The University of Kentucky softball team received its highest preseason ranking ever Tuesday when the Wildcats were rated No. 6 in the nation in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Top 25.
Kentucky's previous high ranking was last year, when Coach Rachel Lawson's Wildcats started the season No. 12.
UK is coming off its first appearance in the College World Series in 2014, a season that saw the Wildcats rise to an all-time best No. 5 ranking on Feb. 18.
Kentucky has been ranked in 32 consecutive top 25 polls, dating back to the 2013 season, which is a program record.
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Kentucky's 2015 schedule includes 30 games against 12 teams that are ranked or receiving votes in the USA Today preseason poll.
The Wildcats will have three-game sets with No. 1 Florida, No. 3 Alabama, No. 12 Georgia, No. 13 Tennessee, No. 19 LSU, No. 20 Auburn, No. 24 Texas A&M and South Carolina, which received votes. UK will play two games vs. No. 5 Florida State, one each vs. No. 4 Oklahoma and No. 14 Arizona, and two vs. Louisville, which also received votes.
The Southeastern Conference leads the preseason poll with nine selections, while the Pac-12 has five and the Big Ten three. The Atlantic Coast, Big 12 and Sun Belt have two apiece, and the Big East and Conference USA each have one.
The USA Today/NFCA poll is voted on by 32 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference.
Kentucky opens its season Feb. 5 in Tallahassee, Fla., against Florida A&M, starting a 24-game road stretch to begin the year. The Wildcats' home opener is March 11 against Eastern Kentucky.