It was an eventful Saturday in the Bluegrass, which saw the football program take another monumental step forward, half-a-dozen future Wildcats duke it out on the hardwood, and the softball team dedicate its brand spankin’ new stadium in honor of an old-time UK legend.
Most notable in today’s proceedings was the massive turnout and general hype surrounding the Kentucky football program. We’ve all seen the damage Mark Stoops has done on the recruiting trail, and the buzz on Twitter for the last month has been palpable. But the Spring Game finally gave fans an opportunity to physically showcase how excited they are for the new-look Wildcats. And Big Blue Nation did not disappoint.
It was a fun Saturday, so let’s make it an even better Sunday!
— Attendance in Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday was estimated to be nearly 51,000. Totally mind-blowing. If you made the trip over, give yourself a pat on the back. Judging by attendance figures from last season that will likely rank among the best crowds in the SEC when it is all said and done.
— The huge crowd was treated to some sharp quarterback play. The most talked about player under center was Jalen Whitlow who completed 17-of-28 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns.
— Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, Julius Randle, James Young, Marcus Lee, Dakari Johnson (and Andrew Wiggins, just for good measure) all highlighted the Jordan Brand Classic Saturday night. Randle finished with 19 points and 6 boards and was named Co-Player of the Game for his efforts. Insert obligatory “Next season is going to be fun” comment here.
— Kentucky softball dedicated its shiny new $9.5 million stadium Saturday in honor of John Cropp Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart announced at the ceremony preceding the game against No. 3 Florida. Cropp served for 22 years as an administrator with UK Athletics and has had a hand in the Wildcats softball program since its inception in 1997.
— The softball team rang in the newly named stadium with a huge victory over the Florida Gators. Freshman pitcher Kelsey Nunley hurled a complete game, allowing two runs and three hits with eight strikeouts. Her efforts helped to improve the No. 18 Wildcats record to 31-11 overall and 9-5 in the Southeastern Conference. Kentucky will go for a series win over Florida Sunday at noon.
— Across campus the boys weren’t so lucky. Kentucky baseball lost a heartbreaker to rival Tennessee after a ninth-inning rally fell short by a run. Trailing by five and down to its final out, sophomore A.J. Reed belted a grand slam to pull UK within a run. After loading the bases for the second time in the inning and having the winning run just 180 feet from home, the Volunteers got a fly out to kill what would have been a monumental comeback.
That’s all for now. Enjoy your Sunday morning and hope for a big day for Tiger Woods on this final day of the Masters. It is always entertaining television when he plays well.