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Kentucky’s T.J. Collett is one of six college baseball players selected to compete in the 10th annual Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans College Home Run Derby at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha on Saturday, June 29th.
In his three seasons at Kentucky, Collett has clobbered 21 home runs, including 10 in each of the past two seasons all while averaging a home run in every 15 at-bats.
Collett selected his father, John, to be his pitcher in the derby.
“I’m honored to be selected to participate in this event,” Collett said. “This is a dream come true for me. Ever since I first started playing the game, I’ve wanted to compete in a home run derby and to do so while representing the University of Kentucky is a blessing. To share this with my dad, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
The Rocket Mortgage College Home Run Derby includes three rounds of play: The first round, of course, will include all six contestants. The top four scores will advance to round two, then the top two scored from round two will advance to a 0ne on one contest to take home the trophy.
Contestants in each round will have a timed period of four minutes to hit as many home runs as they can. Once the timed period concludes, contestants will have one final opportunity to hit a home run with the “Bonus Ball.” If successful, two additional home runs will be added to the contestant’s total score.
The event will take place on June 29th at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©June 18th, 2019 @ 10:00am
After tying a 40-year-old record in the 110-meter hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships earlier this month and deciding to go pro, Daniel Roberts has signed with Nike. The former Kentucky track star shared the news last night on social media, the latest chapter in his burgeoning career.
Blessed is an understatement! This year has brought me everything I could ask for and more…but this is only the beginning!! I’m beyond proud to announce I will be representing Nike as I continue this amazing journey God has placed before me! pic.twitter.com/CAbO2kJep7
— Daniel Ellis Roberts (@riseofdrob) June 17, 2019
In his junior season at Kentucky, Roberts rewrote the record books. As mentioned, he matched the former collegiate record of 13.00 in a runner-up finish in the 110m hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships on June 7 and clocked the second fastest mark in collegiate history in another runner-up finish (7.41) in the 60m hurdles at the indoor championships in March. All in all, Roberts owns six all-time top-10 marks with four of those coming outdoors. He won the SEC title in the 110m hurdles in 13.07 and is one of 10 semifinalists for The Bowerman, collegiate track and field’s highest individual honor.
The only man faster than Roberts this year? His rival, Grant Holloway from Florida, who beat him by only two hundredths of a second in the 110m hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Holloway, who is also going pro, signed with adidas last week. Together, they combined for eight of the top-10 marks in collegiate history: No. 1, t-No. 2, No. 4, t-No. 5 (x2), No. 7, No. 8 and No. 9.
Here’s to seeing that rivalry continue for years to come.
WOW WOW WOW ???
1??2??.9??8?? ??? pic.twitter.com/7y9pwpNgq8
— NCAA Track & Field (@NCAATrackField) June 8, 2019
By Jack Pilgrim on ©June 13th, 2019 @ 10:15pm
Kentucky track and field star Daniel Roberts has been named one of 10 semifinalists for The Bowerman, collegiate track and field’s highest individual honor.
The junior Wildcat is joined by Mondo Duplantis of LSU, JuVaughn Harrison of LSU, Grant Holloway of Florida, Bryce Hoppel of Kansas, Morgan McDonald of Wisconsin, Chris Nilsen of South Dakota, Divine Oduduru of Texas Tech, Payton Otterdahl of North Dakota State, and Anderson Peters of Mississippi State as semifinalists for the award.
The three finalists will be named next Thursday, and the winner will be named during a ceremony at the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association convention in December.
This past weekend at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, Roberts matched the former collegiate record of 13.00 seconds in the NCAA 110-Meter Hurdles in a runner-up finish.
Indoors, Roberts clocked the second-fastest mark in collegiate history in another runner-up finish (7.41 seconds).
Following six all-time top-10 marks and an SEC title in the 110-Meter Hurdles, the Kentucky track and field star announced at the conclusion of this season that he will be turning pro.
UK had a men’s semifinalist each of the past two years as Tim Duckworth picked up the honor last year after winning the NCAA heptathlon indoors and decathlon outdoors.
