with each other and their family for the rest of their lives.
"I was so worried that he wasn't going to be able to go because it was such an expensive trip," said Joseph Barr. "You know you always want to be able to have some family members there. That's why for me and Stephen Powers, he got to have his Dad there. John Powers and my brother were the only family that were able to come, but we were very fortunate to have them there."
They were also fortunate to have Mills along for the journey to share his life experiences, both on and off the hardwood. Mills also served as the team photographer, shooting some amazing pictures of the players and the scenic landscapes that the team competed on. Though he wasn't part of the team, it may have been Mills who had the best experience of all.
"I haven't followed UK basketball my whole life," said Martin. "I didn't know (Mills) before he went on the trip. But I obviously know who he is now. He was a ton of fun to be around and he had so much fun. He probably had the most fun out of everyone there to be honest. He plays the least golf out of anyone who went. He took pictures of us all and he had a blast. I know that."
It was experience after experience for these players. Whether it was a new course, high winds, firm conditions, or special guests, this team was taking it all in, savoring every last bit before the Wildcats had to return home.
Now, when they look back, they are a stronger, tighter group, all because of the similar experiences that they shared together as a team. After spending some time back home, they've played some golf to get back into the swing of things, but Scotland is, and will continue to be, forever fresh in their minds.
"Every day we talk," said Barr. "Every time we see each other it just brings back old memories."
This week marks the last few quiet days around UK Athletics before football fall camp gets started after Media Day on Friday. Still, there are a few news items to report.
-On Tuesday afternoon, UK Athletics announced its 2012 Hall of Fame class. Six Wildcat greats will be welcomed into the prestigious group as a part of Hall of Fame Weekend. On Sept. 14-15, in conjunction with Kentucky's football game against Western Kentucky, the six individuals below will be officially inducted.
Derek Abney - Football (2000-03)
Leroy Edwards - Men's basketball (1935)
J.B. Holmes - Men's golf (2002-05)
Jeff Keener - Baseball (1980-81)
Clayton Moss - Swimming and diving (1999-2003)
Nancy Scranton - Women's Golf (1983-84)
-Junior men's golfer Cody Martin qualified for the 2012 U.S. Amateur Championship, shooting even-par over two rounds at the U.S. Amateur Qualifier at Coldstream Country Club in Cincinnati, Ohio. He joins teammate David Snyder as the second Wildcat to qualify. Play at the championship begins on Aug. 15 at Cherry Hills Golf Club in Denver.
-Anthony Davis will be suiting up for Team USA for the second time on Tuesday evening, as the Americans take on Tunisia at 5:15 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on NBC Sports Network. Even if Davis continues to serve as the 12th man against Tunisia, he will likely play should the game prove to be the blowout so many expect it to be.
In recent years, the NCAA has emphasized the importance of the Academic Progress Rate, imposing tougher goals and enforcing stricter penalties on programs that fail to meet them. The 22 teams from the University of Kentucky Athletics Department have responded.
Once again, UK's programs exceeded the four-year NCAA cut score of 900 (which will escalate to 930 over the next few years), ensuring that each remains eligible for postseason play. UK teams combined for an average four-year APR of 975.3, more than two points better than the NCAA average of 973. To take it a step further, 15 of UK's 22 teams exceeded the national average in their respective sports.
"With the increase of the cut score, achieving the APR has become even more challenging," Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said in a release. "Our coaches and support personnel have done well in adjusting to the requirements and I'm proud of our student-athletes for their work in posting strong scores."
Leading the way was men's golf, which earned a perfect APR of 1000. Following behind closely were women's cross country (994), men's cross country (993), women's golf (993) and women's tennis (992). Also exceeding the national average for their sports were men's basketball (963), football (951), baseball (975), women's basketball (970), softball (984), men's tennis (987), women's indoor track (984), women's outdoor track (986), volleyball (990) and rifle (982).
Not only did UK teams compare favorably to their counterparts at other institutions, but they also showed improvement. Sixteen of UK's 22 teams had better four-year scores than in 2004-05, including baseball, which is up 77 points over that time frame.
