The University of Kentucky Wildcat Softball team moved to 2-0 in the postseason with a 1-0 win over Illinois in the NCAA Regional at UK’s John Cropp Stadium. The victory sets up a rematch for the Cats with the Illini on Sunday, as Illinois advanced from the loser’s bracket defeating Marshall on Saturday afternoon. Coach Rachel Lawson has her team one victory away from another NCAA super regional.
The lone run for the Wildcats came in the 4th inning as Illinois’ Breanna Wonderly had some control issues and hit two Kentucky batters. Freshman Bailey Vick scored on Breanne Ray’s sacrifice fly to provide all the offense either team could produce in what turned out to be an outstanding pitcher’s duel, with some superb defense mixed in.
After a 6-0 win against DePaul on Friday, Kentucky has yet to surrender a postseason run. The defense for Coach Lawson’s team has been superb. After going 7 scoreless inning against the Illinois, Kentucky ace Meagan Prince said, “I have all the confidence in the world in my defense.” With Prince going 6 scoreless innings vs. DePaul and today’s performance against Illinois, the Wildcat defense certainly should have a lot of confidence in Prince.
The Cats and Illini will start at noon on Sunday. If Kentucky wins, they will advance to the super regional. Illinois will have to beat UK twice tomorrow to advance. Coach Lawson didn’t tip her hand on whether or not she’d give Prince the ball to start after her workhorse-like performance so far. Prince said that she still had something left in the tank. And the Cats will need it after the strong outing by Illinois’ Wonderly that stifled their own bats.
The Wildcats have the home field advantage and it’s going to be hard to not see them advancing on Sunday. However, as Meagan Prince, the Queen of the Diamond, offered, “we have to stay focused and not look too far ahead.”