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#25 UK Softball vs. Ball State: Preview and Gamethread

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Technically this should be titled, it's "UK Softball vs. Ball State and then somebody else but we're not sure quite who as of yet" but that seemed kinda wordy. What we do know? It's the Cats vs. the Muncie Cards in game 1 today of the South Bend regional and the Hittin' Kittens are looking to get their tickets punched for Sunday's finale.

Does it get any cuter than a puppy and a softball?
Does it get any cuter than a puppy and a softball?
Larry Busacca/Getty Images

The Baby Kittens had a heck of a start to their post-season careers yesterday against Northwestern in Day 1 of the regional. Sophomore Meagan Prince came in as relief pitcher during the final 2 innings to hold the Purple Cats scoreless, while true freshman Rachael Metzger did what a pinch hitter does with an RBI single to give the Cats a 5-4 victory. Their efforts resulted in giving the Cats a spot in the winner's bracket for today's matchups.

Trivia fact: Yesterday's victory gave the Cats their 30th win of the season, and marks the 7th straight season for the Cats to achieve 30 or more wins. Prior to Rachel Lawson's arrival in Lexington, UK Softball had a 30-1 season exactly one time in program history. Take a moment to salute Coach Lawson for her outstanding leadership, and to Mitch Barnhart for having the wisdom to hire her away from the Hilltoppers.

Let's hope it was just junior jitters for some of the veteran Kittens: standout hitter Christian Stokes struck out in both her visits to the plate but defensively had 3 assists and 2 POs, while Kelsey Nunley had 5 K's (yay!) but walked 2 Purple Cats and allowed 2 earned runs. Get it out of your system, ladies, we have a Regional to win!

Now, what of our first victim opponent today? Ball State had themselves a heck of a game as the 79th ranked Cardinals handily beat #19 Notre Dame (IN SOUTH BEND!!!!) 6-3. Led by their mighty pitcher Kristin Wood, the Cards led the entire game, at one point by as much as 5 in the bottom of the 5th inning. After that kind of performance, I doubt the Cats are taking these Birds lightly.

The goal today: to NOT play more than the one game today! If the Cats get the W, they can kick back and relax until Sunday's opening game. If they lose, they get another shot at making it to Sunday in the 6 PM game tonight. (Please, please listen to your blogger for once, Cats: win the first one today!)

Schedule for the rest of this weekend in Domerland:

Saturday, May 16
Game 3 - Kentucky vs. Ball State - Noon ET
Game 4 - Northwestern vs. Notre Dame - 3 p.m. ET
Game 5 - Loser Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 - 6 p.m. ET

Sunday, May 17
Game 6 - Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5 -1 p.m. ET
Game 7 - (If necessary) - 4 p.m. ET

Sadly - possibly infuriatingly - there is no radio or TV coverage of today's games but you can stream it or watch the stats on Gametracker.

So until noon today, Cat fans - GO BIG BLUE!