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Kentucky has SEC Softball Player of the Year for first time in program history

Kentucky softball team celebrates historic upset

Ballard Memorial defeated McCracken County, 3-2, in the 1st Region softball tournament semifinals on May 30, 2018, becoming the first team in the region to ever beat the Mustangs.
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Ballard Memorial defeated McCracken County, 3-2, in the 1st Region softball tournament semifinals on May 30, 2018, becoming the first team in the region to ever beat the Mustangs.

Kentucky has the Southeastern Conference’s player of the year for softball for the first time in the program’s 22-year history.

Third baseman Abbey Cheek earned that honor Tuesday along with being named First Team All-SEC and to the SEC All-Defensive Team.

Cheek leads the SEC with a .454 batting average to go with 19 home runs and 49 RBI.

Catcher Jenny Schaper was also named First Team All-SEC and to the all-defensive squad while shortstop Katie Reed was named Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Second Team All-SEC and was on the all-defensive team, too.

Schaper is batting. 317 with 11 home runs and 45 RBI, and Reed leads the team in doubles with 14 and bats .365 with six home runs and 42 RBI.

The SEC All-Freshman Team included outfielder Kayla Kowalik, who has a .360 batting average, a team-high five triples, plus 24 RBI.

The SEC’s Freshman of the Year is a Kentuckian: former East Carter star Montana Fouts pitches for Alabama. She also earned First Team All-SEC honors and was on the All-Freshman Team.

Fouts is 14-3 with five saves, 142 strikeouts and a 1.00 ERA.

Other top SEC awards went to Alabama’s Sarah Cornell (Pitcher of the Year) and Patrick Murphy (Coach of the Year).

Kentucky (32-21 overall, 14-10 SEC) will begin SEC Tournament play at 7:30 p.m. (EDT) Thursday in College Station, Texas, in the quarterfinals. The fourth-seeded Wildcats will face either fifth-seeded Mississippi, 12th-seeded Mississippi State or 13th-seeded Texas A&M in the 13-team, single-elimination tournament.

All-SEC softball

AWARDS

Player of the Year: Abbey Cheek, Kentucky

Pitcher of the Year: Sarah Cornell, Alabama

Freshman of the Year: Montana Fouts, Alabama

Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Katie Reed, Kentucky

Coach of the Year: Patrick Murphy, Alabama

TEAMS

First Team

P: Sarah Cornell, Alabama

P: Montana Fouts, Alabama

P: Ashley Rogers, Tennessee

IF: Bailey Hemphill, Alabama

IF: Amanda Lorenz, Florida

IF: Alyssa DiCarlo, Georgia

IF: Abbey Cheek, Kentucky

IF: Shemiah Sanchez, LSU

OF: Hannah McEwen, Arkansas

OF: Kylan Becker, Ole Miss

OF: Kat Moore, Mississippi State

OF: Brooke Wilmes, Missouri

C: Jenny Schaper, Kentucky

C: Mia Davidson, Mississippi State

DP/U: Kendyl Lindaman, Florida

DP/U: Fa Leilua, Mississippi State

Second Team

P: Autumn Storms, Arkansas

P: Kelly Barnhill, Florida

P: Molly Jacobsen, Ole Miss

IF: Maddie Morgan, Alabama

IF: Katie Reed, Kentucky

IF: Amanda Sanchez, LSU

IF: Jana Johns, South Carolina

IF: Aubrey Leach, Tennessee

OF: Elissa Brown, Alabama

OF: Ciara Bryan, Georgia

OF: Aliyah Andrews, LSU

OF: Jenna Holcomb, Tennessee

C: Kendall Veach, Auburn

DP/U: Shelbi Sunseri, LSU

All-Freshman Team

P: Montana Fouts, Alabama

P: Elizabeth Hightower, Florida

P: Shelby Wickersham, LSU

IF: Skylar Wallace, Alabama

IF: Lacey Fincher, Georgia

IF: Jazmyn Rollin, Missouri

IF: Madison Owens, South Carolina

IF: Baylee Klinger, Texas A&M

OF: Kayla Kowalik, Kentucky

OF: Savannah Stewart, LSU

OF: Tate Whitley, Ole Miss

OF: Anna Kate Segars, Mississippi State

C: Kaili Phillips, Tennessee

DP/U: Kaitlin Parsons, Tennessee

All-Defensive Team

P: Sarah Cornell, Alabama

C: Jenny Schaper, Kentucky

1B: Amanda Lorenz, Florida

2B: Casey McCrackin, Auburn

SS: Katie Reed, Kentucky

3B: Abbey Cheek, Kentucky

LF: Jenna Holcomb, Tennessee

CF: Elissa Brown, Alabama

CF: Aliyah Andrews, LSU

RF: Kaylee Horton, Ole Miss

Next game

Kentucky vs. TBA

What: SEC Tournament quarterfinals

Where: College Station, Texas

When: 7:30 p.m. (EDT Thursday)

Potential opponent: No. 5 seed Ole Miss, No. 12 seed Mississippi State or No. 13 seed Texas A&M

TV: SEC Network

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