After a six inning, 9-1 thumping of their Sunshine State rival USF on Wednesday, the third ranked Gator softball team will hit the road this weekend for their third-to-last series of the regular season.
Going up against the Gators is 18th ranked Kentucky (30-10, 8-4 SEC). The Wildcats are coming off three mid-week wins, defeating Marshall on Tuesday and sweeping a doubleheader against Eastern Kentucky on Wednesday. Florida head softball coach Tim Walton knows SEC pitching staffs are deep and Kentucky is no exception.
But the Gators (39-4, 12-3 SEC) are also hot, entering the weekend series having won 13 of their last 14 games. However, their last two series against the Wildcats haven’t ended well. Kentucky won both of those series, sweeping the Gators in 2011 and taking two out of three against Florida in Gainesville last year. Walton adds that these three games won’t be a walk in the park either.
First pitch on Friday is set for 6pm. The second game of the series on Saturday will air live on ESPNU, UF’s second appearance on the ESPN family of networks this season. Also on Saturday Kentucky will debut a brand new stadium at the UK Softball Complex, with a dedication ceremony prior to the first pitch at 1pm. Sunday’s game begins at noon.
Playing in Kentucky’s new stadium on Saturday and Sunday could prove to be beneficial for the Gators, as they’ll return to the Lexington for the 2013 SEC tournament May 8-11.