No. 11 Kentucky Travels To No. 4 Alabama For SEC Showdown
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 11 Kentucky softball team will make the 500-mile trip south to the Rhoades House over the weekend for a three-game series with the No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide as both teams will be looking to stay in the hunt for a Southeastern Conference championship with action kicking off on Friday night extending through Sunday afternoon in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The series commences on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. ET with that game shown live on the SEC Network+, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. Saturday’s game will start at 6 p.m. ET and televised by the SEC Network with Jenn Hildreth and Kayla Braud on the call. Sunday’s series closer will start at 2:30 p.m. ET.
UK is sitting at No. 11 in Monday's release of the NCAA RPI and currently hoists a 38-9 overall record, including a perfect 4-0 mark against in-state opponents in 2016. The Wildcats beat the Hilltoppers of WKU 5-0 on Wednesday night thanks to a five-run fourth inning and junior pitcher Meagan Prince’s fifth complete-game shutout of the season, hurling a one-hitter.
Alabama comes into the weekend as the No. 4 ranked team in the country in both major polls, sitting three games behind Kentucky of the win column in the Southeastern Conference standings board through six weekends of conference action. The Tideare the only team this season to have taken a series from the No. 1 ranked Florida Gators, winning two of three in Gainesville two weeks ago.
Kentucky is led in hitting by speedy slapper Sylver Samuel, who will enter weekend 11 of play in at .362 on the year in batting average. Samuel has scored 20 runs on 46 hits this season with a double and six RBI. The hottest bat being swung by the Wildcats right now is freshman Abbey Cheek, who has four home runs in her last five games, including three off the John Cropp Stadium videoboard in left field. Three of the four homers she hit last week were game-winning long balls, including the series-clinching homer in the bottom of the sixth inning on Sunday against No. 18 Missouri’s ace, Paige Lowary.
Senior pitcher Kelsey Nunley continues to be sensational in the circle, entering the weekend with a 17-4 overall record on the season, and a 1.14 ERA to lead the deep and dynamic Kentucky pitching staff. Nunley is the NCAA leader for all active pitchers in career innings thrown, with over 870 in her four years in the Blue and White.
The Tide are led in the circle by the duo of Alexis Osorio and Sydney Littlejohn, who have thrown the most innings this season for Alabama, and both have ERAs under 2.50. Littlejohn leads the charge with a 2.02 ERA and an 18-3 record in the circle, with the sophomore Osorio posting a 12-5 record on the season and a 2.72 ERA.
Friday, April 22
No. 11 Kentucky at No. 4 Alabama – 7:30 p.m. ET (SEC Network+)
Saturday, April 23
No. 11 Kentucky at No. 4 Alabama – 6 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
Sunday, April 24
No. 11 Kentucky at No. 4 Alabama – 2:30 p.m. ET (SEC Network+)
For the latest on the Kentucky softball team, follow @UKSoftball on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com.