Kentucky Welcomes Cal for NCAA Super Regionals
May 26, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. - After a dramatic seventh-inning comeback effort to upset the tournament's No. 10 overall seed in Michigan, the 21st-ranked Kentucky softball team will appear in the school's first Super Regional and play host to No. 7 seed California Saturday and Sunday. First pitch is slated for Noon ET on Saturday. The opening game of a possible doubleheader on Sunday is set for a 1 p.m. ET start.
Tickets for the event sold out on Tuesday, however, fans still wishing to see the Wildcats can tune into the ESPN family of networks or hear the games on local radio. Saturday's game slated for a Noon ET start will air on ESPNU with live action from Lexington. Sunday's game beginning at 1 p.m. ET is set to air on ESPN. The if necessary game slated for 3:30 p.m. ET is also scheduled to air on ESPN. Mark Neely and Jennie Ritter will call the action for all three games this weekend.
Furthermore, UK fans can tune into local radio for the historical weekend. WLAP 630 in Lexington and WKJK 1080 in Louisville will also air all three games live. Dick Gabriel and Jenny Dalton-Hill will be on air to broadcast the action.
With the exception of a small team allotment, all seating this weekend at the UK Softball Complex is general admission. All seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Gates open one hour prior to first-pitch.
Kentucky (39-14) advanced to the school's first NCAA Super Regional behind a seventh inning rally at No. 10 seed Michigan on Sunday. Senior Meagan Aull blasted a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh to lead off the inning with UK trailing by one. After the Blue and White loaded the bases, senior Annie Rowlands smacked a walk-off single into shallow right field to lift UK to the improbable comeback.
Senior Samantha DeMartine had the tournament of her life with a 6-for-8 weekend at the dish which included four doubles and four RBI. Junior Brittany Cervantes and Megan Yocke both charted a two-run homer in the win over Notre Dame in the opening game of the tournament. Cevantes' blast matched her with Molly Johnson for the UK career record, and she also set a new UK single-season high with 54 runs scored in 2011.
Pitchers Chanda Bell and Rachel Riley were outstanding for UK. Bell posted the squad's first two wins of the tournament including a shutout of the Fighting Irish. Riley captured a save in the first win over Michigan before tossing a one-hitter in the clinching win over the Wolverines. She allowed just one hit in eight innings of total action and the lone run scored on an error by UK's defense. Other than the lone mistake on the weekend, UK's defense was superb all weekend long, making countless highlight-reel plays.
The Wildcats have used a balance of offensive firepower, dominant pitching and quality defense in its third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. Kentucky captured an 8-0 victory over Notre Dame in the opening game of the tournament. Eight players recorded one hit in the contest in addition to the homers from the bats of Cervantes and Yocke. UK then upset the Wolverines on their home field en route to the school's first NCAA Super Regional bid.
California enters the weekend owning a 42-10 overall record after going 3-0 at the Louisville Regional last week. Cal posted a 15-6 mark in the always-competitive Pac-10 schedule.
The Golden Bears are paced at the plate by a pair of batters owning a .419 average in Britt Vonk and Jamia Reid. The duo has swiped more than 50 bases combined. Elia Reid leads the power with eight home runs. As a unit, the Bear offense is totaling a .290 average with 92 stolen bases and 31 homers.
In the circle, Jolene Henderson claims the bulk of the work with 298.1 innings pitched on the year. She owns a stout 0.80 ERA and has struck out 302 batters on the year. She limits opposing batters to a mere .182 average and yielded just 34 earned runs on the season.
Kentucky and Cal met on the diamond in the opening rounds of NCAA action in 2010. The Golden Bears claimed a 1-0 win in Columbus, Ohio, before downing Ohio State to advance to Super Regionals.
Follow along all season with the UK softball team at UKathletics.com.
With the exception of a small team allotment, all seating this weekend at the UK Softball Complex is GENERAL ADMISSION. All seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Gates will open ONE-hour prior to game time. Saturday's gates will open at 11 a.m. ET, with Sunday's entrance beginning at Noon ET.
Will Call distribution for team's pass lists and media will be located outside the main softball gate and begins two hours prior to first pitch.
Parking will be available in the paved lots located near the main entrance as well as a grassy area adjacent to the soccer practice facility.
More information for spectators is available at the Tournament Central page of the UKathletics.com webpage.