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This weekend will be "Wildcat Softball Weekend"

@UKAthletics

It’s a big weekend for UK Athletics, especially for the women’s softball team. The Wildcats will begin their tournament run this Friday at 2:30 against Toledo, and Lexington’s mayor, Linda Gorton, has officially declared it “Wildcat Softball Weekend.”

Mayor Gorton’s declaration reiterates that Coach Rachel Lawson and the Cats have established themselves as “a national power, with the program qualifying for the NCAA Tournament in 11 of Lawson’s 12 years leading the program.” It also includes a few of this season’s most-impressive accomplishments, such as “garnering a No. 14 national seed in the 2019 NCAA Tournament after sweeping ranked SEC foes in South Carolina and Auburn.”

The declaration also encourages fans to head toward John Cropp Stadium to root on the Cats, as the first round of action will take place right here in Lexington.

You can get your tickets for Wildcat Softball Weekend’s games by clicking here.


@UKAthletics

UK Softball earns No. 14 seed, will host regional in NCAA Tournament

@UKAthletics

The UK Softball team is staying home this weekend. Kentucky has earned a No. 14 national seed for this year’s NCAA Tournament, and they’ll have the home field advantage. For the fourth-consecutive season, the Wildcats have been selected as a host site for the tournament’s regional games.

The Cats have earned the No. 1 seed in the region, and they’ll face No. 4 Toledo in the first round of action inside Kentucky’s own John Cropp Stadium. The game is scheduled to begin this Friday at 2:30 p.m.

Illinois and Virginia Tech are also in the Cats’ region – they’ll have the first game of the weekend, which is set to begin Friday at noon. The games will be shown on ESPN3.

The Cats are just coming off a Friday night, semi-final loss to conference-favorite Alabama in the SEC Tournament. Kentucky currently owns a 33-22 record on the season, including a 14-10 mark against SEC competition. That record was good enough to earn the Wildcats one of 16 national seeds in the NCAA Tournament. Oh, and by the way, all 13 SEC teams qualified for the NCAA Tournament… for the third consecutive season. Vandy does not have a softball team.

The news comes following Sunday night’s selection show. The Cats found out their fate during a watch party at their own John Cropp Stadium.

All-session tickets will go on sale Monday morning at 9 a.m. ET, exclusively online here. Single-session tickets will go on sale Wednesday, May 15 at 9 a.m. ET, based on availability.


via @KentuckyWBB

Rhyne Howard scores 11 of her team’s 20 points in 3×3 National Championship

via @KentuckyWBB

Kentucky’s star freshman continued to dominate – this time, on a national stage. Rhyne Howard led her team to the 3×3 National Championship game in Las Vegas, scoring 11 of the team’s 20 points. Ultimately, her efforts couldn’t quite get it done – her team lost by one point to the team representing the University of Oregon.

Howard was one of eight athletes that participated in a minicamp after submitting applications and being accepted by USA Basketball. Howard was joined by North Carolina’s Janelle Bailey (center), Drake’s Rebecca Hittner (guard) and Oregon State’s Destiny Slocum (guard). Howard was the only freshman on her team and one of just 21 freshmen competing in the tournament, out of 72 total participants.

Howard led her team to a 3-1 record in pool play before a 17-9 win over Michigan in the quarterfinal play-in game and 14-12 overtime win vs. Yee’go in the quarterfinals. They defeated NC State in the semifinals before falling to defending national champion Oregon, led by Sabrina Ionescu who earned MVP honors.

The two-day event also served as the 2019 USA Basketball Women’s 3×3 National Team trials. The selected roster will be announced later in May.

Until then, Howard will focus on the 2019 USA Women’s U19 World Cup Team Trials, which will be held later this month at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The 12-member team will be selected at the end of trials with training camp to follow July 5-19 and  U19 World Cup competition taking place July 20-28 in Bangkok, Thailand.


Happy Big Blue Birthday, Maci Morris!

Happy Big Blue Birthday, Maci Morris!

Maci Morris served as an integral part of Kentucky’s women’s basketball team during each of her four seasons on campus, but today is all about her. It’s the Bell County native’s birthday today.

While she’s now considered a former Wildcat, the name Maci Morris will remain etched in the Cats’ record books. She’s No. 6 on Kentucky’s all-time scoring list, and she holds the record for highest career three-point percentage at 40.9 percent. She’s ranked No. 2 all-time for career free-throw percentage at 85.1 percent.

A lingering injury affected Morris’ performances down the stretch during her senior season, but she – along with fellow senior Taylor Murray and freshman Rhyne Howard – led Matthew Mitchell and the Wildcats to an NCAA berth and a first-round win over No. 11 Princeton.

Morris is celebrating far away from her eastern Kentucky home, as she’s still participating in the WNBA’s Washington Mystic’s training camp. Happy birthday, Maci! Now go earn yourself a spot on the roster.


UK Softball’s Abbey Cheek finishes No. 1 in the NCAA

Photo by UK Athletics

Abbey Cheek already owns Kentucky softball’s all-time home run record, and now she’s etching her name in the NCAA books, too. She finished the regular season with a .631 on-base percentage – good for No. 1 in the NCAA among all players.

Kentucky head coach Rachel Lawson responded to the news via Twitter, saying “So happy for abbey – she has worked so hard at this part of her game. #DreamBig then #Commit”

Cheek has been a huge part of the Cats’ success this season – Kentucky is currently 32-21 on the season and 14-10 in the SEC. That record earned them a bye for the first round of the conference tournament, so the Cats won’t see action again until Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. Then, the No. 4 seeded Wildcats will take on the winner of Game 5, which will pit No. 5 Ole Miss against the winner of game 1 between (13) Texas A&M and (12) Mississippi State. The game will be shown live on the SEC Network.

Cheek may be a senior, but the South Carolina native isn’t giving up the game just yet. She was selected as the No. 14 overall pick in the MLS Draft (third round) to the Chicago Bandits. She’ll be joined by fellow teammate Katie Reed (No. 19 overall pick).