BATON ROUGE - The No. 13 LSU softball team will open the home portion of its SEC schedule and play host to No. 17 Kentucky for a three-game weekend series at Tiger Park. Game times are slated for Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at noon.
All three games of the series will be broadcasted by the LSU Sports Radio Network on Country Legends 104.9 FM in Baton Rouge and can be accessed by Geaux Zone subscribers at www.LSUsports.net/live.
Saturday's game will be carried live by Cox Sports Television and Comcast Sports Southeast with Lyn Rollins and retired LSU softball coach Yvette Girouard set to call the action. Friday and Sunday's games will have live video available inside the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/live.
A full weekend of promotions is on-tap for the Kentucky series. Friday's series opener will mark the program's annual "Gold Game" where all fans in attendance are encouraged to wear gold to support the Tigers.
On Saturday, LSU will celebrate Alumnae Day. The first 500 fans also can pick up a commemorative lapel pin honoring the Tigers run to the 2012 Women's College World Series.
As part of "Geaux Green Day" at the ballpark, the first 750 fans to Sunday's contest will take home color changing stadium cups for St. Patrick's Day.
LSU (20-5, 2-1 SEC) has won six of its last eight outings, including an 8-0 five-inning victory over Nicholls State last time out on Wednesday. The Tigers had five players pick up RBIs during their eight-run first inning coupled with an Ashley Czechner one-hit shutout.
Kentucky (19-4, 2-1 SEC) is coming off an impressive 18-0 mid-week win over No. 24 North Carolina which marked the largest margin of victory for a single game in program history. Katie Henderson tossed the program's fifth no-hitter versus the Tar Heels, while Griffin Joiner posted a 4-for-4 effort with two homers and six RBIs.
For the season, Joiner has garnered a team-leading six home runs and 24 RBIs on a .361 batting average. Lauren Cumbess has tallied a team-high .386 hitting clip to go along with three homers and 19 RBIs.
In the circle, Kelsey Nunley has collected 12 of the team's 19 victories. Nunley has recorded a 12-1 mark and has secured a staff-low 2.02 ERA. She has picked up 67 strikeouts over her 83.1 innings of work.
"Kentucky has one of the best coaches (Rachel Lawson) in the country," head coach Beth Torina said. "They will be well prepared, intelligent and solid. We know what we can expect from them. We just have to play our game and get our team prepared tomorrow. They will be solid in all aspects of the game without question. Every time we take the field in the SEC, it is a challenge without a doubt."
The top four hitters of the LSU lineup - A.J. Andrews, Jacee Blades, Allison Falcon and Bianka Bell are all hitting over the .300 mark for the season. Blades leads the way with a .378 hitting clip and has recorded hits in 12 of last 14 outings.
Andrews is right behind her with a .360 batting average on a team-high 31 hits. She has ripped of her hits during 13 of her last 14 outings and also has totaled a team-leading eight stolen bases.
Rachele Fico, the reigning SEC and LSWA Pitcher of the Week, headlines the pitching staff with a 12-3 record fueled by seven shutouts. The senior right-hander entered the week as the SEC frontrunner with 127 strikeouts on the season. She enters the UK series eight Ks away from becoming the fourth pitcher in program history to reach 700 career strikeouts.
Czechner has won five of her decisions and lowered her ERA down to 2.36 after her one-hitter versus the Colonels on Wednesday. Meghan Patterson has turned in a 3-2 mark with a 1.88 ERA. She fired a four-hit shutout and registered a season's best eight strikeouts during a 1-0 victory over Nicholls State on February 17.
Every game of LSU softball this season will have live stats available at LSUsports.net/livestats. Fans can also follow every pitch via live in-game updates at the program's social media outlets @lsusoftball on Twitter and www.Facebook.com/lsusoftball.
The Tiger Park Ticket Office will open 90 prior to the first pitch. Fans can purchase tickets on-site starting at $5 for adult general admission and $3 for youth ages 3-12.
2013 Alumnae Day Participants
Ashley Applegate (2008-12)
Dorinda Beaumont (1979-82)
Heidi Robin Delcambre (2005-06)
Dee Douglas (1998-2001)
Quinlan Duhon (2005-08)
Sara Fitzgerald (2001-04)
Yvette Girouard (Head Coach: 2001-12)
Stephanie Hastings (1998-2001)
Dee Dee Henderson (2005-08)
Kristen Hobbs Cain (2004-07)
Jazz Jackson (2007-09)
Brandi Landry Smart (1997-98)
Annette Landry Chustz
Geanette Landry Phenix
Ashley Langoni (2009-12)
Brittany Mack (2009-12)
Heidi Pizer (2010-12)
Jennie Reeves (2000-03)
Morgan Russell (2009-12)
Jennifer Schuelke (1998-2001)
Erika Sluss (2005-08)
Tiffany Shaw (2008-11)
Renee Shipp (1979-82)
Cassie Trosclair (2010-12)
Julie Wiese Hawkins (2001-04)
Cathy Whitlock Poole (1997)