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No. 22 Kentucky Opens Demanding SEC Slate at No. 2 Florida

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Riding a 10-game winning streak, the No. 22 Kentucky softball team will pack up and head south for a three-game series beginning on Friday at No. 2 Florida. The Wildcats and Gators are both opening up Southeastern Conference play this weekend, as the first of eight series each team will play.

Game one Friday night can be seen on the SEC Network+, ESPN3 and the ESPN app with games two and three live on the SEC Network with Melissa Lee (pxp) and NPF commissioner Cheri Kempf (color) on the call from Gainesville.

UK recorded a 4-1 win over SIUE on Tuesday afternoon at John Cropp Stadium to complete a perfect 6-0 homestand and run its season-high winning streak to 10 games. Abbey Cheek hit her team-leading seventh HR of the season to left field to tie the game in the fourth inning, and RBI hits by Erin Rethlake, Katie Reed and Cheek again brought in the other three runs.

In the circle, Bethany Todd earned her first-career start and held SIUE to just one run on a trio of hits in three complete innings. Erin Rethlake got the win, pitching the final four innings, and not allowing the Cougars a run.

WCWS regular Florida is up at the top of the rankings again this season, sporting a 19-1 record inside the first 20 games of the season. Junior Kelly Barnhill leads the way for the Gators in the circle with a 0.25 ERA and perfect 9-0 record in the circle. Additionally, Aleshia Ocasio is 8-1 on the year also with a sub-one ERA to lead the best pitching staff in the nation to date.

The Wildcats will have to find a way to stop Amanda Lorenz, who is hitting .460 on the year with three home runs and 25 RBI thus far. This weekend also marks the SEC opening weekend for the Gators, as well.

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