LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky Softball team will continue its tradition of playing one of the hardest non-conference schedules in the country in 2019, as it will be participating in the inaugural ESPN Elite Invitational in Clearwater, Florida.
The event field includes 13 teams competing in the event advanced to NCAA Tournament play this year with Florida State, Oklahoma and Oregon advancing to the Women’s College World Series. The inaugural early-season tournament will feature Florida Atlantic University, Florida State University, Hofstra, James Madison, Kentucky, LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and two teams from the Big Ten to be announced later this year.
“We’re excited to be adding the Elite Invitational to our pre-conference schedule for 2019,” UK head coach Rachel Lawson said, who will be entering her 12th year at Kentucky next year. “This will be a premier event in college softball that creates potential postseason match-ups in February to help prepare us for our SEC schedule and NCAA Tournament. The Elite Invitational will provide our team an opportunity to know what we need to do in order to make a deep run to the Women’s College World Series.”
The invitational will take place February 14-17, at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Fla. That is the second weekend of the season for Kentucky and most teams around the NCAA. The Eddie C. Moore Complex is Clearwater’s national and state award winning softball facility and has served as host to the Adidas Softball Invitational, USA Women’s National Softball Team and the Michele Smith Softball Camps.
Kentucky’s specific schedule for the Elite Invite will be released at a later date when the field and match-ups are finalized with ESPN.