The Kentucky softball team will play 28 games against NCAA Tournament teams from 2016, and will also play 13 games against Super Regional contenders from a year ago. In addition, the Wildcats will play five games against teams that qualified for the Women’s College World Series, it was announced on Thursday as the Wildcats unveiled their 2017 schedule.
The 2017 slate opens in Orlando, Florida at the University of Central Florida Knights Invitational, where Kentucky will play five games over three days beginning on Feb. 10. The Wildcats will use the UCF Invitational as the first of four non-conference tournaments to start the year, with the first 18 games of the season for UK coming on the road.
In Orlando, UK will open the season with Florida A&M, a matchup of two NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago. Also in Orlando, UK will face A&M one more time, Pittsburgh twice and host UCF once.
The second weekend sees the Wildcats make the trip out west to Cathedral City, California to participate in the Mary Nutter Classic just outside of Palm Springs. The Wildcats will face their stiffest non-conference test the weekend of Feb. 15-18, facing Women’s College World Series participant UCLA, Super Regional participant Oregon, Cal State Northridge and UC-Davis.
UK will head back to the Sunshine State from Feb. 24-26 for a five- game tournament in Boca Raton, Florida to compete in the Florida Atlantic Invitational. The Wildcats will face UConn, Florida A&M, and Memphis twice over the three-day event. Host FAU made the Gainesville Regional of the 2016 NCAA Softball Tournament a season ago.
The Coach B Classic will be the next non-conference stop along the way for Kentucky in Carbondale, Illinois with UK facing three Illinois-based schools from March 3-4. UK starts the tournament with a game against Northern Illinois on March 3 before a game against Southern Illinois as part of a doubleheader. The tournament wraps up the next day for the Wildcats against UIC.
The home opener will come on March 9 as John Cropp Stadium will host a tournament in the bluegrass March 9-12. The opening game of the six-game tournament for UK will be against Kent State at 6 p.m. ET on March 9. The Wildcats will face the Golden Flashes, Evansville, Drexel and Women’s College World Series participant, Michigan.
The Wildcats’ Southeastern Conference season gets underway on March 18 as UK will visit another WCWS team from 2016, Georgia. Kentucky will play a three-game series against the Bulldogs in Athens starting on Saturday, March 18 and concluding on Monday, March 20.
The Wildcats will play eight SEC series with the Georgia series coming on the road in addition to trips to Ole Miss (Oxford, Mississippi, March 31-April 2), Missouri (Columbia, Missouri, April 21-23) and Mississippi State (Starkville, Mississippi, May 5-7).
At John Cropp Stadium, Kentucky will host Arkansas (March 24-26), regional finalist Tennessee (April 7-9), Super Regional participant Florida (April 14-16) and regional finalist Texas A&M (April 28-30).
The SEC will release its television assignments at a later date, which could affect select game times.
Tennessee will host the 2017 SEC Softball Tournament at Lee Stadium in Knoxville from May 10-13. The SEC Network and ESPN family of networks will combine to telecast all games of the tournament.
The NCAA Selection Show will be Sunday, May 14 before the NCAA Regionals begin May 18-21 at selected host sites. The top-16 seeded teams will have the opportunity to host the regional round of the NCAA Tournament.
The 2017 Women’s College World Series will return to Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma May 31-June 6. ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to televise all games of the softball championship in addition to all games being available on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.
For the latest on the Kentucky softball team, follow @UKSoftball on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com.
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For more information contact:
Chris Shoals (firstname.lastname@example.org, 513-312-2489)
UK Media Relations