Softball

UK Faces Four Top-25 Teams at Inaugural ESPN Elite Invitational

by Chris Shoals

CLEARWATER, Florida – The Kentucky softball team will compete in the inaugural ESPN St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational presented by Wilson over the weekend, facing four ranked teams i this week’s top-25 polls as part of six games in four days at the Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex.
 
UK will have three games nationally televised with its contest vs. No. 3 Oklahoma and No. 19 Oregon slated for an ESPNU broadcast and the matchup with No. 11 Texas will be shown live on the SEC Network. Additionally, Kentucky’s game with James Madison will be shown on ESPN3 and the ESPN app.
 
The Women’s College World Series announce team of Beth Mowins (pxp), Michele Smith (color) and Holly Rowe (dugout) will call UK’s games with Oklahoma and Oregon. Tiffany Greene (pxp) and former All-American at Texas A&M, Amanda Scarbrough (color) will call the Wildcats and the Longhorns on the SEC Network.
 
Kentucky is 2-3 to start the season after a weekend in cold and dreary Houston. The Wildcats had a great weekend at the plate, hitting seven home runs – tying the Rachel Lawson era record for most homers on opening weekend since she arrived at Kentucky (2014, 2018).     
 
Freshman Kayla Kowalik led the charge for the UK offense, as she hit .500 on the weekend with six runs on six hits including a double, a triple and a pair of RBI. Abbey Cheek was not pitched to for a majority of the weekend, going 5-for-11 at the plate with five runs scores, and eight walks.
 
All five seniors on the Kentucky roster hit a home run over the weekend. Sarah Rainwater’s home run was the first of her career and it came in the lead-off spot in bottom of the eighth inning against Illinois in the season opener with the international tiebreak in effect.
 
In the circle, freshman Meghan Schorman was the shining light – joining Grace Baalman and Katie Henderson as the only UK pitchers to throw a complete-game shutout in their first-career starts at Kentucky under Lawson. She beat Sam Houston St., 6-0.
 
Thursday, Feb. 14
#18 Kentucky vs. #3 Oklahoma – 4 p.m. ET – ESPNU/ESPN app
 
Friday, Feb. 15
#18 Kentucky vs. RV Hofstra – 9:30 a.m. ET
#18 Kentucky vs. Utah – 3 p.m. ET
 
Saturday, Feb. 16
#18 Kentucky vs. #11 Texas – 10 a.m. ET – SEC Network/ESPN app
#18 Kentucky vs. #19 Oregon – 4 p.m. ET – ESPNU/ESPN app
 
Sunday, Feb. 17
#18 Kentucky vs. #23 James Madison – 1 p.m. ET – ESPN3/ESPN app
 
For the latest on UK Softball, follow the Wildcats on Twitter and Instagram at @UKSoftball.

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