UK Opens SEC Play at Home vs. Tennessee
March 10, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. - With the 23rd-ranked Kentucky softball team off to its best start in program history, the Wildcats will open the 2011 homestand hosting No. 7/8 Tennessee to begin Southeastern Conference action starting Friday. UK and the Lady Vols will play a three-game set March 11-13, marking the first time in SEC history softball will play three-game series over a three-day period. First pitch on Friday, March 11 is set for 5 p.m. ET.
Live stats and a live video feed of all of the action from the UK Softball Complex will be available at UKathletics.com throughout the weekend.
Kentucky has been impressive to start the season owning a 14-3 overall record. UK has been consistent in all phases of the game nearly batting .300 as a team, possessing the best fielding clip in the league (.985), and the pitching staff owns a 1.22 ERA. With returning starters Chanda Bell and Rachel Riley already viable SEC pitchers, UK has welcomed the early success of freshmen Lauren Cumbess and Ellen Weaver who are a combined 6-0.
At the plate, UK has earned steady performances from sophomore Kara Dill and junior Brittany Cervantes. Dill leads the unit with a .409 batting average and a .519 on-base clip. Cervantes has developed into a top option in the lineup with a team-best six home runs and 20 RBI to start the season. The always consistent duo of seniors Meagan Aull and Megan Yocke are both off to the best starts of their careers at the dish. Aull captured a career-best hitting streak, and Yocke leads the squad at the top of the order with 16 walks and an on-base percentage of .515.
Kentucky has finished in sixth overall in the SEC in each of the last two seasons. The 2011 season begins with Tennessee, a College World Series participant from a year ago. Three teams in the SEC are ranked at the top of both polls with Tennessee rounding out the top-10. In all six different SEC teams are ranked in the top-25, including UK to begin the SEC slate.
The Lady Vols enter the weekend series with UK owning a 19-2 overall record and a No. 7 national ranking. Tennessee is led by a pair of players who are batting above .500 for the season including reigning SEC Player of the Week Kat Dotson who possesses a .517 average.
Tennessee is achieving success at the plate in a variety of ways including power (26 home runs)?and small-ball (165 RBI). Leadoff hitter Raven Chavanne owns a .508 batting average with three home runs on the year and a team-best 14 stolen bases. As a unit, Tennessee is batting .401 and has already scored 177 runs on the season.
In the circle, the Lady Vols have used three pitchers with freshman Ellen Renfroe making a team-high 16 appearances. Ellen Renfroe has gone 11-1 in nine starts and has struck out a team-best 81 batters. Her sister, sophomore Ivy Renfroe, is 5-1 on the season and has struck out 51. The pitching staff possesses a combined 1.59 ERA and has recorded seven shutouts.
Tennessee owns an all-time record of 30-9 over the Wildcats. That mark includes a doubleheader sweep from a season ago. Prior to that, UK had captured at least one victory over the Lady Vols in the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
Complete coverage of the Wildcat softball team all season long can be found at UKathletics.com.