UK Hosts Georgia for Three-Game Series
March 26, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky softball team returns to action this weekend at the UK Softball Complex when seventh-ranked Georgia visits Lexington. The two squads will meet in a three-game series with a doubleheader on Saturday and a single game Sunday. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. ET both days.
Seniors Molly Johnson and Natalie Smith have anchored the offensive unit for the Blue and White (19-12, 4-6 SEC). Smith enjoyed a season-best eight game hitting streak and leads the team in batting average. Johnson has drilled nine home runs this season to earn the top spot on the career records list at UK in that category. The shortstop has also charted at least one hit in 19 of UK's last 22 outings.
Sophomore pitchers Chanda Bell and Rachel Riley continue to be a consistent force on the mound for the Blue and White. Bell has tossed 174 strikeouts and ranks in the top-15 nationally in that category. Riley paces the team with a 1.85 earned run average is 23rd nationally with four shutouts on the season.
Georgia enters the series with the Wildcats with a national ranking of seven and a 22-5 overall record on the year and a 3-3 clip in the SEC. The Bulldogs were a Women's College World Series team a season ago and are off to another great start. Georgia has a potent offensive team that is batting .336 as a unit. The squad has belted 50 home runs on the year and brought in 183 runs. Georgia has a formidable pitching staff that holds a 2.35 ERA as a squad and has struck out 178 batters on the year.
The Bulldogs are led at the plate by Kristyn Sandberg who is batting .441 with five home runs and 12 RBI. Taylor Schlopy paces the squad with 28 runs, while Brianna Hesson has plated 26 RBI and a team-best eight home runs.
In the circle, the Bulldogs have gotten a tremendous effort from the duo of Erin Arevalo and Sarah McCloud. The tandem has combined for a 17-4 overall record and over 130 strikeouts.
Both Kentucky and Georgia have registered non-conference victories over Florida Atlantic, Western Carolina and Minnesota.
Georgia leads the all-time series with the Wildcats with a 38-7 overall mark. The Bulldogs claimed all three regular season matchups, but the Blue and White got the better of the top-10 team in the first round of the SEC Tournament.
Behind one of the best defensive performances of the season and a two-run home run from Molly Johnson the Kentucky softball upset No. 7 Georgia, 2-0, in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament .
The victory in the conference tournament was the first in school history for the Wildcats. Pitcher Rachel Riley picked up a complete game win and got a tremendous effort from her defensive unit.
Samantha DeMartine opened the fifth inning with a single into left field. Destinee Mordecai advanced pinch runner Macy Allen to second on a masterful sacrifice bunt to put a runner in scoring position for All-SEC performer Johnson. The junior shortstop fell behind in the count 0-2 and then fended off six consecutive pitches to stay alive during the at-bat. Kentucky's leading hitter delivered with a two-run home run over the left field wall to give Kentucky the only runs it needed for a 2-0 win.
For the most up-to-date information on the UK softball team please visit UKathletics.com.
Georgia Series Promotions
Saturday, March 27
Sunday, March 28