The UK women’s program has had two finalists for The Bowerman ever with Kendra Harrison in 2015 and Sydney McLaughlin last season.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©June 08th, 2019 @ 7:00pm
On Friday, Kentucky track and field star Daniel Roberts tied a 40-year-old collegiate record in the NCAA 110-Meter Hurdles by finishing the event in 13 seconds flat.
And now, the junior Wildcat has announced that he is turning pro.
Following the event, Roberts told reporters that he will be forgoing his senior year to head off to the professional ranks.
“I’ll be going pro,” he said. “[My contract isn’t finalized] yet, still in the works… [With] the collegiate season over with now, I ain’t got nothing to hide.”
Now that his junior year is over, Roberts will head back to Lexington while he prepares to take the next step.
In the NCAA 110-Meter Hurdles on Friday, Roberts tied the record, but was unfortunately topped by rival junior Grant Holloway of Florida, who finished with a final time of 12.98 seconds.
Combining the times of both Holloway and Roberts, along with the rest of the participants, Friday’s event actually set the record for fastest college hurdles race ever.
“Today was nothing short of a tremendous run for Daniel,” UK assistant coach and Roberts’ event trainer Tim Hall said. “He was excellent in the first three hurdles. Got a little loose after No. 3. He started pressing a little, but nonetheless today was a great race for him. It took a collegiate record to beat him — we’re good with that.
“There’s more to come with D-Rob. He’s a special kid, special talent. I just can’t say enough about him. I’m super proud of him. The future is so bright for him. He’s just a humble kid. So proud of all the things he’s accomplished.”
Overall, Roberts’ time was a new personal best, and he now ranks second in the world to Holloway. His time of 13 seconds gives him the second-best time at the collegiate level in history and he is now tied with two other men for No. 22 on the world all-time list.
“It’s been an awesome rise,” Kentucky head coach Lonnie Greene said. “People might not understand how fast that race was. It took the world lead, right off the world record to beat Daniel. Coach Hall has done a great job with him. He’s an excellent coach, Daniel is an excellent pupil.
“And he’s represented the brand very, very well. That’s what I think future Wildcats out there and Big Blue Nation want. They want us to represent the University well and I think Daniel is the epitome of that.”
Roberts and Holloway will face off once again at the USATF Outdoor Championships July 25-28, which will also serve as Team USA’s qualifying meet for the 2019 IAAF World Championships set for Sept. 28-Oct. 6 in Doha, Qatar.
By Brent Wainscott on ©June 06th, 2019 @ 2:30pm
The awards for UK softball’s Abbey Cheek keep piling up. Today the senior third baseman won 2019 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I National Softball Player of the Year.
Cheek is the first ever Kentucky Wildcat to take home this award. Last week Cheek was named a unanimous All-American by The NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association), the first Wildcat to ever receive the honor.
Earlier in the year, Cheek was a top 10 finalist for USA Softball National Player of the Year and was voted as a CoSIDA Academic All-District Team member for the first time in her career.
In her career at Kentucky, Cheek solidified herself as the best offensive player in UK history by shattering numerous offensive records. She holds the school record for home runs at 61, RBIs with 202, 40 more than the previous school record, and the record for runs scored with 163.
This season alone, Cheek was top-three for single-season marks in batting average (3rd, .428), home runs (2nd, 20), runs scored (2nd, 54), total bases (1st, 138), on-base percentage (1st, .602), slugging (1st, .902) and walks (1st, 64).
In Apri, she was selected 14th overall by the Chicago Bandits in the National Pro Fastpitch Draft.
A huge honor for the best softball player in Kentucky history. Congrats Abbey!
The University of Kentucky can still lay claim to the title, “Hurdle U.”
On the first day the Outdoor NCAA Championships in Austin, UK hurdler Daniel Roberts set a new championship meet record. In the 110-meter hurdle semifinals, Roberts sprinted to a time of 13.06.
