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Kentucky softball is making some noise

Kentucky baseball just fired up last week, but the ladies have been at it for a bit longer. The softball team has been through two weekend series on the west coast that has included 11 games. And the Cats have fared pretty well in those contests, putting up an 8-3 record. Already Kentucky has knocked off three ranked teams and two others that were receiving votes.

The Wildcats opened the season with a nine-inning thriller that resulted in a one-run win over then-No. 3 California. Lauren Cumbess pitched a gem of a complete game; surrendering just six hits and two earned runs with six strikeouts, while leaving 11 Cal runners stranded. The Cats had their ace in the circle, and they faced the Golden Bears’ counterpart Joliene Henderson who is talked up quite a lot on the national scene. Kentucky struggled, but got to Henderson enough to take it to extra innings. There, Cumbess solidified her bid for the game’s most valuable player as she drove in the winning run in the top of the 9th, scoring Alice O’Brien from third base. The victory marked a significant milestone for Kentucky: knocking off a perennial power and starting the season on the right foot.

The Cats limped out of the gate a season ago, piling up losses to other nationally-ranked teams. That is not the case this year, and the team built off the momentum of a victory over No. 3 and turned it into a win over then-No. 16 Washington and then-No. 20 Stanford. The Cats also beat San Diego State and Oregon State, both of which are just outside the top-25 but receiving votes.

The Cats only losses this season have come to No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 3 Arizona State, and Portland State.

Kentucky has moved up in the rankings to No. 20 — the highest mark so far this season. But the Wildcats road does not get any easier from here. They are still scheduled to face seven teams that are ranked or receiving votes, which will consist of 16 games, including conference series’ against No. 2 Alabama, No. 5 Florida, No. 7 Missouri and No. 10 LSU.

After completing their west coast road trip to Tempe, Arizona and San Diego, Kentucky will travel back east to play in the Coke Zero Spartan Classic in Spartanburg, South Carolina this weekend. There the Cats will square off against Presbyterian, Georgetown, USC Upstate and Howard. If all goes according to plan, Kentucky should easily return home with four more victories.

Follow me on Twitter if you want to know more about UK softball and baseball @StuartHammerKSR.

Article written by Stuart Hammer

B.S. Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kentucky. @StuartHammerKSR

15 Comments for Kentucky softball is making some noise

  1. John Burke
    2:20 pm February 20, 2013 Permalink

    Love my UK softball team. Much better start to this season than last

  2. JDH
    2:25 pm February 20, 2013 Permalink

    Keep up the good work, ladies! We’re proud of you!

  3. hawkeye tim
    2:26 pm February 20, 2013 Permalink

    Softball, baseball, tennis…..Mitch has hired the right coaches!!!!

  4. josh
    2:27 pm February 20, 2013 Permalink

    is it just me or is the SEC the best conference in any sport?

  5. Rick Rick Play
    2:33 pm February 20, 2013 Permalink

    Good Job Softball Cats!!!! What a great game Fasstpitch has become. Did you know that BALLARD SOFTBALL Cheats? They have two players that live in OLDHAM County but play in Louisville. That’s cheating, I wonder if his wife knows

  6. Cotton Mash
    3:27 pm February 20, 2013 Permalink

    #5. So it served him right having a girl to transfer mid-year
    to (last years champ and already loaded)Mercy and be eligible right away.

  7. WiserThanThou
    4:01 pm February 20, 2013 Permalink

    Oh shoot, Fast pitch softball fan fight!!!!

  8. Rick Rick Play
    4:07 pm February 20, 2013 Permalink

    @6 It is crazy to think that parents allow all this to happen. NO news media will investigate BALLARD, why? PRP lost two players to BALLARD as well. If only the KHSAA had any softBALLS to investigate. Rumor has it that Money is flowing to KHSAA from BALLARD.

    One of the OLDHAM COUNTY Player’s mother is an administrator with the OCSB.

  9. real blue
    4:29 pm February 20, 2013 Permalink

    Nice job softball Cats!

    Henry Clay baseball situation is worse than I thought….

  10. BNClay
    4:34 pm February 20, 2013 Permalink

    Good gracious SEC dominates this sport as well. When basketball gets back on track the SEC just to suceed from the NCAA. Conference seems to have 4 or 5 top 10 teams in everything and 7 or 8 top 25.

  11. Cotton Mash
    4:46 pm February 20, 2013 Permalink

    Rick Rick. Just making sure you knew I wasn’t hatin on you.
    I agree…and thought it was funny when I heard about
    him loosing a player like that… my DD is long gone from
    those days but I agree several programs do fly under KHSAA radar-
    heck I think FP on a whole does.

    And yep, the parents have a lot of blame coming to them as well.
    Hope it works out for those 2 girls you mentioned IF they didn’t
    have a choice in the matter- and they don’t get hurt because of
    an over zealous parent.

  12. Red Headed Stepchild
    5:21 pm February 20, 2013 Permalink

    @11 – AGREED. The athletic scholarship that my daughter holds is not worth the effort or heart ache that these players and parents endure to be able to say “My Daughter Plays College Softball”

    These Division 1 players work as hard as any other college athlete for a partial ride. Good on them for their efforts. My only concern is that what do we teach the young ones about winning if we cheat to get there?

    By the way, I don’t have a dog in the Ballard CHEATING scandal. My daughter never played for any of the teams ivolved.

  13. macon_volfan
    7:10 pm February 20, 2013 Permalink

    Do they not play #4 Tennessee at some point in the season?

  14. Stuart Hammer
    7:18 pm February 20, 2013 Permalink

    13 – No, Tennessee is not on the schedule this season.

  15. Heater
    9:41 am February 21, 2013 Permalink

    Congratulations team. Those big dykes are getting it done right!