Softball Returns to Action at Florida State
Feb. 17, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Following the best opening weekend of play in school history and its second national ranking in school allure, the Kentucky softball team is set to return to action for five games in Tallahassee, Fla., on the campus of Florida State beginning Feb. 18.
The Wildcats got off to a hot start with a 4-1 week at the FIU Combat Classic which included wins over Ohio State, DePaul and FIU. UK entered the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll at No. 24 following the best start to a season in school history.
Senior Samantha DeMartine and freshman Emily Jolly led the offensive onslaught for the Blue and White. DeMartine batted .462 for the weekend with a pair of home runs, while Jolly set the single-game UK record with three doubles in a win over DePaul. Sophomore Kara Dill earned a hit in every outing for UK and finished the weekend with a .417 average and a team-high two stolen bases.
In the circle, junior right-hander Chanda Bell picked up a pair of victories and owned a 0.84 ERA in three outings. She also struck out 20 batters on the weekend to move to within 27 fanned batters of setting the program record for strikeouts in a career.
No. 24 Kentucky will face Georgia Southern, Middle Tennessee State and the host Florida State Seminoles who are receiving votes in both polls. After playing each team once to begin the tournament, the teams will be seeded and each team is guaranteed two additional games for the remainder of the weekend.
Kentucky will meet Georgia Southern at 10 a.m. ET on Friday, Feb. 18 to begin the tournament. The Georgia Southern Eagles began the 2011 season by hosting the Spring Hill Suites 2011 Eagle Classic and went 2-2 on the weekend.
The Eagles earned two wins over Mercer, but dropped two outings to Radford. Mackenzie Williams led the bats with a .444 average and a pair of home runs. Megen Smith drove in a team-high four RBI behind two long balls on the weekend.
Brianna Streetmon was 1-1 in the circle for the Eagles with a 4.20 ERA and eight strikeouts. Sarah Purvis lost her only start, but leads the team with 12 fanned batters and a 3.00 ERA.
UK will then take on Middle Tennessee State at 12:30 p.m. ET on Friday, immediately following the game with Georgia Southern.
The Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State began the season with a doubleheader against Murray State. Middle Tennessee split the matchups with Murray State, winning one game by a 16-13 score.
Corrie Abel went 5-for-8 at the plate to pace the squad in its two outings. Abel led seven starters who hit with an above .300 average to lead an offense that combined for a .417 clip.
In the circle, Janele Robinson led the pitching staff with a 2.74 ERA and 10 strikeouts.
Kentucky will meet the host Florida State Seminoles at 12:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, Feb. 20 before tournament play begins later that afternoon.
Florida State began the season ranked in the top 25 and dropped out of the polls following a 3-3 opening weekend. The Seminoles are still receiving votes in both major polls entering the weekend.
Florida State opened the season at home and earned wins over Hofstra, UNC Greensboro and Florida A&M. Kelly Hensley leads the offensive output with a .571 average and four RBI.
Sarah Hamilton started three games for the Seminoles and went 1-2 in her outings with a team-best 1.14 ERA and 34 strikeouts.
Complete coverage of the Wildcat softball team all season long can be found at UKathletics.com.
UK's complete schedule at Florida State
Fri., Feb. 18 vs. Georgia Southern, 10 a.m. ET
Fri., Feb. 18 vs. Middle Tennessee State, 12:30 p.m. ET
Sat., Feb. 18 vs. Florida State, 12:30 p.m. ET
Sat., Feb. 18 vs. TBA, 3 p.m./5:30 p.m. ET
Sun., Feb. 19 vs. TBA, 10 a.m./12:30 p.m. ET