The Kentucky and Auburn softball teams have combined to win 60 of the 68 games they’ve played this season.
The 12th-ranked Wildcats and the third-ranked Tigers both bring 30-4 records into this weekend’s three-game series at Kentucky’s John Cropp Stadium, so something has to give by Sunday night.
However things pan out, UK is facing its biggest challenge of the season to date.
Auburn brings the nation’s No. 1 scoring offense to Lexington. The Tigers average 9.38 runs per game and boast a .348 team batting average. Auburn doesn’t neglect the circle, though. Tigers pitchers are sixth in the nation with a combined earned-run average of 1.65.
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Two Tigers are batting over .400. Junior infielder Kasey Cooper is hitting .462 with 10 home runs and 51 RBI. Senior outfielder Tiffany Howard is hitting .430 with 25 RBI and 42 runs scored.
Freshman right-hander Makayla Martin (7-0, 1.14 ERA) and sophomore righty Kaylee Carlson (8-0, 1.15 ERA) have logged the most innings in the circle for the Tigers.
Kentucky had won seven in a row and 14 of 15 before a mid-week road split at Ohio University on Tuesday. The Cats dropped the doubleheader opener 1-0 but bounced back to take the nightcap 3-1.
Through three of eight weekends of league play, UK is tied with top-ranked Florida atop the Southeastern Conference standings at 8-1.
The Wildcats are 26th nationally in scoring (6.32 runs per game) and fourth in team ERA (1.45).
Senior outfielder Sylver Samuel leads UK at the plate, batting .415. Senior shortstop Christian Stokes tops the Cats with six home runs. Freshman outfielder Abbey Cheek is first in RBI with 39.
Senior right-hander Kelsey Nunley (13-3, 0.74 ERA) and junior left-hander Meagan Prince (14-0, 1.28 ERA) pace the Wildcats pitching staff.
The Tigers lead the all-time series with UK 34-17, including a three-game sweep of the Wildcats at Auburn last season.
No. 3 Auburn at No. 14 Kentucky
What: Three-game SEC softball series
Where: UK’s John Cropp Stadium
When: 6 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday
Records: Auburn 30-4 (6-3 SEC), Kentucky 30-4 (8-1)
Live video broadcasts: All three games on SEC Network Plus (online only)
Tickets: $5. Call the UK Ticket Office at (859) 257-1818 or visit UKathletics.com/tickets to order.