The University of Kentucky’s 2018 softball schedule includes 32 games against teams that made the 2017 NCAA Tournament — with 16 of those coming at home, Coach Rachel Lawson announced Monday.
The Wildcats will play 18 games against teams that made it to the super-regional round, and nine against teams that made it to the Women’s College World Series
Lawson, the winningest coach in program history, enters her 11th season at the helm and took the Cats to its fifth NCAA super-regionals appearance in seven years and a No. 17 ranking in both college polls in 2017.
Kentucky will start 2018 playing its first 13 games away from home in three different cities, including Las Cruces, N.M., San Diego, Calif. – and Orlando, Fla. John Cropp Stadium in Lexington will host its first game on March 1 against the Dayton Flyers as part of a six-game home stand.
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The 2018 John Cropp Classic will be held in Lexington on March 3 and 4 pitting UK against Ohio and Southeast Missouri State in a round-robin tournament.
Southeastern Conference play will start on March 9 in Gainesville against the 2017 NCAA runner-up, Florida. All SEC series will be played in three days with one scheduled game per day over the weekend. On the road in conference play, Kentucky will face Florida (WCWS), Auburn (super regionals), Texas A&M (WCWS) and Tennessee (super regionals).
The home SEC slate opens March 17 as UK hosts LSU for the national series of the week running Saturday through Monday. UK will host Alabama over Easter Weekend in Lexington (March 30-April 2), as well as Georgia (April 20-22) and South Carolina (May 4-6). The South Carolina series will be the final regular-season series at John Cropp Stadium, with Saturday, May 5 serving as Senior Day.
Kentucky will look to continue its recent dominance over Louisville in the annual “Battle of the Bluegrass” on April 4 in Lexington. Also in home midweeks, Dayton (March 1), Indiana (March 14), Eastern Kentucky (April 10) and Northern Kentucky (April 24) will come to Lexington.
The 2018 SEC Tournament will be held in Columbia, Mo., from May 9-12 with all games live on ESPN, ESPNU and the SEC Network. The NCAA Tournament Selection Show will be on May 13 before NCAA regionals kick off May 17. Oklahoma City will again play host to the Women’s College World Series, running from May 31 until a national champion is crowned on June 5 or 6.
Game times will be made public and finalized once the SEC Network and its corporate partners at ESPN make their television selections in mid-December.
Kentucky Softball Schedule