No. 16 UK Resumes SEC Play at South Carolina
April 21, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. - No. 16 Kentucky capped off its 2011 non-conference regular-season action with a pair of midweek wins over instate foes this week, including a dramatic seven-run comeback over Louisville on Wednesday. The Wildcats will now resume Southeastern Conference action with a three-game series at South Carolina beginning Friday. First pitch in Columbia, S.C., is set for 7 p.m. ET on April 22.
Junior Rachel Riley and Kara Dill have been the force behind UK's (33-10, 11-6 SEC) six-game winning streak over the last two weeks. Riley currently leads the squad with a .413 batting average and she has blasted a career-high seven homers. Dill is charting a .397 clip and recorded her first career triple to plate three tallies and tie the score in the third inning with Louisville.
Riley also earned the victory in the circle against the Cardinals working one-run ball while limiting Louisville just three hits and striking out four. Freshman Lauren Cumbess earned the win over Eastern Kentucky and tossed her third shutout of the season on Tuesday. All four of UK's pitchers rank among UK's all-time single-season leaders in winning percentage in 2011.
The story of the season for the Blue and White is the power numbers as UK now sits just one homer away from matching the 2007 team's single-season record of 56. Twelve different Wildcats have gone yard this season with five players belting seven or more on the year. Junior Brittany Cervantes' 14 round trippers leads the way.
Kentucky already owns the single-season marks for walks (170) and runs scored (264). UK is also within reaching distance to break the single-season records for RBI, stolen bases, total bases, hits and batting average.
South Carolina enters the series with Kentucky owning a 24-22 overall record and a 5-14 clip in SEC action. The Gamecocks struck for a series win over Arkansas last weekend in their last conference play of the season.
South Carolina is paced at the dish by Lauren Lackey's .345 batting average and a perfect 14-for-14 on stolen bases. Samie Garcia owns a .327 clip with 15 stolen bags. Laura Mendes' powers the offense to the tune of 12 extra base hits, including five long balls and 25 RBI.
In the circle, Ashley Chastain leads the staff with a 2.77 ERA. Julie Sarratt ranks first with seven wins and 64 strikeouts.
The Gamecocks own the all-time series record with a 33-14 mark, but UK has claimed the series between the two squads in each of the last two seasons.
Complete coverage of the UK softball team can be found at UKathletics.com all season long.