Wildcats Host Western Illinois in Midweek Clash

March 12, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky softball team will return to the diamond with a mid-week matchup against Western Illinois at 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday afternoon at the UK Softball Complex. It marks the first non-conference action of the season on its home field for the Blue and White.

Kentucky (10-11) enters the matchup owning a 10-8 mark against non-league opponents. The Wildcats own a .247 team hitting clip paced by the bat of junior Kara Dill who boasts a .429 average. She has hit safely in 18 of 21 games this season. Dill also leads the Wildcats with 12 stolen bases and 16 runs scored.

Freshman Griffin Joiner has also exploded onto the scene with a .344 average, three homers and 11 RBI. Joiner has started every game for the Wildcats as either UK's catcher or designated player.

Sophomore pitcher Lauren Cumbess owns a 2.42 ERA and two wins on the season. She tossed a career-high 10 strikeouts in a tough-luck loss to No. 1 Alabama this weekend. Senior Chanda Bell charts a 2.67 ERA and has a team-high five victories. She's also fanned 44 batters on the season.

Western Illinois owns a 7-13 overall record. The Fighting Leathernecks and the Wildcats have one common opponent in Wright State. UK prevailed by a 3-0 score, with Western Illinois falling by a 4-2 margin.

The Leathernecks have battled one other Southeastern Conference opponent in an early season matchup at Georgia. Georgia earned a 2-0 victory in that matchup.

Western Illinois is paced at the dish by Sammy Marshall who owns a .356 average and has successfully converted all 23 stolen base opportunities. Jamie Goss is utilizing a .292 average with a team-high 13 RBI and three homers.

In the circle, Western Illinois is led by Kelsey Michelini who has totaled a 2.69 ERA and a 5-4 record thus far. She's fanned 35 batters in four complete games.

Live stats and web streaming of the game between Kentucky and Western Illinois is available at UKatheltics.com.