UK Softball opens NCAA tournament play today

For a team that was counted out just three weeks ago, Kentucky has come a long way. The Cats hope to go even further as they open NCAA tournament play today at 4:30 p.m. vs Michigan.

Standing three games under .500, the minimum necessary for qualification for an NCAA at-large berth, the Wildcats had some scrambling to do. They took 2-of-3 from # 2 Florida, and swept # 22 LSU to help put them safely above the .500 mark and an NCAA bid was awarded--one of nine from the Southeastern Conference.

The Kentucky softball team will hit the field as a member of the 64-team field in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive season Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. ET in Louisville. UK takes on Michigan to open tournament play as part of the Louisville Regional. Every pitch of the Louisville Regional will air live on the ESPN family of networks with Friday's contest airing on ESPN2. Beth Mowins and Jessica Mendoza will have the call.

Kentucky will face Michigan (39-15), who claimed its fifth consecutive Big 10 title to earn the conference's automatic bid into the tournament. Amanda Chidester leads the bats with a .354 average and nine homers. Haylie Wagner is the ace of the staff with a 29 -5 overall record and a 1.55 ERA.

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