Softball Begins Practice Monday

Jan. 12, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky softball team opened spring practice in preparation for its 2009 season Monday with a pair of sessions at Nutter Indoor Training Facility on the campus of the University of Kentucky.

Under the direction of second-year head coach Rachel Lawson, the Blue and White are eager to begin their 2009 campaign. Kentucky endured a morning running workout, and then hit the practice field for two and half hours in the afternoon.

"Obviously everybody is really excited to get back to practice," Lawson said following the team's second training session of the day. "Everyone came back in great shape and with the desire to begin working hard, which is a great step in the right direction for this program."

Kentucky returns 10 letterwinners from a season ago and welcomes 10 freshmen to the roster. UK will look to All-SEC performers in juniors Molly Johnson and Natalie Smith and sophomores Meagan Aull and Megan Yocke for leadership in the early practices.

"Practice is going to be very competitive because everyone is healthy and ready to compete for starting spots," Lawson said. "All 20 athletes are excited to get the season started, and they've really worked hard in the offseason which has increased our confidence level and energy to begin the season."

Kentucky is preparing for a grueling schedule that includes matchups with 16 teams that advanced to the NCAA Regionals and four that appeared in the Women's College World Series in 2008. UK kicks off the season in Las Vegas, Feb. 13-16.

"Our 2009 schedule should prove to be very challenging early and provide us the opportunity to get ready for the demands required to be successful in the SEC," Lawson said. "In addition, a stronger schedule will better prepare us for reaching our team goal of competing in the NCAA Tournament."

Follow along with the UK softball program all season long at UKathletics.com.