The men's basketball team, fresh off a national championship, also continued to show significant progress. Its score of 963 is 41 points better than 2004-05 and stands to improve even more. In each of John Calipari's two seasons as head coach, UK's single-season APR has been 979, including in 2010-11, the last year included. The 2011-12 academic year will be reflected in the APR release next summer, which bodes well given that the combined team grade-point average for the spring semester was 3.12.
See below for four-year APR information by sport and a comparison to UK's 2004-05 totals and national averages:
Last August, former Kentucky golfer and current professional J.B. Holmes had to withdraw from the PGA Championship. He was tested and diagnosed with a condition called Chiari malformation (CM), or structural defects in the cerebellum.
He underwent two surgeries in a month, the first removing a part of his skull and the second addressing an allergy to an adhesive used in the first. Since then, Holmes has recovered and returned to the PGA Tour in January.
This week, he is participating in the Players' Championship and is the story of the tournament even before teeing off in a competitive round. On Wednesday, Holmes met the Wendorff family, which has three children with CM. He hosted the three boys with the condition and their parents on the final practice day to show them a good time and that living a normal life with CM is possible.
Zachary and Skyler were later diagnosed with CM. Zachary has had a surgical procedure to treat the condition. Skyler is asymptomatic.
"They're kind of looking for somebody to look up to," Dan said.
Holmes is 5-foot-11, but that's tall enough. He treated Skyler, Brayden, Zachary and Cami (the 4-year-old sister has no signs of CM) like golf royalty. They walked the fairways with Holmes and even took turns taking some practice putts.
"It was awesome," Dan said. "It was awesome. I was glad to see that they could meet with somebody, an adult that's doing well and doing what he loves -- [despite] the misfortune of having the Chiari malformation."
Holmes got something out of it, too. His smile was just as big as the kids'.
And not that he needs another lesson in perspective, but Wednesday's meeting was a nice reminder of what matters.
"At the time, you think [bogeys are] the end of the world," said Holmes, whose neck muscles are still recovering from the surgeries. "And they really don't mean anything."
The clock is ticking down on this year in UK Athletics.
Baseball is the only team still in regular season play, while men's tennis, softball, track and field, women's golf and men's golf are all preparing for postseason play. You can find more information on each one at the individual sport pages, but I figured I would compiled and summarize information on how to follow all of your Wildcat teams in the postseason. Men's tennis - Hosting NCAA Tournament beginning Friday
For the fourth consecutive season, UK was chosen to host first and second round matches. Kentucky, the No. 6 overall seed in the tournament, will open their NCAA run against No. 75 Radford (20-5) 3 p.m. Friday at the Boone Tennis Complex. Should the Cats win, they will advance to meet the victor between Indiana (21-8) and Louisville (18-9), a match that will be played on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Boone Tennis Complex.
Tickets are still available and you can visit Tourney Central http://www.ukathletics.com/ncaatennis/ for more information. For those unable to attend, there are plenty of ways to keep up with the action:
If UK advances past the second round, it will travel to Athens, Ga., for the Sweet 16.
Softball - Opens SEC Tournament on Thursday
With a late-season surge, UK earned the fifth seed in the SEC Tournament and the right to face fourth-seeded Georgia at 5 p.m. ET on Thursday in Tuscaloosa, Ala. All tournament games will be carried live on the ESPN family of networks with UK's first round game on ESPNU and ESPN3.
Just a couple weeks ago, it appeared the SEC Tournament may be UK's last chance to qualify for NCAAs, but the Wildcats are now two games over .500 and likely to reach the NCAA Tournament even with a first-round loss in the SEC. Stay tuned to the blog this evening, because we will have a feature on senior Rachel Riley to preview the tournament.
