SEC Coaches Pick Cats Third; UK 7th in ESPN.com Top 25
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky softball team has been picked to finish third in the Southeastern Conference in 2015, including picking up one first-place vote by league coaches, it was announced on Thursday by the league office.
The predicted order of finish is the highest ever for the Wildcats, who finished tied for sixth in the conference last season before advancing to the SEC Tournament Championship Game and the Women's College World Series. Kentucky ended the 2014 season with a 50-19 record and returns 13 letterwinners from that squad, including six starters and three pitchers.
Florida, the preseason No. 1 team in the nation and defending national champions, picked up 11 first-place votes and were tabbed to win the 2015 SEC Title. Alabama was picked to finish second in league play, while LSU was fourth and Georgia - the only other team besides Florida and Kentucky to receive a first-place vote - was picked fifth.
Wildcats Seventh in ESPN.com/USA Softball Preseason Top 25: Last week, the Kentucky softball team was ranked sixth in the nation in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Preseason Top 25, marking the highest preseason ranking in that listing in program history. A week later, UK can claim that honor again, coming in at No. 7 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Preseason Top 25.
Kentucky will be battle tested throughout the top 25 as it is scheduled to play 31 games - or 55% of its schedule - against teams either ranked or receiving votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Preseason Top 25. Kentucky will have three-game sets with No. 1 Florida, No. 4 Alabama, No. 10 Georgia, No. 14 Tennessee, No. 18 LSU, No. 19 Auburn, No. 24 Texas A&M and South Carolina, who is receiving votes. The Wildcats will play two games each against No. 5 Florida State and Louisville, who is receiving votes, and single games vs. No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 12 Arizona and WKU, who is receiving votes.
For the latest on UK softball, follow @UKSoftball on Twitter and Instagram or like Kentucky Softball on Facebook.