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Cats battle Blue Demons on final day of Lexington Regional

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After 2 nail biters, UK faces #4 seed DePaul for the right to move onto the Super Regional. Rachel Lawson said BBN was a huge factor in Saturday's victory - is the crowd at the Cropp up for the challenge today?

One more, Cat fans, and we're onto the Super Regional!
One more, Cat fans, and we're onto the Super Regional!
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It's been an interesting weekend at the Lexington Regional. We've seen some truly terrific pitcher's duels along with crafty offense and lethally quick defense. (Nikki Sagermann, I'm looking at you.) So what will today's matchup deliver?

  • In the circle you'll see senior experience vs. sophomore talent/experience: DePaul's Kristen Verdun had a long but successful Saturday, throwing 15 combined strikeouts, and allowing a combined 9 hits. UK's Kelsey Nunley delivered 11 strikeouts, and 1 run on 5 hits. 
    • Note: Kelsey is now 26-7 and 1 win away from matching her record 27 wins in 2013. Overall, Kelsey has delivered 53 career wins, only 1 win shy of tying Keary Camunas (1997-2000) for second most career wins in program history.
  • Based on this weekend's performance don't look for a lot of hits, but do look for some aggressive theft by Sylver Samuel, who makes that illicit run to second look positively easy.
  • BBN, BBN, BBN: the Cropp crowd has been an eager and enthusiastic extra weapon for Lawson, who never fails to give credit where it's due (And they really were great - hearing "Go Big Blue" rock the Cropp was pretty neat).

"I thought a lot of our adjustment the third time through the order was due to the fact the crowd really got into it...you could hear them really cheering when Sylver got that hit up the middle and everybody went crazy....the crowd was the big difference. I thought they were tremendous and a lot of the reasons why we scored the runs at the end of the game." -Kentucky Head Coach Rachel Lawson
  • Seniors stepping up: DePaul's seniors yesterday were a huge factor in pulling off the W in their rematch with James Madison. Shortstop Allie Braden knocked in 2 homers in the final game, going a combined 5 for 6 on the day. Kentucky's Lauren Cumbess was 1 for 3, and led the team on the field with continuous support for her pitcher. Sr. Emily Jolly went 1 for 2, delivering a key double.

The Cats would have to drop both games today to be eliminated from the NCAA Tournament. If they move on, they will face the winner of the Los Angeles regional, where #3 UCLA is hosting #25 Notre Dame. If UCLA wins, the Cats would take their next steps in LA. If Notre Dame pulls off the W, the Cats get to play their Super Regional in the friendly confines of the Cropp. (Translation: if you've ever wanted to experiment with being an Irish fan, today's your day!)

If you can't make it to the Cropp, you can listen in to 630 WLAP where Dick Gabriel and former UK great Doug Flynn will be calling the action. You can also watch at ukathletics.com

Until 1 PM EDT Cat fans - GO BIG BLUE!!!