Track and field - Preparing for SEC Championships
The track and field team is already in Baton Rouge, La., where the Wildcats will participate in the SEC Outdoor Championships. The event begins on Thursday and lasts through Sunday. Metz Camfield is traveling with the team and will have updates on UKathletics.com. Also, follow @KentuckyTrack on Twitter as the Cats look to improve on an eighth-place finish at SEC Indoors.
Women's golf - NCAA bound
Last week, the women's golf team learned its NCAA Tournament path, and the Wildcats will be heading to Columbus, Ohio for the Central Regional of the NCAA Women's Golf Championship, which begins on Thursday and lasts through Saturday. The Cats will be part of a 24-team field that includes six other SEC teams as they look to finish a strong 2012 during which they've bested the school record for team scoring average by nearly two strokes.
Men's golf - Awaiting NCAA fate
The Wildcats, after a seventh-place finish in the SEC Championships, are hoping to earn their first NCAA Regional berth since 2009. If UK does hear its name called, Regionals will take place May 17-19.
Baseball - With No. 1 LSU coming to Cliff Hagan Stadium, No. 2 Kentucky won the series over top-ranked LSU with wins in the second and third game of the series. Kentucky's series win is the first over a No. 1 ranked team in the modern era of the program, with the Wildcats producing record crowds during the three-game set. - UK leads the nation in wins, sits atop the SEC standings and owns a 12-3 record in one-run games and an 11-5 record in games against top-25 teams. The Wildcats have opened up the year with series wins over No. 2 South Carolina, at Tennessee, at No. 18 Georgia, No. 10 Ole Miss, at No. 9 Arkansas and No. 1 LSU. The Wildcats are off to the best start to a season in the over 100-year history of the program, with its SEC start the best in program annals. - The Wildcats have been paced by a team offense that leads the conference in nearly every category, hitting .316 as a team, with a .488 slugging and a .403 on-base percentage, belting 47 homers in 41 games and stealing 36 bases. Individually, freshman centerfielder Austin Cousino leads UK with a .351 average, with a league-leading 17 doubles, seven homers and 34 RBI, stealing nine bases.
Football - The Kentucky football team held its annual Blue/White Game Saturday evening at Commonwealth Stadium. The first teamers, who went by Kentucky on the scoreboard, won 35-28 over the second team (Wildcats). The first team outscored the second team 35-14 overall, as the Wildcats were spotted 14 points as part of the spring game format. - Quarterback Maxwell Smith led Kentucky to victory, totaling 353 yards on 29-of-45 passing and two touchdowns. - Wide receiver Demarco Robinson led Kentucky's receiving corps with nine catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns. The Wildcats' leading receiver was tight end Anthony Kendrick with three catches for 40 yards and one touchdown. - On defense, linebacker Tyler Brause was the Wildcats' leading tackler with seven, while linebacker Avery Williamson charted a team-high eight tackles, including two for loss and one sack for the Kentucky squad.
Men's tennis - The sixth-ranked Kentucky men's tennis team made its second consecutive appearance in the Southeastern Conference Tournament finals over the weekend before falling to fourth-ranked Georgia in the title match. This was Kentucky's third all-time appearance in the final match. - Kentucky defeated No. 43 Vanderbilt and No. 13 Ole Miss to advance to the finals. The win over VU was Kentucky's 25th of the season, helping UK surpass the 25-win mark for three consecutive seasons for the first time in school history. - Senior No. 3 Eric Quigley led Kentucky with a 2-0 record in singles action, helping him break the school record for most wins in a single season with a 47-6 record this year. Kentucky junior Anthony Rossi and sophomore Tom Jomby were named to the SEC All-Tournament team after the final match.
Softball - The Kentucky softball team traveled to the state of Mississippi for a five-game road swing. UK began the week well with a sweep of Ole Miss, which marked the fifth consecutive time the Wildcats had earned a series from the Rebels. - Both senior pitchers in Chanda Bell and Rachel Riley earned victories, while freshman Griffin Joiner led the bats with an .800 average against the Rebels. - Mississippi State took all three against UK during the weekend series, winning all three outings by just one run each game. The final two wins came in walk-off fashion.
