Kentucky Softball picked fourth in SEC by league coaches

Wildcats slated fourth in early-season projections

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LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky Softball team was picked to finish fourth in the 2020 Southeastern Conference softball preseason poll, conducted by all 13 head coaches in the league this past week. The Wildcats finished in a three-way tie for second place in 2019, equaling its program-best regular-season finish.

UK returns some key pieces from its 2019 roster including All-SEC performer Kayla Kowalik and National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association All-Region performer, Alex Martens. Additionally, all five pitchers for Kentucky return for 2020 paced by junior Grace Baalman and senior Autumn Humes, who pitched a lion’s share of the innings for the Wildcats a season ago.

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Alabama was picked to win the conference by 11 of the league’s 13 coaches with teams not able to vote for themselves. Tennessee was predicted to finish second with the remaining two first-place votes. Points for the poll were awarded on a 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12 basis.

SEC teams begin action on Thursday, Feb. 6, with UK opening its season at the NFCA Lead-Off Classic in Clearwater, Fla., against Liberty and Texas State on Feb. 7. The 2020 SEC Softball Tournament will take place May 6-9 at Rhoads Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Times for all home games, TV games and SEC games will be announced later this month by the league office in conjunction with ESPN.

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com