— UK Track & Field (@KentuckyTrack) June 6, 2019
It’s a new personal best for Roberts and only .06 behind the oldest collegiate track and field record. In 1979 Renaldo Nehemiah clocked in at 13.00.
This year Roberts has recorded three of the top ten times in the history of the NCAA event. He is on the watch list for The Bowerman Award, the Heisman of collegiate track and field.
Roberts will run in the 110H finals Friday at 9:12 p.m. ET on ESPN3. You can watch the UK women’s track and field team tonight beginning in the 4×100 relay at 8:02 p.m. ET.
By Adam Luckett on ©June 05th, 2019 @ 10:00pm
It was a reset year for Kentucky baseball and was that no more evident than during the MLB Draft. After having a school record 13 selections in the 2018 draft, only three players came off the board in 2019. UK ace Zack Thompson heard his name called by the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round, but 32 rounds would pass before the next Wildcat heard his name called.
Congrats to @Carson_Coleman on being selected by the @RaysBaseball in the 33rd round of the #MLBDraft! The Lexington native led the team with five saves this season! #WeAreUK pic.twitter.com/dsgCOOSusl
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) June 5, 2019
In Round 33, the Tampa Bay Rays owned the 998th pick and they selected relief pitcher Carson Coleman. The Lexington Catholic alum record five saves in 23 appearances this season with a 5.14 earned run average. The right-hander collected 36 strikeouts this year and only give up 3 dingers.
With the 1,018th pick in the 2019 #MLBDraft the New York Mets select OF Ryan Shinn from Kentucky. He had 13 home runs and a .563 SLG % in his senior season.
— Joe DeMayo (@PSLToFlushing) June 5, 2019
In the next round, the New York Mets took outfielder Ryan Shinn with pick No. 1,018. Shinn was arguably Kentucky’s best player not named Zack Thompson this season. The senior from New Jersey batted .286 with 17 doubles and 13 home runs. Despite a high strikeout total, he had a respectable on-base percentage and could provide a timely stolen base. He will be missed in UK’s lineup next season.
Nick Mingione has now finished three full seasons in Lexington and it’s clear many are ready for the Wildcats to find their way back into the NCAA Tournament. After opening the beautiful new Kentucky Proud Park this season, Kentucky finished in the cellar of the SEC but for the most part had a really young team. UK gets plenty of players back next year and has another solid recruiting haul coming in. We should see UK get back to their winning ways on the diamond and hopefully be hosting a regional or super regional at KPP in the very near future.
By Drew Franklin on ©June 04th, 2019 @ 8:45pm
Former UK golfer Chip McDaniel will take on the stars of the PGA Tour at Pebble Beach next week.
The Clay County native punched his ticket to the U.S. Open by finishing in a tie for first in a sectional qualifying event in Springfield, Ohio. The 36-hole event was played on Monday and McDaniel secured one of the five qualifying spots into next week’s major by shooting a 66 and a 68 for a 6-under score at Springfield Country Club.
The U.S. Open at Pebble will be McDaniel’s fourth PGA event since his career as a Wildcat ended last spring, but it is by far the biggest. His other tour appearances came in the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in the Dominican Republic, where he shot a final-round 63 to finish fifth; the Valero Texas Open, an event he earned with his T5 in the Dominican; and his professional debut at the Barbasol Championship in Lexington last summer.
Good luck to you, Chip. I know BBN will be pulling for you. I hear everything feeds toward the ocean out there. Keep that in mind.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©May 30th, 2019 @ 7:00pm
The Kentucky softball team’s season ended with disappointment, but star third baseman Abbey Cheek now has reason to be pretty darn excited for the future.
Back in April, Cheek was selected No. 14 overall by the Chicago Bandits in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Draft.
And today, she officially signed her one-year contract with the team.
SIGNED: The Chicago Bandits have inked 2019 14th overall pick Abbey Cheek to a 1-year contract!
