Softball faces No. 1 Oklahoma



By Tyler Spanyer | @KernelSpanyer

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The newly ranked No. 22/24 UK softball team continues its season-opening west coast trip this weekend. The Cats travel to San Diego to take part in the Campbell Cartier Classic hosted by San Diego State University.

The Cats will have a tough weekend ahead of them as they face off with two top-20 teams including Oklahoma, who is ranked No. 1/2, depending on the poll.

UK head coach Rachel Lawson and her squad head to San Diego off the back of a weekend in which they defeated No. 3 California and No. 20 Stanford to move in to the top 25. The Cats are ranked at No. 22 by ESPN while the coach’s poll has UK at No. 24.

The Sooners are led by sophomore Lauren Chamberlain who comes in hot, averaging .636 at the plate with four home runs and 12 RBI through five games.

Oklahoma’s pitching staff is led by senior standout Keilani Ricketts who is 2-0 on the season with a 2.00 ERA. Ricketts won National Player of the Week honors last week after throwing two no-hitters in her two starts.

The Cats got strong pitching performances last weekend, but none were more impressive than the showing from true freshman Kelsey Nunley.

The freshman picked up three wins with a 2.83 ERA and recorded 19 strikeouts in her first weekend of action for the Cats.

Junior Lauren Cumbess was also strong on the mound in the win against Cal, but her major contributions came at the plate where she went 2-4 and drove in the game-winning run to lift the Cats past the Bears.

The Cats take on Cal Poly on Thursday to start the weekend, with a matchup with the hosting San Diego State taking place to complete the doubleheader.

On Friday, the Cats play No. 16/18 Washington at 2:15 p.m. Saturday UK plays another doubleheader, beginning with a matchup against UC Riverside at 12 p.m. which is followed by the showdown with No. 1/2 Oklahoma.