Alabama is ranked fifth in the nation in one poll and sixth in the other, while Kentucky is ranked 13th/14th. But what the college softball nation is focused on is that last week the Wildcats hosted No. 1 LSU and beat the Tigers two out of three games.
The Crimson Tide of Coach Patrick Murphy is 27-8 overall and 8-4 in Southeastern Conference games while the Wildcats are 24-9 and 3-6 in the conference. But it’s hard to ignore that two of those three SEC wins came last weekend against LSU.
Bama is coming off a decent weekend, too, defeating 23rd ranked Texas A&M in two of three games in Tuscaloosa. Bama has tuned up its offense for the Kentucky series with a pair of midweek games in which the Tide prevailed over Mississippi Valley State and Southern Miss by a combined score of 29-1 in which both wins were run-rule mercy victories.
Friday’s game begins at 4:30 p.m. CDT. On Saturday it will be at 11 a.m. with television coverage on ESPNU. Sunday’s game is at 2:30 on the SEC Network.
There will be some reigning SEC honorees competing in Lexington. Bama’s Demi Turner was named the SEC Freshman of the Week for the second time in three weeks after batting .462 with three multi-hit games last week. Kentucky junior Kelsey Nunley was named the SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week. Over 13 2/3 innings against LSU she allowed only two earned runs while striking out 13. Nunley has an 11-5 record with a 1.65 earned run average.
Although Alabama has an all-time record of 40-4 against Kentucky, it is notable that the last meeting came in the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City last spring, a 2-0 Tide win.