— Chicago Bandits (@Chicago_Bandits) May 30, 2019
According to an article written by espnW’s Graham Hays in 2016, teams in the NPF have rosters of at least 18 players with a salary cap of $150,000, with most salaries ranging anywhere from $8,000 to $20,000 during the three-month season. That being said, players are eligible to earn various bonuses along the way to boost their total income.
This past season, Cheek made history for the Wildcats, becoming the fourth player in UK history to be named a National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association All-American and the first unanimous First-Team selection in school history.
In 2019, Cheek finished top-three in school history in single-season batting average (3rd, .428), home runs (2nd, 20), runs scored (2nd, 54), total bases (1st, 138), on-base percentage (1st, .602), slugging (1st, .902) and walks (1st, 64). In short, she put up one of the most impressive years in program history.
As a team, the Wildcats, who recently fell in the Washington Super Regional, finished with a final record of 36-24 to go with a conference record of 14-10.
Best of luck to the former Wildcat in her professional future.
By Maggie Davis on ©May 29th, 2019 @ 8:00pm
It was a big season for the UK softball team, but it was perhaps even bigger for third baseman Abbey Cheek. After bringing in awards throughout the entirety of the season, the senior capped off her final year with one of the sport’s highest honors: achieving National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association All-American status. The news was announced Wednesday afternoon.
Cheek is only the fourth Wildcat to receive the recognition, and she’s the first Cat in program history to be a unanimous selection to the first team.
Earlier this season, Cheek became the first Kentucky player to win the Southeastern Conference’s Player of the Year award. She was voted by the 13 head coaches as a member of the First Team All-SEC and to the All-SEC Defensive Team. She also made the final 10 for the USA Softball National Player of the Year award, and she was voted as a CoSIDA Adcademic All-District Team member for the first time in her career.
Her name will be in the UK record books for years to come. Cheek first broke the record for career home runs in March, and by the end of the season, she’d demolished the previous record: she holds the title by 13 runs. She also claimed the RBI record (surpassing the previous mark by 40) and has scored more runs in program history (163) than any other player.
And while her time in a Kentucky uniform has unfortunately come to an end, her softball days are not over just yet. Cheek was selected No. 14 overall by the Chicago Bandits in the National Pro Fastpitch Draft.
By Nick Roush on ©May 27th, 2019 @ 7:00pm
Twenty-two Kentucky Wildcats have qualified for the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Eleven men and 11 women finished in the top 12 over the weekend in the East Prelims at the University of North Florida to qualify for the big dance.
A pair of men flirted with records. Daniel Roberts ran the second-fastest 110-meter hurdles in NCAA history with a 13.13, while his teammate Tai Brown broke an SEC freshman record he set earlier this year in the same event.
On the women’s side, Marie-Josée Ebwea-Bile Excel will return to nationals for the third straight season. The hurdler has medaled each year at the NCAA Championships. The senior will try to end her UK career with a gold medal.
Both the men and women’s 4×100 relay team qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship. The 22 Wildcats will take the big stage June 5-8 in Austin, Texas.
The University of Kentucky softball team’s season came to an end last night after a 5-0 loss to the University of Washington.
During the top of the first inning, Kentucky shortstop Katie Reed made one heck of a play.
— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) May 26, 2019
So let’s do our things, Big Blue Nation. Retweet the following tweet for Katie Reed and the UK Softball team.
Who did it better?
— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) May 26, 2019
By Brent Wainscott on ©May 26th, 2019 @ 1:00am
For the second straight game, Kentucky is shutout as their season ends in the Super Regional for the third consecutive season as they lose to Washington 5-0.
Last night, Washington turned to Gabbie Plain in the second half of the contest, as she was able to keep a Kentucky comeback at bay while holding them scoreless the rest of the way. Tonight, it was Plain who got the start as the Kentucky offense still couldn’t figure her out as Plain only allowed four base runners, with one coming on an error by Washington left fielder Sami Reynolds.
Autumn Humes did her best to keep the Huskie offense at bay, as she held them scoreless for four innings after Washington took a one-run lead in the first inning when Morganne Flores hit a double but would come around to score on the play after Baily Vick and Mallory Peyton errors.
