UK softball expects to contend for title again

Reported by: Dan Rieffer
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Updated: 2/15/2012 6:53 pm
The Kentucky softball team expects to continue its new tradition of winning this season.

From UK Athletics
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky ended its history-making season ranked among the nation's top 15 teams for the first time in school history at the end of the 2011 season. That team set a single-season school-record with 40 wins and six single-season offensive records including home runs. UK knocked off 12 top-25 ranked opponents through the season, won a school-best five Southeastern Conference series, appeared in a third consecutive NCAA Tournament and advanced to the final field of 16 in the NCAA tournament for the first time in school allure.

Kentucky returns 15 letter winners from its record-breaking 40-win squad from a season ago headlined by the senior pitching tandem of Rachel Riley and Chanda Bell. Riley has been tabbed a preseason All-Southeastern Conference selection and is among the 50 players to watch for the National Player of the Year award. Bell is the lone Wildcat to amass more than 700 strikeouts in a career with more than 200 thrown in each of her first three seasons.

Senior Brittany Cervantes paces the offensive unit as Kentucky's all-time best home run hitter with 35 long balls in her career. Cervantes is also on pace to shatter the UK career record for RBI. Junior Kara Dill is back as well after leading the Wildcats a season ago in batting average and stolen bases.

UK attained a top-25 ranking in both major polls for the first time in school history after capping its historic 2011 run in the top 13.

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