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Kentucky Welcomes No. 22 LSU for Final Home Weekend

Rachel Riley leads UK's six-member senior class which is the all-time winningest class in program history.

Rachel Riley leads UK's six-member senior class which is the all-time winningest class in program history.

May 3, 2012

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky softball team will conclude regular season action by welcoming No. 22/24 LSU to the UK Softball Complex for a three-game series beginning Friday at 6 p.m. ET. The Wildcats and Tigers will tangle for positioning in the Southeastern Conference tournament after both squads have already secured a spot in the field of eight.

The weekend will highlight a number of events. Saturday's game between the squads slated for a 1 p.m. ET first pitch will be UK's "Strikeout Cancer" day. The Wildcats will wear pink jerseys to represent breast cancer, while LSU will wear teal in honor of ovarian cancer. Admission to the game is $1 for those patrons wearing pink.

Sunday, will mark the final game at home for the 2012 senior class of Macy Allen, Chanda Bell, Brittany Cervantes, Ashleigh Gustafson, Rachel Riley and Erika Silence. The six-member class will be honored prior to first pitch which is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday. Fans should plan to arrive early and celebrate the winningest class in program history.

Kentucky (26-27, 12-13 SEC) secured a spot in the SEC Tournament for the fourth consecutive season following a series win at No. 2 Florida last week. The Wildcats were paced by the senior trio of Bell, Cervantes and Riley. It marked the second consecutive season the Blue and White knocked off the Gators in a series after sweeping Florida in Lexington in 2011.

Bell led the way en route to earning SEC Pitcher of the Week honors after picking up both victories in the Florida series. She worked 14.0 innings and allowed just one run. The right-hander struck out 21 batters, including a season-high 13 in the series-clincher. For the weekend, she struck out 10.5 batters for every one she walked.

Riley batted .500 for the week which included the game-winning bases-clearing double in the series win over Florida. She also pitched UK to a victory in the midweek contest with Morehead State striking out seven and giving up just three hits.

Cervantes led the bats with a .583 week which included hitting what would become the game-winning solo homer in the opening win of the Florida series. With that long ball she became the only UK player in school history to hit 10 or more homers in all four seasons of a career.

Led by first year head coach Beth Torina, the Tigers (34-18) continue to be one of the top teams in the SEC, entering the series at 15-10 in conference play. The Tigers are led by Ashley Langoni at the plate who is batting .297 with 29 RBI. LSU is led in the circle by stud pitcher Rachele Fico who has a nation-leading 0.90 ERA and is 16-9 on the year. The Tigers are fresh off a series loss to No. 15 Georgia. LSU split a midweek doubleheader with Florida and has taken series with Ole Miss, Mississippi State and South Carolina.

Kentucky and LSU have played annually since the 1998 season, with LSU winning every series with the Cats since the inception of the series. Kentucky opened the 2011 series by claiming a win on the road behind a tremendous pitching effort from Ellen Weaver, before the Tigers fired back with wins in the final two days behind the pitching of Brittany Mack.

For continuing coverage of the 2012 UK softball season, log on to UKathletics.com.

 

 

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