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Abbey Cheek named unanimous First Team All-American

Photo by UK Athletics

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.

Go Cats.

Kentucky softball’s Super Regional game has been pushed back to 11 PM

Photo by UK Athletics

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.

UK Softball heads west for Super Regional

UK Softball heads west for Super Regional


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!

UK Athletics

Rhyne Howard named to USA Women’s U19 World Cup Team

UK Athletics

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.

via USAB

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.


UK Softball Championship Sunday begins in Lexington at noon


It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Lexington, and the UK softball team is looking to use that good fortune to their advantage. The Wildcats are set to play their Regional final beginning today at noon inside their own John Cropp Stadium. They’ll play Virginia Tech.

Kentucky knows exactly what they’re up against – UK also played against the Hokies Saturday afternoon. In that matchup, the Cats came away with a dominating 8-1 victory, largely thanks to a stellar pitching performance from sophomore Grace Baalman. She allowed just one run on eight hits, walked no one and struck out a trio of Hokies.

Here are the highlights from that matchup:

Now, the Cats are ready to do it again. If you can’t make it out to John Cropp in Lexington, you can catch all of the action streamed live on ESPN3 or the ESPN app. We’ll also have a recap posted after the game.

If UK wins, they’ll be named Regional Champions and advance to the Super Regional round. If they lose, they’ll have to play in an elimination game, set to begin 45 minutes after the original matchup.

Go Cats!