Women’s team awaits postseason fate

While many UK students headed south to bask in the sun and take a break from school, nearly all of UK’s spring athletic teams were in action over Spring Break, as many of them battled in postseason play.

Although the UK men’s basketball team earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament — the Cats are a No. 11 seed and will play No. 6 seed Marquette in Anaheim, Calif., on Thursday — the women’s fate remains in the air.

The women’s team downed Georgia 57-50 in Nashville on March 7, behind senior center Sarah Elliott’s 16 points. With the victory, the Cats advanced to the Southeastern Conference semifinals for the first time since 2006.

Unfortunately for the Cats, their opponent in the semifinals was No. 6 Louisiana State, which had already beaten the Cats twice this season. Much like the previous two meetings, LSU and senior center Sylvia Fowles were too much for UK to handle, as the Tigers defeated the Cats 64-49.

The loss left UK squarely on the NCAA Tournament bubble. The Cats’ record stands at 15-15, including an 8-6 mark in the SEC.

The NCAA Tournament field will be announced tonight at 7 on ESPN. If the Cats are not one of the 64 teams selected, they will most likely end up in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament.

Cool Cats’ tourney run spoiled

Coming off one of their most successful regular seasons in recent history, the Cool Cats found themselves in Fort Myers, Fla., over Spring Break in the American Collegiate Association Division II National Tournament for the first time in 13 years.

But despite snapping their 13-year tournament-less streak and winning 14 of 16 games down the stretch, the Cool Cats went 1-2 in the national tournament to end their season.

Eventual national champion Davenport dominated the Cool Cats 8-1 on March 12. UK then lost 4-3 to Eastern Washington before closing the season with a 6-2 victory over Bryant on March 14.

Track and field wraps up indoor season

The UK track and field squads finished the indoor season at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., on Saturday. The women’s squad scored four points in two events to finish in a tie for 46th place, but the men’s team was held scoreless.

Senior Lavera Morris earned the Cats’ first point with an eighth-place finish in the women’s 800-meter run. Sophomore Jenna Martin tallied the other three UK points, finishing in sixth place in the women’s 400-meter dash.

The Cats resume their outdoor season March 28 at the Yellow Jacket Invitational in Atlanta.

Rifle team finishes fifth at NCAA Championships

The UK rifle team was unable to overcome a sluggish smallbore start and finished in a disappointing fifth place this weekend at the NCAA Rifle Championships in West Point, N.Y.

Sophomore Ashley Jackson posted a team-high 580 in smallbore and a 582 in air rifle, but the Cats still failed to place any shooter in the top eight individual honors.

Sophomore Tom Csenge posted a 581 and sophomore Jen Pason finished with a 582 in air rifle to round out the Cats’ top scores.

The fifth-place finish is UK’s 14th top-10 finish in the last 15 years. The Cats placed fourth a year ago.

Softball posts winning record

Although the UK softball team was forced to cancel its third annual Frostbite Classic because of inclement weather in Lexington at the beginning of Spring Break, the Cats still enjoyed a successful week, winning three out of five regular season games.

The Cats (12-10, 1-2 SEC) swept a doubleheader from Morehead State on March 12 before stealing one of three games from No. 6 Tennessee this weekend in Knoxville. The victory over the Volunteers on Saturday was the Cats’ first win over their border-state rival in two seasons. UK was swept by the Vols yesterday in a doubleheader.

Sophomores Natalie Smith and Molly Johnson enjoyed the biggest weeks, reeling in a combined seven RBIs. Johnson, a shortstop, was 7-for-13 over the four-game stretch, and Smith, a second baseman, tacked on seven hits.

The Cats return to the diamond today at 3 p.m. at the UK Softball Complex against Miami (Ohio).