Humes kept Washington’s one-run lead intact until the sixth inning when Noelle Hee put the Huskies up by three with a two-out two-run home run.
— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) May 26, 2019
Then in the seventh Washington struck for two more on a two-run single from Taryn Atle to give the Huskies a five-run lead heading into the bottom half of the final frame where Gabbie Plain shut down the Wildcats as Washington advances to their third straight college world series.
In the NCAA tournament, Washington has outscored their opponents 26-1 as they head to Oklahoma City.
It was an uncharacteristic weekend at the plate for the Wildcats, but that was a recipe for disaster. Kentucky will lose seniors Jenny Schaper, Kelsee Henson, Sarah Rainwater, and two of the best players to play at Kentucky in Katie Reed and career home run leader at UK, Abbey Cheek.
Reed and cheek were drafted earlier this season.
Kentucky finishes their season with a record 36-24.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©May 25th, 2019 @ 10:15pm
After the official NCAA Softball Twitter account announced that Kentucky’s Super Regional matchup against Washington had been postponed until tomorrow, UK Softball says the game will still be played tonight as scheduled.
??Tonight’s game WILL BE PLAYED at 11:05pm ET on ESPN2.??
The reports that the game has been postponed to a DH tomorrow are NOT ACCURATE.
— Kentucky Softball (@UKsoftball) May 26, 2019
Originally scheduled for 10 p.m. ET tonight, the game was then pushed back to 11 p.m. due to weather.
With a win, Kentucky forces a third game with a spot in the College World Series on Sunday. With a loss, their season is over.
Last night, the Wildcats fell to the Huskies by a score of 3-0, where they left nine runners on base and four in scoring position.
You can catch them in their win-or-go-home matchup on ESPN2, where Mark Neely (play-by-play) and Danielle Lawrie-Locke (color commentary) will be on the call.
Win or lose, KSR’s Brent Wainscott will be around afterward for a recap of the game.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©May 25th, 2019 @ 8:00pm
If you were planning on staying up and watching the Kentucky softball team tonight, you better get an extra cup of coffee ready.
Due to rain in the Seattle area, Game 2 of the 2019 Seattle Super Regional has been pushed back to an 11 p.m. ET.
The game will still air on ESPN2 and the WatchESPN app as scheduled with Mark Neely (play-by-play) and Danielle Lawrie (color commentary) on the call.
Kentucky fell to Washington in Game 1 last night by a final score of 3-0, where the Wildcats left nine runners on base and four in scoring position.
If Kentucky wants to keep their Women’s College World Series hopes alive, they will have to win both tonight and tomorrow to move on to Oklahoma City.
Kentucky is at risk of being bounced in the Super Regional for the third straight year, as they are shutout by Washington 3-0.
The Wildcats have been an offensive juggernaut, but tonight their bats went cold on a brisk night in Seattle. On an uncharacteristic performance, the Cats left eight runners in scoring position in the shutout.
Taran Alvelo mowed through the Kentucky line up during her 3.2 innings of work. She only allowed two hits and walked one in her half-game performance. Gabbie Plain came in for Alvelo’s relief when Kentucky had runners on the corners in what was honestly a brilliant move by the Washington coaching staff.
Alvelo throws hard from the circle, usually clocking in around the high-60’s low-70’s, so when Kentucky was starting to make their adjustments in their second time through the lineup, Washington turned to Gabbie Plain who stays in the low-60’s which caused the Cats to have to go through another adjustment halfway through the game.
Kentucky just couldn’t make that adjustment as evident by the shutout.
While Kentucky’s top of the order was quiet, going a combined 1-10, Washington’s top of the order scored a run each time through the lineup.
In the first time through the lineup, Washington got on the board before ESPN could even figure out how to properly broadcast the game on a sac-fly by Samie Reynolds that scored Sis Bates.
On their second time through, it was Bates turn to get the RBI as she singled to put Washington up 2-0 in the third.
