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.