UK softball to play Arkansas Wednesday

Fresh off a conference series win over South Carolina that was full offensive firepower, UK (21-18, 5-7 SEC) led by the senior bat of Brittany Cervantes will return to the field midweek in a double-header against Arkansas (19-18. 3-14 SEC) Wednesday.

The Razorbacks, much like UK recently, have used the long ball to find success on the diamond.

“Arkansas is a good team, they do a nice job of swinging the bats and they’ve played an awesome schedule,” UK head coach Rachel Lawson said.

In the 37 games they have played this season, the Razorbacks have hit 35 home runs for a 0.95 average per game, which is good enough for 31st in the NCAA and fourth among their SEC rivals.

The bats of sophomores Clarisa Navarro and Amanda Geile set the pace for the Hogs’ offense so far this season.

Navarro leads the team in batting with a .367 average in 120 plate appearances. She also leads her team with 44 hits — 13 more than the person in second, and 14 more than Geile.

As part of their 35 home runs this season, Amanda Geile contributed seven of those on 30 hits in 103 at-bats.

Lawson also spoke highly of the Razorbacks pitching staff that brings a team 3.21 ERA despite starting two pitchers in all but four games this season.

“They have good pitching and have added to an already good arsenal,” she said. “We’re going to have to make sure we keep the runs down and do a great job on the mound and then hopefully bring our offense like we did today.”

Much like UK, the Arkansas pitching staff has played better than stats indicate due to a limited rotation.

Junior Chelsea Cohen has started 22 games, made 31 appearances, and thrown 15 complete games for 152.2 innings of work and a 2.75 ERA, which is more than doubled to what their second leading pitcher in freshman Kimmy Beasley has contributed.

Beasley has a 5-4 record in 18 appearances on the mound with a 3.68 ERA.

UK’s double-header is slated for a 4 p.m. Eastern time opening pitch, and will be carried by the UK IMG Sports Network on the CWKYT in Lexington. Game two is tentatively scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Eastern time.