And finally on their last time through the order, Washingtons power hitter Morganne Flores clobbered a ball down the left field line for her 22nd home run of the year.
Grace Baalman, who has been battling tendonitis in her throwing tricep, was credited with the loss tonight as she gave up three runs on five hits through five innings of work.
Kentucky will look to even things up tomorrow to keep their season alive tomorrow night in game two from Seattle, Washington. Last season, Kentucky took game one to have Oregon win two straight. Hopefully, it’s Kentucky’s turn this season. First pitch is at 10:00 pm ET on ESPN2.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©May 24th, 2019 @ 9:00am
Good morning, BBN! Happy Friday to each and every one of you!
Let’s take a look at what’s going on in the world of UK Athletics.
Kentucky softball takes on Washington in the NCAA Super Regional
The UK softball team is just two victories away from earning a spot in the NCAA College World Series, and they’ll look to get the first this evening.
Traveling all the way to Seattle, the Hittin’ Kittens will take on the 3-seed Washington Huskies in a best of three series.
Here is some footage of the team’s final practice from early this morning:
A peek inside our final practice in Seattle before we get down to business tonight. ???? pic.twitter.com/qbBftExaZD
— Kentucky Softball (@UKsoftball) May 24, 2019
Kentucky’s first game against Washington will take place tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN 2.
Mark Neely will be handling the play-by-play, while Danielle Lawrie will be on the call for color commentary.
Make sure you get that extra cup of coffee today or fit a nap in so you can support your Wildcats late this evening.
Kentucky volleyball heads to Brazil
While the Kentucky softball team made its way out west to Washington, the UK volleyball team is headed south for a trip of their own.
Starting today, the volleyball team will embark on a two-week foreign trip to Brazil, where they will compete in at least five separate matches against international competition.
We're stamping our passports this summer!
On Friday, we'll embark on a two-week foreign trip where we'll tour Brazil and compete in at least five matches against international competition.
It's a great opportunity & we're just a tad excited.
— Kentucky Volleyball (@KentuckyVB) May 22, 2019
The volleyball team last participated in a foreign trip back in 2010 when Kentucky head coach Craig Skinner took the team on an exhibition tour of Europe.
Best of luck to the Wildcats during their time in Brazil!
Raptors take a 3-2 lead
After falling down to an early 0-2 series deficit, the Toronto Raptors took home their third consecutive victory to take the lead over the Milwaukee Bucks.
In a 105-99 loss, former Kentucky guard Eric Bledsoe finished with 20 points on 6-14 shooting, four rebounds, and two assists for the Bucks.
For the Raptors, former Wildcat guard Jodie Meeks did not participate.
Game 6 will take place tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m. ET on TNT, where Meeks and his Raptors have the chance to punch a ticket to the 2019 NBA Finals.
Regardless of how the Eastern Conference Finals close out, it is a guarantee that one former Kentucky player will be earning a ring this season, as either Meeks or Bledsoe will have to take on DeMarcus Cousins and his Golden State Warriors in the Finals.
Richie Farmer visits KSBar and Grille
Former Kentucky guard Richie Farmer made his way out to KSBar and Grille last night to show support for Ryan Lemond during his time locked up in KSJail.
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) May 24, 2019
In four years at Kentucky, Farmer averaged 7.6 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per contest over the course of his career.
KSR in an hour
For the first time ever, the KSR radio crew is live from Mount Vernon in Rockcastle County this morning, and they want you to join them.
From 10 a.m to noon today, head on out to Marcella’s Farm to Fork to see the show in person.
We’ll see you then.
The UK Softball team is wheels up! Coach Rachel Lawson and the Wildcats are making their way out west to Seattle, Washington where they’ll compete in this year’s Super Regionals. The No. 14 Cats will face No. 3 Washington on the Huskies’ home field in a three-game series.
The action doesn’t start until Friday night, but the team is already on their way to the Evergreen State. Before they left the Bluegrass, the Wildcats had a proper sendoff from the BBN.
