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Rachel Lawson on young pitchers being ready for SEC Tournament (Larry Vaught/Verizon Video)


LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky softball team has earned the No. 10 seed in the 2018 SEC Tournament, and will face the No. 7 seeded Arkansas Razorbacks in the opening round on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. ET.

The game will be shown live on the SEC Network, ESPN3 and the ESPN app with Women’s College World Series announcers Adam Amin (pxp) and Amanda Scarbrough (color) on the call. Laura Rutledge will be working the sidelines.

Kentucky and Arkansas did not play in the 2018 regular season. The last time the two teams met was in the 2017 regular season – where UK swept the Razorbacks at John Cropp Stadium in Lexington. In fact, Kentucky has won the last six games with Arkansas – having also swept the Razorbacks in Fayetteville back in 2016. The last Arkansas win over UK was in 2014.


The 2018 SEC Softball Tournament will be contested at the Missouri Softball Stadium in Columbia, Mo., which was just built last year. Tickets for all sessions of the tournament are available through the Missouri Ticket Office.


The winner of Wednesday afternoon’s game will advance to face the second-seeded Georgia Bulldogs on Thursday afternoon in the quarterfinals.


Mallory Peyton had some instrumental hits in Kentucky’s series win over No. 12 South Carolina this past weekend, and for that was named the SEC Freshman of the Week. In game one on Friday night, the designated hitter recorded her first career grand slam with a shot to left center in the bottom of the first inning to give UK a 5-0 lead. In game two on Sunday, Peyton knocked a three-run homer to center field in the fourth to help seal the series win. In game three, she hit a run-scoring sacrifice fly to plate UK’s first run of the game and drive in her eighth RBI of the weekend.


The Razorbacks enter the SEC Tournament off one of the best regular seasons in program history under the direction of Courtney Deifel. Arkansas is 37-14 overall on the year, and had a 12-12 SEC record this year for a seventh-place finish.  Arkansas is led offensively by Hannah McEwen who is hitting .356 on the season with 11 home runs and 52 RBI. McEwen is slugging at a .613 clip and has 20 walks drawn this year.


In the circle, SEC Freshman of the Year candidate Mary Haff leads the way with a 1.51 ERA and 24-6 record this season. Sophomore Autumn Storms is 12-8 for the Hogs this season in over 130 innings of work with a 2.23 ERA.

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