Track and field - Junior Luis Orta finished ninth in the 3,000-meter run at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., running the third-fastest 3,000m run (8:49.45) in school history. - Sophomore Brandon Bagley ran a career-best time in the 400m hurdles Saturday, clocking in with a 53.93 to finish third. - The women's 4x100m relay team finished first with a time of 45.62, Andrew Evans won the men's discus with a 176-02 and Terri-Ann Grant won the women's high jump at 5-10.50. - Jennifer Svoboda threw a season-best mark in the women's shot put with a mark of 50-08.75.
Women's tennis - The women's tennis team traveled to Oxford, Miss., for the SEC Championship. The 11th-seeded Wildcats faced 6th-seeded South Carolina in the first round of the tournament. - In doubles play, the 82nd-ranked team of Jessica Stiles and Caitlin McGraw took on No. 37 Dijana Stojic and Jaklin Alawi in a highly-competitive match. UK mounted a late comeback to hold off Stojic and Alawi from taking match-point on multiple occasions, holding the score at 7-6. Ultimately, Stojic and Alawi were able to barely edge out Stiles and McGraw to take the 8-6 win and the doubles point. - In singles play, multiple Wildcats found strength in their second set. Unfortunately, the late surges were not enough to grab the singles wins. South Carolina secured its win as the No. 4 and No. 5 matches ended simultaneously to give the Gamecocks a 5-0 victory. Women's golf - The University of Kentucky women's golf team placed ninth at the 2012 SEC Championship. - Senior Ashlee Rose led the Wildcats, finishing in a tie for 12th at 14-over-par 230. Rose led Kentucky with 35 pars, the second most by an individual on the weekend. - Junior Betsie Johnson finished in a tie for 29th at 21-over-par 237.
Men's golf - Kentucky finished seventh at the SEC Championship, going 6-under-par in the final three holes to finish at 26-over-par total. - Joseph Barr and Stephen Powers led UK, tying for 19th at 4-over-par. - Kentucky's final team score of 868 was its second-best score at the conference tournament since 2006.
Tuesday, April 23 Softball hosts Morehead State - 4:00 p.m. Baseball at Louisville - 6:00 p.m. Thursday, April 25 Track and field at Penn Relays (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Friday, April 26 Softball at Florida - 6:00 p.m. Baseball at Vanderbilt - 7:30 p.m. Track and field at Penn Relays (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Saturday, April 27 Softball at Florida - 1:00 p.m. Baseball at Vanderbilt - 3:00 p.m. Track and field at Penn Relays (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Sunday, April 28 Softball at Florida - Noon Baseball at Vanderbilt - 2:00 p.m. Track and field at Payton Jordan Invitational (Palo Alto, Calif.)
Baseball - Kentucky completed its first series win over Ole Miss since the 2008 season, as the Wildcats won the set over a blistering-hot Ole Miss club that entered the weekend fresh off a series win over consensus No. 1 Florida. UK posted a 3-2 win in the opener, suffered a 9-3 loss in the second game, before riding a strong pitching effort from Corey Littrell to a series-clinching win on Sunday, 8-3. - UK has opened up the 2012 season with a 30-3 mark, the best start to a season in school history, leading the NCAA in wins and pacing the conference atop the standings for the second consecutive week. - UK's 9-3 start to conference play is also a program best, with UK running up a school-record 21-game home winning streak earlier in the year and a program-best 22 game winning streak to open the season, the second-longest streak in the storied history of the SEC. UK now owns a 7-2 record against teams ranked in the top 25, with UK also boasting a 9-1 record in one-run games in 2012.
