Tide Rolls into Lexington for Three-Game Series with Wildcats

Rachel Friberg and the Cats are looking to extend their SEC home opener win streak to four

Rachel Friberg and the Cats are looking to extend their SEC home opener win streak to four
Alabama Series Notes in PDF Format

March 29, 2002


The second-best hitting team in the Southeastern Conference welcomes the third-best hitting team in the league to town as the University of Kentucky softball team plays host to No. 15 Alabama in a three-game SEC series this weekend at the UK Softball Complex. The series starts on Saturday, March 30 with a 1 p.m. ET doubleheader.

The Wildcats (16-15, 1-5 SEC) are hitting .307 as a team and are led by senior Beth Fogle's .427 batting average, the second best mark in the conference. Also among the best hitters are juniors Nikki Jones (.400) and Lyndsey Angus (.398) who rank seventh and ninth, respectively, in the SEC.

"Our main objective this weekend is to attack the game rather than sit back and let things happen to us," UK Coach Beth Kirchner said. "We must be aggressive."

Kentucky is coming off a 16-3, five inning victory over Akron this past Tuesday. The Cats tied the school record for home runs in a game with three and RBI in a game with 15 while setting the Wildcat record for total bases in a game with 33 in the victory over the Zips.

The Crimson Tide (27-11, 10-2 SEC), the SEC Western Division leader, enter the series with a team batting average of .305 and is led by sophomore Jackie McClain's .410 batting average, fourth-best in the conference. Alabama is in the midst of a season-high nine-game win streak, which includes series sweeps of Florida and Tennessee. All-American pitcher Shelley Laird (15-6, 1.55 ERA) figured in all of Alabama's wins over the Gators and Lady Vols, picking up five wins and a save while striking out 34 batters in only 26.0 innings of work. She also allowed only nine hits.

Alabama was UK's first-ever opponent in an SEC game, a 2-0 Crimson Tide victory on March 27, 1997 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Since then, UA has rattled off 10 straight victories to own an 11-0 advantage on the series ledger.

The series will be the SEC home opener for UK, which had its original home opener with Tennessee cancelled due to rain. The Cats are 3-2 all-time in SEC home openers having won their last three.

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