Game one is set for 9 p.m. ET on Friday, with games two and three slated for 10 p.m. ET. All three games of the Seattle Super Regional will be on ESPN2 and the ESPN app.
Safe travels and good luck!
By Maggie Davis on ©May 19th, 2019 @ 9:00pm
Rhyne Howard continues her domination. After spending a weekend of tryouts in Colorado, the Kentucky freshman has qualified for the 2019 USA Women’s U19 World Cup Team. She’s one of just 12 players from across the nation selected to participate, and she’ll be traveling around the globe to prepare and compete.
After leaving the trials, held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, she’ll have some time at home before heading to Tokyo, Japan in early July for a scrimmage against the Japanese team. Then, she’ll spend several days in Bangkok, Thailand in mid-July to compete for the country’s eighth gold medal.
There were 30 women competing for a spot on the team, and the final 12-player roster includes some of the top talent in the nation, including 10 returning gold medals (including Howard) and two NCAA Champions. Selections were made by the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee, chaired by George Washington University head coach Jennifer Rizzotti.
This summer won’t be the first Howard spends competing on the international stage. She spent last summer in Mexico, helping the U18 team to a 5-0 gold-medal run, earning MVP honors along the way.
This year, she’s the only current SEC player to make the cut. Here’s the rest of the roster:
Francesca Belibi (Regis H.S./Centennial, Colo.); Aliyah Boston (Worcester Academy, Mass./St. Thomas, USVI); Cameron Brink (Southridge H.S./Beaverton, Ore.); Paige Bueckers (Hopkins H.S./St. Louis Park, Minn.); Caitlin Clark (Dowling Catholic H.S./West Des Moines, Iowa); Queen Egbo (Baylor/Houston, Texas); Naz Hillmon-Baker(Michigan/Cleveland, Ohio); Rhyne Howard (Kentucky/Cleveland, Tenn.); Jordan Nixon (Notre Dame/New York, N.Y.); NaLyssa Smith (Baylor/Converse, Texas); Celeste Taylor (Long Island Lutheran/Valley Stream, N.Y.); and Hailey Van Lith (Cashmere H.S./Wenatchee, Wash.).
Howard is the real deal, and she’s representing Matthew Mitchell and the UK women’s basketball team on the international stage (again). It’s going to be fun watching her skills continue to develop over the next three seasons.
By Brent Wainscott on ©May 19th, 2019 @ 3:00pm
For the third straight year, Kentucky softball has once again swept their region in the NCAA tournament, as they beat Virginia Tech 11-1 Sunday afternoon. The Cats were led by Alex Martens with five RBIs.
In two games in two days, Kentucky has dominated ACC pitcher of the year Carrie Ebeler, putting up 16 runs against her, eight of them coming today. The offensive explosion started when senior catcher Jenny Schaper took Ebeler deep to center field in the top of the third.
— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) May 19, 2019
Alex Martens followed up Schaper with a two-run double that scored Abbey Cheek and Katie Reed to give Kentucky a 3-0 lead after three.
In the fifth, The Cats busted the game wide open with a two-out, five-run rally that started with a bases-loaded single from Lauren Johnson. That allowed Cheek and Reed to score, while Kayla Kowalik moved up to third.
Both Kowalik and Johnson would move up on a wild pitch to the next batter, which allowed Kowalik to score for Kentucky to take a 6-1 lead. Then Mallory Peyton doubled to bring home Lauren Johnson from third, and Kelsee Henson followed up Peyton with an RBI single for Kentucky to take a commanding 8-1 lead after five.
Alex Martens put the cherry on top of the victory with a three-run home run to put Kentucky up by ten in the sixth, which is enough for a run-rule as Kentucky beats Virginia Tech 11-1 in six innings. UK now advances to play Washington in the Super Regional in Washington.
— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) May 19, 2019
Not only did Martens have a career day at the plate (going 3-4 with five RBIs), but she is now the season-single record holder for most RBI in a single season at UK, with 66 RBIs this season and counting.
Kentucky will start Super Regional play Friday night.