Softball sets its sights on the postseason

With the Southeastern Conference Tournament just two weeks away, the UK softball team has its sights set on a trip to the NCAA Regionals. However, that largely hinges on how they finish their final six games.

After a series victory over South Carolina this past weekend, the No. 16 Cats (35-10, 13-7 SEC) will play No. 3 Alabama in a weekend road series in Tuscaloosa, AL. They will then return home to finish the season against No. 25 Auburn. And with the abundance of SEC games ahead, the team knows how important a high seed in the conference tournament could (or could not) be.

“Any time you can get a higher seed it’s great,” UK head coach Rachel Lawson said. “But, I’ll be honest; the top seven teams in the SEC have pretty similar records. So, every matchup is going to be tough. I don’t think seeds will make a huge difference.”

This season has been a historic one for UK. They have already secured their fourth consecutive 30-win season, the longest streak in the history of a program that started just 14 years ago. In Saturday’s win over South Carolina, three new school records were set. Samantha DeMartine’s two solo home runs gave the team a total of 58, a new single-season record. Ten RBI’s in the series gave the Cats the single-season record in that category as well. And with the win, the team won their fifth SEC series, breaking the previous school mark.

But regardless of the records, the Cats won’t be satisfied without a deep postseason run. With a roster top-heavy with experienced upper-classmen, a birth in the NCAA Regionals has been the ultimate goal from the onset. That journey takes shape Friday against Alabama. And with seven SEC teams ranked in one or both national polls, it won’t be an easy task.

“We want to win the SEC tournament and realize that we have to go through some of the best teams in the country to do that,” Lawson said. “That has been the focus all along. We’re definitely not overlooking anybody.”