Kentucky to Host Butler on Friday in Lexington Regional Kickoff
**UPDATE** - Game times on FRIDAY of the Lexington Regional have been moved to 11am ET (Illinois vs. Butler) and 1:30 p.m. ET (Kentucky vs. Butler) in an attempt to get ahead of expected weather.
LEXINGTON, Ky. – After earning the No. 9 overall seed in the 2016 NCAA Softball Tournament, the Kentucky softball team will open up postseason play on Friday night at 6 p.m. ET against the Butler Bulldogs at John Cropp Stadium on day one of action from the Lexington Regional.
Like all games of the Lexington Regional, Friday night’s game will be shown live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app in its entirety with select portions of the game airing on ESPNU’s “Bases Loaded” coverage. Dave Baker and Dorian Craft will have the call on Friday, with former UK standout Ginny Carroll joining Baker in the booth for Saturday and Sunday’s action. All Kentucky games can also be heard on local radio with Dick Gabriel. Fox Sports Radio 1580AM will have coverage on Friday and Saturday with 630 WLAP taking over on Championship Sunday.
The Lexington Regional is comprised of the host Wildcats, Utah Utes, Illinois Fighting Illini and Butler Bulldogs, with one team advancing to the Super Regional round next weekend. This weekend’s action will be double-elimination with all teams playing one game on Friday night, two elimination games on Saturday and the regional final on Sunday afternoon.
Tickets can be acquired on an all-session or single-day basis online at UKathletics.com. All-session tickets are available for $30 in chairback seats, or $20 for general admission bleacher back seating. Single-day passes can be purchased for $15 per day for a spot in the reserved chairbacks, or $10 for adults or $8 for youth/seniors in the bleacher back seats. Single-session tickets will go on sale on Thursday, May 19 at 9 AM ET. Tickets may be ordered online or by calling the UK Ticket Office at (800) 928-2287.
In the event of inclement weather, fans are encouraged to call the John Cropp Stadium weather hotline at (859) 257-9014 for any game-related updates. Updates will also be posted on Twitter via @UKSoftball and @UKTix.
Sunday marked the seventh-straight year that Kentucky has earned an NCAA Tournament bid under Rachel Lawson, the 2016 Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year. The Wildcats have advanced to four out of the last five Super Regionals, and a Women's College World Series appearance in 2014.
UK is 5-0 all-time against the Butler Bulldogs, with the last meeting coming back in 2014 at John Cropp Stadium. The Wildcats won that game 9-7. Kelsey Nunley pitched 3.2 innings, with Meagan Prince pitching 3.1 innings and closing out the game. Lauren Cumbess went 2-for-4 with a double and the game-winning RBI single. The Bulldogs earned the BIG EAST automatic bid with a 10-8 win over the St. John’s Red Storm in the title game. BU is 28-22 on the season, and finished conference play 9-7.
Kentucky played Utah earlier this season in the team’s first-ever meeting, winning on a walk-off passed ball in the bottom of the seventh inning as part of the Kajikawa Classic in Phoenix on Feb. 15. The Utes earned an at-large bid out of the PAC-12 conference. Utah completed the regular season 32-19 with a 13-10 record in league play including wins over Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona and a sweep of Oregon State.
Illinois enters the postseason as an at-large selection out of the Big 10. The Fighting Illini capped off the first year of the Tyra Perry era 35-21 overall and 12-11 in the B1G. Illinois has recorded wins on the season over No. 9 Florida State, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Penn State. The Wildcats have not faced Illinois this season, but Kentucky leads the all-time series 1-0 with the Fighting Illini. The only prior meeting between the two teams was back in 2013.
2016 Lexington Regional | Tourney Central
John Cropp Stadium (1,500)
Friday, May 20
Game 1: (2) Utah vs. (3) Illinois – 11 a.m. ET [ESPN3, WatchESPN app, ESPNU Bases Loaded]
Game 2: (1) Kentucky vs. (4) Butler – 1:30 p.m. ET [ESPN3, WatchESPN app, ESPNU Bases Loaded]
Saturday, May 21
Game 3: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 – 1 p.m. ET [ESPN3, WatchESPN app, ESPNU Bases Loaded]
Game 4: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 – 3:30 p.m. ET [ESPN3, WatchESPN app, ESPNU Bases Loaded]
Game 5: Loser Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 – 6 p.m. ET [ESPN3, WatchESPN app, ESPNU Bases Loaded]
Sunday, May 22
Game 6: Winner Game 3* vs. Winner Game 5 – 1pm ET [ESPN3, WatchESPN app, ESPNU Bases Loaded]
Game 7 (if necessary) – Same teams – 3:30 p.m. ET [ESPN3, WatchESPN app, ESPNU Bases Loaded] *
*Winner to Super Regional round May 26-29 on select campus sites
For the latest on the Kentucky softball team, follow @UKSoftball on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com.