Men's tennis - Behind a dominating performance in singles action that included a come-from-behind effort from senior No. 7 Eric Quigley for the decisive fourth point of the match, UK clinched a share of the SEC regular-season title with a 5-2 win over No. 14 Ole Miss on Sunday. UK began the weekend with a 6-1 win over No. 10 Mississippi State. This is the first SEC title since UK won the overall SEC Championship in 1992. - Quigley was the star of the weekend for Kentucky, winning both of his singles matches to increase his impressive record to 10-0 against SEC foes. The native of Pewee Valley, Ky., defeated two highly ranked foes during the week, including No. 15 Artem Ilyushin and No. 19 Nik Scholtz. Quigley's win over Scholtz was the match clincher vs. Ole Miss. - The two wins over the weekend takes Kentucky's record against top 25 teams this season to 9-3, while UK has earned 29 wins over top-25 teams since the start of the 2009 season. UK also continued to perform well at home, boosting its home record to 58-10 since the start of the 2009 season.
Gymnastics - UK concluded the season with a fifth-place showing at the NCAA Champaign Regional behind a team score of 194.750. - The Wildcats saved the best performance of the night for last, scoring a team score of 48.95 on uneven bars. Junior Caitlyn Ciokajlo led the way for Kentucky with a career-high tying 9.875, which ranked her fifth overall at the meet. - UK seniors Storey Morris and Whitney Rose ended their collegiate careers with strong showings at the event. Morris posted a team-best 9.825 on balance beam and a 9.8 on both vault and bars, while Rose tied a season best score on bars with a 9.775. Softball - The Kentucky softball team earned a crucial series victory over South Carolina this weekend at home to improve to 5-7 in Southeastern Conference action and remain in the hunt for a spot in the SEC Tournament. - Kentucky was led by the hot-hitting of senior Brittany Cervantes and freshman Griffin Joiner. Cervantes batted .400 for the week, including .500 against the Gamecocks. Cervantes hit homers in all three games against South Carolina, while scoring five times and driving in four runs. Joiner led the offensive unit with a .444 average for the week. She notched a pair of doubles and three runs driven in to help the Wildcat cause. - Senior Rachel Riley also boasted the Wildcat attack with a .400 average and a pair of homers. She was vital in her pitching performance as well. Riley tossed her first shutout of the season in the series-tying victory. She went the distance and struck out five in the win. Senior Chanda Bell earned the other victory in the circle for UK while striking out 10 in a complete-game series-clincher on Sunday. Women's tennis - Women's tennis grabbed its first SEC victory of the season over Mississippi State, posting a final result of 5-1. - In singles play, Jessica Stiles defeated 113th-ranked Alexandra Perper at the No. 1 singles slot, 6-7 (3), 6-1, 1-0 (10). Khristina Blajkevitch also found herself in a tight match as she defeated Olesya Tsigvintseva 2-6, 6-2, 1-0 (8). Caitlin McGraw and Stephanie Fox also grabbed singles victories for the Cats. - UK next faced No. 16 Ole Miss and fell 7-0. Freshman Edmee Morin-Kougoucheff put up a valiant effort in singles play, falling just short of Erin Stephens at the No. 3 singles slot, 6-7, 4-6.
Men's golf - Men's golf finished 13th at the Gary Koch Invitational, its final tournament of the regular season. - Junior Joseph Barr led Kentucky with a final score of 8-over-par, tying for 38th. - It was the second time this season Barr had the best or tied for the best tournament finish on the team.
Women's golf - The University of Kentucky women's golf team finished 13th at the 2012 Bryan National Collegiate. - Junior Heather Lott finished the weekend in a tie for 35th at 11-over-par 227. - Junior Betsie Johnson led Kentucky with eight birdies on the weekend.
Track and field - Competing at the Florida Relays, junior Shiara Robinson recorded the seventh-best time in the 400m hurdles in UK history with a 1:00.85. - Sophomore Julie Nunn ran the 10th fastest 400m dash in program history, clocking a 55.71. - Freshman Keilah Tyson continued her impressive rookie campaign, missing out on her UK freshman record in the 100m by just 0.01 seconds. - Junior Luis Orta finished fifth in the 5,000m with a time of 14:09.47, while sophomore Allison Peare finished fifth in the 800m. Upcoming schedule
Tuesday, April 10 Baseball hosts Louisville - 6:30 p.m.