Softball Receiving Votes in Both Preseason Polls

Jan. 25, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Both major NCAA softball preseason polls were released on Tuesday, and the Kentucky softball program is receiving votes in both the National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll and the ESPN.com/USA Softball selection.

The Wildcats are one of seven Southeastern Conference squads among the top-25 or receiving votes to begin the 2011 campaign. The SEC has four teams ranked in the top-seven in both polls with Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and Florida all among the top-10 in the nation. LSU ranks in the top-20 in both polls, while Auburn joins UK as receiving votes.

In the NFCA poll, Kentucky charted seven votes. In the USA Softball poll, the Blue and White garnered eight tallies.

Kentucky will play seven teams ranked in the preseason top-25 in both major polls including the season opening game with No. 22/24 Ohio State. UK began the 2010 campaign a season ago playing No. 5 Arizona State and knocked off the Sun Devils to begin the year on their home field.

In addition to the SEC teams and Ohio State ranked among the top-25, UK will also play Stanford and Florida State who are ranked to begin the year. Opponents who are receiving votes on UK's schedule include: DePaul, Florida International and intra-state rival Louisville.

The Wildcats return 12 letterwinners from its NCAA Tournament team in 2010 including three-year starters in seniors Megan Yocke and Meagan Aull. Yocke is a three-time All-SEC performer, while Aull has started every game of her career in centerfield.

UK also returns the pitching tandem of juniors Chanda Bell and Rachel Riley who have combined to earn 55 of UK's 66 victories in the past two seasons. That total is more than any other pitching combination in school history in a two-year span.

Kentucky begins the season at the Florida International Combat Classic on Feb. 11. UK will play Ohio State and Florida International on the opening day of competition.

Complete coverage of the Wildcat softball team can be found at UKathletics.com.