No. 24 Kentucky Travels West for Tourney
Feb. 24, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Fresh off of a victory at the Garnet and Gold tournament hosted by Florida State, the Kentucky softball team will return to action with a road trip out west to the Stanford Nike Invitational Feb. 25-27. UK will take on Memphis, Colorado State, No. 16/17 Stanford, UC Davis and North Dakota State in the round-robin tournament.
Kentucky captured the Florida State tournament behind the tremendous offensive performance from junior Brittany Cervantes. The Chatsworth, Calf., native batted .625 for the weekend and blasted a trio of home runs in consecutive at-bats to lead the way. For her efforts she was tabbed the SEC's Player of the Week.
UK also received outstanding offensive performances from seniors Megan Yocke and Meagan Aull. Yocke blasted her third career grand slam in a 13-0 victory over Middle Tennessee State. Aull was the steady backbone to the offense with a .357 average and a pair of extra-base hits.
Kentucky's hot start can still be contributed to the pitching staff who owns a combined 1.17 ERA and has limited batters to a mere .170 clip. All four pitchers have charted a victory on the year. Junior hurler Chanda Bell paces the staff with a 3-1 record and a 0.89 ERA in six appearances. Bell has totaled 545 career strikeouts and sits just six away from breaking Keary Camunas' all-time record of 550.
Memphis and Kentucky will meet for the second time in three weeks with a noon ET first pitch on Friday, Feb. 25. The Tigers are one of just two teams to hand UK a loss this season following a 3-2 victory during the opening weekend of action.
The Kentucky softball team provided another thrilling finish, but could not repeat its comeback effort from a day earlier falling 3-2 to Memphis in the fourth game of the FIU Combat Classic for the Blue and White. UK left 10 base runners aboard for the game as the offense left the bases loaded twice in the contest.
The Tigers possess a 7-2 overall record and are led at the plate by a pair of batters owning a .292 average in Heather Mott and Jessica Phillips. The duo has also combined for four of Memphis' five home runs on the season.
In the circle, Carly Hummel is 5-0 with a 0.74 ERA and 36 strikeouts tossed on the year.
Colorado State enters the weekend on a five-game slide after dropping all of its games a week ago. The Rams have a 2-7 overall record on the season.
Four players own an above .300 batting average led by Brittany Palish who has appeared in seven games and started five for the Rams.
Kelsey Jo O'Brien has eight appearances in the circle and claims a 2-4 record with 27 strikeouts tossed. O'Brien has earned a 12.12 ERA thus far and the pitching staff as a unit combines for a 9.9 ERA.
UK will face the Rams at 2:15 ET time on Friday, Feb. 25.
The No. 16/17 Stanford Cardinal enter the weekend with an 8-2 overall clip with perhaps its most impressive victory over then No. 5 Tennessee in a 5-0 shutout. The matchup with the host team is set for Saturday, Feb. 26 at 4:30 ET.
Ashley Hansen leads the bats with a .500 clip as she has connected on 18-of-36 at-bats for the year. Hansen has also charted eight extra-base hits including five doubles, a pair of triples and a home run.
Leading the pitching staff is Teagan Gerhart who is 4-2 on the season in eight appearances. She possess a team-best 1.17 ERA and has tossed 35 strikeouts on the year.
UC Davis owns a 4-4 record to start the season. The Aggies captured a pair of victories last week in San Diego to improve upon a 1-3 opening start.
Alex Holmes leads the offense with a .462 average with Kelly Schulze contributing a .333 clip. Holmes also does it from the circle with a team-best 3.72 ERA in five appearances.
The Aggies and Wildcats will meet in the second game on Saturday with a 9 p.m. ET first pitch.
North Dakota State owns a 3-7 overall record and earned two wins in Athens, Ga., at the Georgia tournament last weekend.
The Bison are paced by Nicole Rivera who has made starts in all 10 contests and totals a .364 average with a pair of doubles and a homer.
Randi Parks is 2-1 in the circle with a team-leading 5.33 ERA and 15 strikeouts tossed.
UK and the Bison are set for a Sunday, Feb. 27 date and Noon ET first toss.
Complete coverage of the Wildcat softball team all season long can be found at UKathletics.com.
UK's complete schedule at the Stanford Nike Invitational
Fri., Feb. 25 vs. Memphis, Noon ET
Fri., Feb. 25 vs. Colorado State, 2:15 p.m. ET
Sat., Feb. 26 at No. 16/17 Stanford, 4:30 p.m. ET
Sat., Feb. 26 vs. UC Davis, 9 p.m. ET
Sun., Feb. 27 vs. North Dakota State, Noon ET