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UK Travels to No. 2 Michigan for Non-Conference Series

Samantha DeMartine

Samantha DeMartine

April 29, 2010

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky softball team will spend its Southeastern Conference bye week playing its final non-conference action of the season at No. 2 Michigan this weekend. UK and the Wolverines will meet for the first time in program history with a single game on Friday and a second outing on Saturday. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. ET on Saturday and a 2 p.m. ET first pitch on Sunday.

UK's midweek game with Eastern Kentucky was canceled due to rainy weather, so the Wildcats have enjoyed its longest break from action this season before heading north to take on Michigan.

Kentucky's junior tandem of Samantha DeMartine and Megan Yocke has ignited offensively over the last three series. The duo is hitting above .400 in the last 10 outings to pace the squad. Freshman Kara Dill has also provided an offensive spark for the Blue and White recently posting a pair of two-run singles in games with Florida and LSU.

Michigan currently ranks as the No. 2 team in the nation. The Wolverines are 12 time participants at the Women's College World Series and the program remains as the only team east of the Mississippi River to have claimed a national title.

UK has knocked off four top-10 ranked opponents this season - including a pair on the road. UK opened the 2010 season by knocking off then-ranked No. 5 Arizona State. The Sun Devils had not lost on their home turf in nearly a season prior to UK's upset. Later in the season, UK charted a comeback effort to upset then-ranked No. 5 Alabama at the UK Softball Complex. It marked just the second time in program history Kentucky had claimed a win over the Crimson Tide. Just a week later, DeMartine hit a walk-off home run to defeat No. 7 Georgia. It marked the second time in three outings UK had knocked off the Bulldogs dating back to the upset of the eventual College World Series squad in the opening round of the SEC Tournament. Kentucky's last upset of a ranked foe came at No. 3 Florida. Kentucky rode the right-arm of Rachel Riley and defeated the Gators for the first time since 2006.

The Wolverines are currently 38-6 after splitting with rival Ohio State on Wednesday. Prior to that loss they had not suffered a loss since March 20th to No. 12 Texas. Michigan has faced a number of SEC opponents this season including LSU, Alabama and Georgia. The Bulldogs and Crimson Tide each captured an early season win over the Maize and Blue.

Michigan possesses a perfect 9-0 record at home this season. As a unit the Wolverines are batting .318 led by Maggie Viefhaus' .407 average. The squad has blasted 61 home runs on the year including 15 from both Viefhaus and Dorian Shaw.

The strength of the Wolverines is within its dominating pitching staff. Michigan owns a 1.43 ERA as a staff and all three pitchers who have seen action this year own an ERA below 2.00. Jordan Taylor paces the squad with 25 appearances and a 20-2 overall record behind a 1.18 ERA. Taylor has struck out 226 on the season and limits opponents to a .151 batting average.

The two-game series this weekend in Ann Arbor, Mich., will mark the first competition in school history between Kentucky and Michigan in softball.

Complete coverage of the Wildcat softball team can be found at UKathletics.com.

 

 

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