The University of Kentucky softball team is ready to put on a show for the home fans.
Since starting the 2017 season a sluggish 5-4, the Wildcats have put together eight consecutive victories.
All of that, the good and the bad, took place during a 17-game, four-stop, 22-day season-opening road trip.
The 19th-ranked Wildcats (13-4) open their home schedule Thursday when they host the John Cropp Classic, a four-day, six-team event in which Kentucky will play five games.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
Joining UK at John Cropp Stadium will be 17th-ranked Michigan (12-6-1), Drexel (2-0), Evansville (5-10), Dayton (8-6) and Kent State (7-7).
Kentucky opens with Dayton on Thursday at 6 p.m.
Kentucky concludes the John Cropp Classic by playing Michigan, a participant in last season’s College World Series, on Sunday at 2 p.m.
All five of Kentucky's games will be shown live on SEC Network Plus, which is available at ESPN3.com and on the WatchESPN app.
The Cats will be going for their third consecutive weekend sweep. UK went 3-0 at the Coach B Classic in Carbondale, Ill., last weekend. That came on the heels of taking five consecutive games the weekend before in Boca Raton, Fla.
The Wildcats’ offense continued to pick up steam in Carbondale, where they batted .349 — scoring 15 runs on 29 hits — while stealing eight bases.
Abbey Cheek batted .500 for the weekend including her second career grand slam. She also stole four bases and scored four runs.
Defensively, UK committed just one error while the pitching staff allowed only three runs in the three games. Meagan Prince (5-2) pitched 12 1/3 innings, allowing three hits and one walk while striking out 16 and earning two of the wins.
UK’s team ERA is 1.68 this season, led by Erin Rethlake (3-0), who has a 0.86 ERA in her 24 1/3 innings.
The tournament organizing committee reminded fans that inclement weather is a possibility this weekend. Fans should monitor UKathletics.com and @UKSoftball on Twitter for the most up-to-date information regarding schedule changes.
John Cropp Classic
At UK’s John Cropp Stadium
6 p.m.: Kentucky vs. Dayton
8 p.m.: Drexel vs. Dayton
10 a.m.: Evansville vs. Kentucky
Noon: Evansville vs. Dayton
2 p.m.: Kent State vs. Dayton
4 p.m.: Kent State vs. Drexel
6 p.m.: Kentucky vs. Drexel
10 a.m.: Michigan vs. Evansville
Noon: Michigan vs. Dayton
2 p.m.: Evansville vs. Kent State
4 p.m.: Kentucky vs. Kent State
10 a.m.: Drexel vs. Evansville
Noon: Michigan vs. Kent State
2 p.m.: Michigan vs. Kentucky