UK Softball Enters ESPN/USA Softball Top 25

March 2, 2010

ESPN/USA Softball Top 25 Poll

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - After an impressive 11-3 start to begin the season following its first postseason run a year ago, the Kentucky softball team entered the ESPN/USA Softball Top 25 Poll for the first time in school history, coming in at No. 23.

For the majority of the 2009 season the Wildcats were among the teams receiving votes in the ESPN/USA Softball poll. Kentucky has been among the receiving votes leaders to start the season and was No. 26 a week ago. After another notable weekend where UK went 3-1, Kentucky finally broke into the top 25 and registered a No. 23 ranking.

Head coach Rachel Lawson returned her entire starting lineup and full pitching rotation to the 2010 squad. Kentucky began the season with a bang by knocking off No. 5 Arizona State on its home field for its third consecutive lid-lifting victory under Lawson. The Wildcats then rattled off seven straight victories and went a perfect 5-0 to claim the Florida Atlantic Kickoff Classic.

The Wildcats' pitching staff has been exceptional to begin the season as the Cats rank third in the Southeastern Conference with a 1.31 earned run average. UK is limiting opposing batters to a league-low .181 batting average while striking out 118 on the young season.

Senior Amber Matousek tossed the first no-hitter of her career and the second in school allure in an 8-0 victory against Evansville on Friday. Sophomore right-hander Rachel Riley picked up a pair of wins and did not allow a run in a 2-0 week at the FAU Kickoff Classic, while fellow sophomore Chanda Bell ranks second in the SEC with 81 strikeouts to her name this season.

The Blue and White made its first NCAA tournament run a season ago under the direction of Lawson. Senior Molly Johnson became the first All-America selection in school history to highlight the individual accolades in 2009's incredible run.

Kentucky returns to action March 5 at the Buzz Classic hosted by Georgia Tech. UK will take on Jacksonville State on Friday with a 4 p.m. ET start time. Immediately following that contest, UK takes on Georgia State at 6 p.m.

Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information regarding the Kentucky softball team.