UK Hits the Road for Final Tournament
March 4, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The 24th-ranked Kentucky softball team will hit the road for the final time before opening up Southeastern Conference action when it travels to Carbondale, Ill., for the Coach B Classic hosted by Southern Illinois March 5-6. Kentucky will meet the host Salukis, SIUE, Wright State and Purdue in the two-day round-robin tournament.
Kentucky is coming off of a 3-1 week at the Stanford Nike Invitational with wins over Colorado State, North Dakota State and UC Davis. Senior Megan Yocke led the way at the plate charting a pair of hits in every contest. Fellow senior Meagan Aull has been on fire since moving to the clean-up roll in the lineup. She is currently on a career-best seven-game hitting streak. Sophomore Kara Dill has consistently been a source of offense for the Blue and White with a .371 batting average and a pair of multi-hit outings.
UK's pitching and fielding have been the prime sources of success en route to a school-best 11-3 start. The Wildcats lead the SEC with a .984 fielding percentage and are second in the league with a combined 1.41 ERA. Junior Chanda Bell has been magnificent in the circle touting a 1.42 ERA in 10 appearances while striking out a conference-best 73. The freshmen tandem of Ellen Weaver and Lauren Cumbess has combined for a 4-0 record and 23 strikeouts while yielding a mere five earned runs between them.
The Wildcats will play four contests this week at Southern Illinois before opening up SEC action by hosting No. 7 Tennessee at the UK Softball Complex March 11-13.
Southern Illinois enters the weekend with a 10-3 mark overall which includes a split with SEC member Mississippi State earlier in the season.
The Salukis have a quartet of batters charting an above .300 average to begin the season. Taylor Orsburn is the leader with a .382 clip. She paces the squad with 14 RBI and has blasted three long balls on the year.
Southern Illinois' pitching staff carries a 5.18 ERA on the year. Danielle Glosson has seen the most action with a 5-2 record in 11 appearances. Glosson possesses a 3.42 ERA and she's struck out 51.
The SIUE Cougars enter the weekend with a 5-9 record, but the Cougars have been impressive in the process. SIUE has taken top-five ranked UCLA down to the wire as the Bruins needed nine innings to top the Cougars and Virginia needed eight in another matchup.
SIUE is led at the plate by Rachel Coonrod who is hitting .306 in 13 starts. Erika Taylor leads the pitching corps with a 3-5 record and a 2.66 ERA.
Wright State enters the weekend with a 4-5 record on the year. The Raiders have played in two early season tournaments to open the 2011 campaign.
The Raiders are led by the duo of Kristi Boreing and Justine Shilt who both are hitting with an above .400 clip. Shilt has driven in nine runs with a trio of home runs.
Krystian DeWitt has made six appearances on the mound and is charting a 3.91 ERA with a 2-3 record. DeWitt has struck out a team-best 16 on the year.
Purdue owns a 9-3 record which includes a six-game winning streak entering the weekend. The Boilermakers defeated SEC member Mississippi State during the run. However, two of the Boilermakers' losses have come at the hands of top-20 ranked LSU in the first weekend of action.
The Boilermakers are batting .342 as a team with nine home runs and 30 stolen bases. Eight starters are batting .300 or better, led by Shelby Krammer (.458) and Kim McMillan (.452).
Senior Suzie Rzegocki (8-2) leads Purdue in the circle, with a 1.41 ERA, 46 strikeouts and five shutouts in 54.2 innings.
Complete coverage of the Wildcat softball team all season long can be found at UKathletics.com.
Kentucky's Schedule at the Coach G Classic
March 5, at Southern Illinois, 1 p.m. ET
March 5, vs. SIUE, 7 p.m. ET
March 6, vs. Wright State, 10 a.m. ET
March 6, vs. Purdue, 2 p.m. ET