LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky softball team was selected for 12 nationally-televised games for the 2019 season, it was announced by ESPN on Friday. It is the most national telecasts for the Wildcats in program history.
Four of the broadcasts will take place at the first-ever ESPN St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational, where UK will play five games against ranked teams in four days. Seven games of the 12 that feature the Wildcats are Southeastern Conference matchups, and there is one midweek against Big Ten foe, Ohio State.
Half of the 12 broadcasts will take place at the premier stadium for collegiate softball, John Cropp Stadium in Lexington.
The national TV slate for the Wildcats opens against No. 4 Oklahoma on Feb. 14 in St. Petersburg in a game featured live on ESPNU. That is followed by games against No. 16 Texas (SEC Network) and No. 25 Oregon (ESPNU), both on Feb. 16. Feb 17 against James Madison will be a telecast on ESPN3.
On-Air Announce Pairings for ESPN St. Pete/Clearwater Invitational
Kentucky vs. #4 Oklahoma (Beth Mowins, Michele Smith, Holly Rowe)
Kentucky vs. #16 Texas (Tiffany Greene, Amanda Scarbrough)
Kentucky vs. #25 Oregon (Beth Mowins, Michele Smith, Holly Rowe)
Kentucky vs. (RV) James Madison (Tiffany Greene, Danielle Lawrie)
The Wildcats host No. 24 Mississippi State for a three-game series on March 15-17 at John Cropp Stadium with the Saturday and Sunday games both slated for SEC Network telecasts and a Noon ET first pitch.
Ohio State visits Lexington on March 27 for an inter-conference tangle with the Buckeyes live on the SEC Network at 5 p.m. ET.
All three games of the series with Auburn will take the national spotlight in the SEC Series of the Week. Saturday and Monday will both be on the SEC Network live at 7 p.m. ET, and the Sunday game will be on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. ET.
The final scheduled broadcasts will be at Rhodes Stadium in Tuscaloosa against the No. 9 Alabama Crimson Tide. Saturday’s game will be on ESPNU at 6:30 p.m. ET, with Sunday’s series finale airing at 3 p.m. ET.
Additional Schedule Highlights:
- ESPN and ESPN2 Schedule Showcases SEC: The SEC will have 13 ranked match-ups across ESPN and ESPN2 this season, with nine of the 13 teams appearing.
- SEC Network: SEC Network’s 50-game schedule begins in earnest on Sunday, March 10. Among the highlights on the network this season, Bases Loaded—a three-hour special presentation featuring all 12 SEC teams—returns on Sunday, May 5, at 1 p.m. ET. SEC Network will also carry every early round game of the SEC Tournament with the semifinals airing on ESPNU and the SEC Championship available on ESPN2.
- ESPN App: All televised games are also available via the ESPN App. In addition, more than 1,100 games will be available across SEC Network+, ESPN3 and more. ESPN’s industry-leading schedule will represent 20 conferences, including the SEC. Digital schedules will continue to be updated throughout the season.
- St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational Presented by Wilson: In addition to the regular season slate, ESPN Events will debut its first ever ESPN owned and operated softball event with the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational held at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Fla., February 14-17, 2019. The field is comprised of 16 teams for a total of 39 games, 25 of which will be available across ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network and ESPN3. Full details available here.
- NCAA Division I Softball Championship: Once again, ESPN will be the home of the NCAA Division I Softball post-season, kicking things off with the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday, May 12 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Complete coverage details for Regionals, Super Regionals and the Women’s College World Series will be available as the season progresses.