UK Travels to Bloomington for Border Showdown with Indiana
LEXINGTON, Ky. – After becoming just the third team in the country to take a game off of the now-No. 1 Florida Gators this season, the Kentucky softball team will embark on a four-game, five-day road trip west to Indiana and Missouri on Wednesday afternoon, beginning with a midweek game at Indiana at 6 p.m. ET from Bloomington. The game will be shown live on BTN Extra, with live stats available on IUHoosiers.com.
The Wildcats win on Saturday clinched postseason eligibility for the ninth-straight season, as UK is guaranteed to finish the 2017 season with a .500 or above record. Kentucky has two wins over top-5 teams this season, and already has racked up eight wins against the top-25. In Monday's NCAA RPI release, Kentucky creeped up five spots to No. 16, putting themselves in the hosting conversation for possible regionals come Selection Sunday.
Wednesday's meeting will be the 20th all-time meeting between UK and IU in softball, with Kentucky holding an 11-8 lead in the overall count. The team's last meeting came in 2016, when Meagan Prince was two outs away from pitching a perfect game in the seventh inning, before the Hoosiers broke it up at John Cropp Stadium in UK's home opener. Kentucky ended up winning, 2-1. Kentucky has won the last two meetings in the series. IU's last win over UK came April 1, 2008 in Rachel Lawson's first year as a head coach, in a 16-13 barnburner.
Kentucky is 26-13 on the season, and has clinched postseason eligibility for the ninth-straight season under 10th-year head coach Rachel Lawson. Katie Reed leads the Kentucky offense, hitting at a .346 clip with two home runs and 13 RBI. The leading power hitter in the Kentucky lineup is Abbey Cheek, who is slugging at .563 clip with seven HR’s and 27 RBI, to lead all players.
Coming off a 2-1 series loss to nationally-ranked Ohio State, the Indiana Hoosiers enter this week's midweek affair with an overall record of 19-24 and 5-9 within the Big Ten. IU has lost eight of their last 10 games, having played six of those games against top-10 Minnesota, and No. 21 Ohio State, with both series coming on the road. The Hoosiers are 6-3 in their nine home games this season at Andy Mohr Field with Wednesday's game coming as the fourth-straight home contest for the Hoosiers.
IU is led offensively by Rebecca Blitz, who is hitting .331 on the season with 42 hits and 10 RBI. Indiana has four players hitting above .300 on the season, with power hitter CaraMia Tsirigos hitting .318 with 10 homers and 30 RBI. In the circle, the Hoosiers' Tara Trainer has the lowest ERA with a 3.23 and a 10-13 record on the season. Like Kentucky, IU has four pitchers they can use.
For the latest on the Kentucky softball team, follow @UKSoftball on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com.