The University of Kentucky softball team kicked off their season last week in sunny Florida and are currently on a West Coast road swing.
Here is how the No. 22/23 Wildcats fared through Wednesday:
2/10: W over Florida A&M 4-2
2/10: L to Pittsburgh 3-1
2/11: L to Pittsburgh 6-4
2/11: W over Central Florida 6-3
2/12: W over Florida A&M 3-0
2/15: L to UCLA 6-2
2/15: W Over UCLA 2-1
The 4-3 Cats have a double-header tomorrow afternoon against UC-Davis and Oregon.
Megan Prince is a Work Horse
The senior lefty from the Volunteer State pitched a beauty in the second game against UCLA on Wednesday. She put in 11 of innings of work and did not allow an earned run in 130 pitches against one of the best offenses in college softball. Prince fanned six batters and walked only three. In the 45 times, she faced a Bruin hitter she retired 44.
So far Prince’s 23.1 innings pitched is almost half of the rotation’s 51 total. She has a 2-1 record in three starts with an ERA of 1.80 with 18 hits allowed as well as 23 three strikeouts.
The Rest of the Staff Ain’t To Shabby Either
Despite being only a game over .500, Kentucky’s pitching is statistically solid. Only senior Shannon Smith has an ERA over three runs a game at 4.57. The staff ERA is a sterling 2.33 through seven games and opponents are hitting .221 against the Cats. Only Prince’s control is suspect. The ace has four of Kentucky five wild pitches and five of seven bean balls.
The Kittens Are Having Trouble Hittin'
Solid pitching and defense can take a team far but perhaps not all the way to the College World Series in Oklahoma City, and if Kentucky wants to play deep into the summer than their bats will need to warm up, especially during their lethal SEC slate.
Through their first seven games, the Cats put only 21 runs on the board, which puts them in the bottom half of the conference rankings.
Kentucky is actually fourth in the SEC with 52 hits but the team average of .260 points and the aforementioned inability to score trend towards inconsistency with the bat.
The team leaders in home runs, Jenny Schaper with three, and RBI, Alex Martens with five, are only hitting .207 and .227 respectively.