Kentucky Wildcats Softball: Hittin' Kittens Claw Their Way to OKC! WCWS Preview

UK Softball makes its first ever trip to the Women's College World Series this week after beating UCLA in the LA Super Regional. - Dennis Grombkowski

UK Softball battled past perennial powerhouse UCLA in this weekend's Super Regional to take its place on the nation's largest stage for the first time in program history. Let's review how we got here, and take a peek at our first opponent - the Ragin' Cajuns.

This season Rachel Lawson and her coaching staff have led your Kentucky Wildcats to a level of unprecedented success: a school best record of 49-17 on the season, the SEC Championship Title game, and victories over historic programs such as Oklahoma and UCLA.

On Sunday the Cats reached a new level of athletic success, as they punched their ticket to Oklahoma City and the Women's College World Series, where they face the 6th ranked UL-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns.

How did they accomplish this historic feat? Excellent recruits, terrific conditioning and a staff  that made it clear early in the season exactly what their goals were.

Kelsey Nunley, that sophomore pitching virtuoso who after throwing 225 pitches Sunday afternoon said in the press conference she was "a little sore", has broken out as a true star here in the post-season. Kentucky's offense, which at .264 on the season is in dead last place for offensive efficiency compared to the balance of the WCWS roster, stepped up to the plate in a big way this weekend . The Cats brought home a total of 18 runs, 15 of which were earned. Tenacious defense, particularly from SS Christian Stokes, helped slam shut the door on the #3 Bruins.

"There are several fantastic defensive shortstops in the World Series field, but there may not be another one who can make quite as many plays as Stokes. Her range and arm are worth the price of admission on their own."-Graham Hays, ESPN

So what of our first foe, the rowdy Ragin' Cajuns? They're bringing a 49-8-1 record, a .307 batting average (6th best of the WCWS field), the Sun Belt's regular season and conference championship titles, and junior pitcher Christina Hamilton's 1.53 era. In short, look for this game to be another pitcher's battle.

Other Cajuns to watch:

Leslie Elkins: Sophomore Catcher hitting .388 and named to the NFCA Central Region First Team

Natalie Fernandez:  Senior 2nd Base/Utility Player hitting .423 and named to the NFCA Central Region Second Team

You can catch all the fastpitch action starting Thursday at 7 PM EDT on ESPN2. Please join us right here at ASoB as we cheer our Hittin' Kittens onto victory!

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