Kentucky Begins SEC Slate in Baton Rouge
March 6, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. -
The Kentucky Wildcats will ride a five-game winning streak, including a perfect 4-0 tournament record in its final tune-up before SEC play, when the open the Southeastern Conference slate at LSU.
Kentucky has strung together five straight wins behind a balanced offensive attack and quality pitching in the circle from freshman Chanda Bell and junior Amber Matousek. Bell was honored as the SEC's Freshman of the Week after going 3-0 at the Hatter Classic. She tossed 14 innings of work and did not yield a single earned run. The first year player notched 18 strikeouts compared to just three walks. Matousek has been equally impressive with a career-best 1.31 ERA.
Junior Destinee Mordecai helped preserve UK's unblemished clip at the Hatter Classic with a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning against Stetson. Kentucky's final game scheduled against Maryland for Sunday was cancelled.
Junior shortstop Molly Johnson and sophomore Samantha DeMartine have been steady at the plate for the Blue and White. The duo has combined for 15 RBI, three doubles and two triples through the first part of the season. Johnson leads the team with a .390 batting average and eight stolen bases. DeMartine carries a .351 average and a team-best on-base percentage of .478.
LSU is off to a hot start opening with an 12-4 record and scratching the national polls at 19/22. The highlight to their non-conference season was two wins over then No. 5 Texas A&M.
UK and the Tigers have one similar opponent in Hawaii. The Blue and White notched an 8-0, five-inning romp of the Rainbow Wahine. LSU, scored two 6-5 victories in Honolulu--including one game that went eight innings.
LSU won a mid-week contest with Nicholls St. on Wednesday, but otherwise have not seen the field since Feb 25th--as their last tournament was cancelled due to the snowstorm that conquered the southeast. The Tigers are led by Kirsten Shortridge who is batting .431. Brittany Mack and Cody Trahan have been a steady force in the circle combining for a 7-1 record and nearly 100 strikeouts.
The Wildcats and Tigers have met on the diamond 25 times in their 10-year history. LSU holds a 25-1 overall record against the Blue and White. The two squads have met every year for at least two meetings since 1998.
Kentucky is 4-8 all-time in opening SEC games. UK has never opened with LSU to begin its SEC slate. The Wildcats have started with Alabama, Florida and Auburn three times in their history. Last season, UK topped Tennessee 2-0 to open the conference slate.
Live results of this weekend's action are available at UK's official homepage. Complete coverage of the UK softball team can be found at UKathletics.com.