Wildcats Visit No. 17 Louisville Tuesday

April 27, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. - After clinching a berth in the 2009 SEC Tournament this weekend the Kentucky softball team is set to meet No. 17 Louisville in the non-conference finale' on Tuesday. First pitch in Louisville is set for 5 p.m. ET.

Kentucky (29-18) is looking to reach the 30-win plateau for just the second time in school history when they travel northwest to take on their state rivals. Louisville is enjoying a great season with a 43-7 overall record and took the first game of the home-and-home series earlier this season in Lexington.

The Cardinals out-dueled the Wildcats on April 1 in front of a school-record 827 fans. Louisville captured a 5-1 win over the Blue and White as UK could only come up with one run in the third inning on a Cardinal miscue.

UK's offense has exploded in the last week, however. In a 4-0 week the Wildcats charted eight home runs--including a pair of grand slams from sophomore Megan Yocke and freshman Rachel Riley. UK also notched four doubles and a triple as they batted .340 as a team. The Blue and White picked up a sweep of SEC-foe Mississippi State to earn a spot in the SEC Tournament for just the third time in school annals.

Freshman Brittany Cervantes was the catalyst of the powerful bats as she totaled three home runs and eight RBI during the week. Included in that run was a two-run walk-off home run in the third game of the MSU series to give UK the sweep.

Riley did it all for UK--both on the mound and at the plate. The first-year player notched a 3-0 record in the circle while also tallying her first two career home runs. Riley threw 19.0 innings and earned a 0.74 ERA. She struck out 11 batters, while allowing just one walk. Most importantly, she did not give up a single extra base hit.

Freshman pitcher Chanda Bell also returned to the mound and tossed a complete game victory in game two against the Bulldogs. Bell has been day-to-day for a month and saw the first meaningful action since the Georgia series in late March. Bell pitched all seven innings and struck out four while allowing just a single run in UK's 4-1 win.

Louisville is currently in third place in the Big East conference trailing DePaul and Notre Dame despite being ranked 17th in the country. The Cardinals have a potent offensive attack combined with a steady-ace in Kristen Wadwell.

As a team, Louisville is batting .321 and has totaled 43 home runs on the season. Eight players in the rotation are hitting over .300 for the season led by Melissa Roth's .428 average. Roth also leads the team with 14 round trippers and 44 RBI.

Wadwell is 37-7 in the circle for the Cards. She has posted a season ERA of 1.39 while striking out 224 on the year. Additionally, her opponent batting average is just a mere .200.

A complete recap of the game between the Wildcats and Cardinals can be found at the official homepage of the Kentucky softball team.

Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information about the UK softball team.