UK Set for SEC Tournament Beginning Thursday
Update at 3:03 p.m. ET
Kentucky 1, LSU 0 (T-7th of SEC tournament quarterfinal game)
With rain and lightning lingering in the Fayetteville, Ark., area Southeastern Conference officials have decided to push back a decision of a restart time for at least another hour.
According to SEC Tournament rules a full seven inning game must be played to be considered a complete game.
More information will be provided as it becomes available.
Update at 2:25 p.m. ET
With the Kentucky softball team leading by a 1-0 score in the top of the seventh over LSU in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament, play was suspended as rain and lightning moved into the Fayetteville, Ark., area at 2:12 ET.
Molly Johnson's home run in the top of the fourth is the only offense of the game thus far. UK was threatening in the top of the seventh with two runners aboard and just one out when play was suspended.
Once Southeastern Conference officials determine conditions are playable the game will resume as it stood in the top of the seventh.
May 11, 2010
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - After wrapping up its second consecutive 30-win season the Kentucky softball team will appear in the Southeastern Conference tournament for the second straight season. Kentucky possesses the single-elimination tournament's No. 6 overall seed and will play No. 3 LSU on Thursday at noon ET on ESPNU.
Every game of the SEC Tournament will be broadcast live on one of the ESPN Family of Network channels for the first time in the history of the league. Kentucky and LSU will kick off the tournament on Thursday. Three more quarterfinal games will be played throughout the day on Thursday, with the semifinals beginning on Friday at 3 p.m. ET. The championship game will take place on Saturday with a first pitch set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
The Wildcats will appear in their second consecutive tournament and fourth in the history of the program. A season ago UK entered the tournament with the same seeding and knocked off eventual College World Series participant Georgia by a 2-0 margin. Rachel Riley stymied the hot-hitting Bulldogs and Molly Johnson provided the only offense UK would need with a two-run home run to lift UK to its first post-season win in school allure. Both players would go on to earn All-SEC Tournament team honors.
Head coach Rachel Lawson has achieved a number of milestones as the skipper of the Blue and White and this season proved to be no different. After leading the Wildcats to their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance and just the second 30-win season in school history a season ago, UK returned its entire starting lineup for the 2010 season.
This season Lawson led the Wildcats to upsets of four top-10 ranked teams, achieved the school's first national ranking and led the Blue and White to the first back-to-back winning seasons in school history.
"Obviously we know all the teams in the SEC Tournament are tremendous and can beat anybody in the country," said Lawson. "We feel pretty good about the fact that we have been able to beat some of the top teams as well. We're confident and just being in the tournament last year was a big step for us. None of our players really understood how to go to postseason play or how long a season could be and all that. So, it really helps as the season goes on with the grind or working through the SEC and everything. I just think a year of experience is really going to help us this year."
UK locked up its second straight 30-win season by taking the final regular season series from Ole Miss. Kentucky picked up both wins of Saturday's doubleheader to ensure the win total eclipsed the 30-plateau. It marked the fourth straight season the Blue and White has taken at least 2-of-3 games from the Rebels. Riley was a major factor behind UK's victories. The sophomore right-hander tossed 9.0 innings of work and allowed just one hit in her three appearances. She claimed the series-clinching win and earned her first career save in a combined shutout effort with Chanda Bell.
Up first for the Wildcats in the SEC Tournament is LSU - the nation's No. 11 ranked team and the third place finisher in the regular season in the conference standings. The Tigers remain the only squad in league play to knock off the Wildcats in all three outings.
The Tigers are led by All-SEC performer Kristen Shortridge who is a do-everything player for LSU. Shortridge paces the squad with a .412 batting average from her lead off slot. She has swiped 44 bases on the season and has scored 46 times. Shortridge also spends time in the circle for the Bayou Bengals and owns a 3-1 record and a 2.33 ERA.
LSU's pitching staff owns a collective 1.41 ERA to lead the SEC. Freshman Rachel Fico leads the rotation with a 1.16 ERA and 136 strikeouts on the year. Should Kentucky advance the Wildcats would play the winner of the Auburn-Florida matchup. That game would take place on Friday at 3 p.m. ET.
Follow along with the Wildcats at the SEC Tournament all week long at UKathletics.com.