No. 12 Softball Hosts Louisville Wednesday at John Cropp Stadium
April 1, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. – In the midst of a 15-game home stretch, including 21 of 25 games in Lexington, Ky., the No. 12 University of Kentucky softball team looks to continue its impressive record this season against non-conference foes when it plays host to in-state rival Louisville on Wednesday for a 6 p.m. ET first pitch at John Cropp Stadium.
The game is the first in a home-and-home series this season between the two teams with UK making a return trip to Louisville on Wednesday, April 30 for a 6 p.m. ET first pitch. Live stats and free live radio from the game will be available online at UKathletics.com, while the game will be televised on the UK/IMG Sports Network. The game can be seen live on the CWKYT in Central Kentucky and on Fox Sports South in the states of Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.
Single-game tickets into John Cropp Stadium are $5 for adults, $2 for seniors (65+) and youth (6-18). Children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge. Tickets are all general admission, and can be purchased by calling the ticket office at 1-800-928-2287. Tickets are also sold at John Cropp Stadium prior to each game, and all sales are cash only. Gates open one hour prior to first pitch.
The first 100 fans into John Cropp Stadium on Wednesday will receive a set of 2014 Kentucky Softball Trading Cards, while the entire UK team will sign autographs following the game. Fans with a UK Baseball Cliff Dweller bracelet and students with valid UK student ID will receive free admission.
Fans who attend the UK-Louisville baseball game on Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET and the UK-Louisville softball game on Wednesday will be eligible to win a $250 Nike prize pack. Fans can register at the marketing gazebo at baseball and bring their registration to the softball game for the drawing. A winner will be chosen during the softball game. Must be present to win.
The in-state showdown will mark the first midweek home game of the season for Kentucky (28-7), who has only played two midweek games this season, posting road wins at Marshall and Indiana. The Wildcats hold a 23-3 record this season against non-conference opponents and will only play four more non-conference games the rest of the season. UK is currently 6-3 in its 15-game home stretch and 9-3 overall this season at John Cropp Stadium.
Kentucky is coming off its first Southeastern Conference series loss of the season last weekend, dropping the first two games of the three-game series to highly ranked Auburn before a 2-1 win in the series finale on Sunday. The Wildcats’ win over Auburn was the eighth this season over a team either ranked or receiving votes at the time UK played them. UK head coach Rachel Lawson has now won 46 games over ranked foes in her seven-year tenure at Kentucky.
Senior pitcher/infielder Lauren Cumbess paced UK’s offense against Auburn, going 3-for-5 with a home run and RBI, while senior outfielder Emily Gaines was 2-for-4 with three runs scored, a home run and four RBI. Sophomores Maisie Steed and Nikki Sagermann each hit home runs in the series.
In the circle, sophomore pitcher Kelsey Nunley went 1-1 on the weekend with 14 innings pitched, allowing five earned runs with 18 strikeouts. Freshman Meagan Prince threw six innings over the weekend allowing six runs with five strikeouts.
UK fell two spots to No. 12 in both the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 and USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Top 25 it was announced Tuesday. The rankings mark only the third time this season that UK has not been ranked inside the top 10 in both polls. The Wildcats were ranked 10th in both polls last week. Kentucky was ranked No. 5/6 in the rankings the week of Feb. 18, which was its highest ranking in school history.
The rankings mark the 24th consecutive week UK has landed inside the top 25, which is the longest stretch of consecutive rankings in school history. Kentucky was ranked in 17 consecutive polls from February 2011 to February 2012. UK started this 21-week stretch last year on Feb. 12 and never left the rankings. Kentucky started the season ranked No. 12 in the NFCA/USA Today Top 25 and No. 14 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25. The preseason rankings were the highest in school history.
Louisville enters the weekend with a 20-14 record, including a 14-6 mark at home and 3-4 record on the road. The Cardinals had won six of their last seven games before getting swept over the weekend at Houston. UofL and UK have played several mutual opponents this season, with Louisville posting a win over Kent State, while falling to Florida Atlantic, EKU and Michigan. The Cardinals started the season ranked in the top 25 in the nation in both collegiate rankings.
Senior infielder Katie Keller paces the team offensively with a .382 batting average, adding 11 doubles, two triples, one homer and 18 RBI. Junior infielder Brittany Duncan is second with a .366 average, including six doubles, five homers and a team-best 25 RBI, while junior outfielder Kelsi Jones has a .357 average with a team-high seven homers and 24 RBI. Jones also leads the team in stolen bases this season. Junior infielder Kayla Soles has five homers this season, while senior catcher/infielder Taner Fowler and junior infielder Whitney Arion each have four homers.
In the circle, pitcher/infielder Maryssa Becker paces the team with an 8-2 record and 2.09 ERA, striking out 79 in 80.1 innings pitched. Senior pitcher Rachel Le Coq is 5-7 with a 3.52 EA in 71.2 innings pitched, while senior pitcher Caralisa Connell is 7-5 with a 3.91 ERA in 62.2 innings pitched. Freshman utility player Tiarra Sanabria is 0-0 with a 5.65 ERA in 8.2 innings pitched.
Louisville leads the all-time series against Kentucky 18-14, including a 9-7 edge in the series in games played in Lexington. The Cardinals had won four consecutive meetings before a UK walk-off win last season at John Cropp Stadium. UK and UofL split the two-game home-and-home series last season with both teams winning their games at home. UofL leads the all-time series in games played in Louisville 9-7. UK has played more games against Louisville than any other non-SEC team in school history.
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Kentucky – No. 12 in ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25; No. 12 in NFCA/USA Today Top 25
Louisville – not ranked
Wednesday, March 2
Louisville vs. Kentucky – 6 p.m. ET – Live Stats – Free Radio – UK/IMG Network (FSN South)
Single game tickets for the series are $5 for adults, $2 for seniors (65+) and youth (6-18). Children ages 5 and under and UK students with a valid student ID are admitted free of charge. Tickets are all general admission, and can be purchased by calling the ticket office at 1-800-928-2287. Tickets are also sold at John Cropp Stadium prior to each game, and all sales are cash only.
First 100 fans into John Cropp Stadium on Wednesday will receive a pack of 2014 Kentucky Softball Trading Cards; The entire UK team will sign autographs following the game; Fans with a UK Baseball Cliff Dweller bracelet receive free admission; Students receive free admission with valid UK student ID; Fans who attend the UK-Louisville baseball game on Tuesday and UK-Louisville softball game on Wednesday will be eligible to win a $250 Nike prize pack. Fans can register at the marketing gazebo at baseball and bring their registration to the softball game for the drawing. A winner will be chosen during the softball game. Must be present to win.