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Three Kentucky softball players receive All-SEC recognition

Brittany Cervantes batted .329 with 15 home runs and 52 RBI as a junior, as Kentucky finished the 2011 season 40-16 and fell one game short of the program's first College World Series.
Brittany Cervantes batted .329 with 15 home runs and 52 RBI as a junior, as Kentucky finished the 2011 season 40-16 and fell one game short of the program's first College World Series.

Three University of Kentucky softball players received All-Southeastern Conference recognition on Wednesday, one day before the start of the league's post-season tournament.

Senior Brittany Cervantes was named to the All-SEC first team by the league's coaches and was also chosen for the All-Defensive Team for her work at third base this season.

Junior Kara Dill was named to the second team for the second year in a row, and Griffin Joiner earned All-Freshman Team honors.

Kentucky opens SEC Tournament play Thursday in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Fifth-seeded UK (29-27 overall, 15-13 SEC) takes on No. 4 seed Georgia (40-14, 17-11) at 5 p.m. EDT.

Kentucky took two of three games from Georgia when the teams met in Lexington in April.

Cervantes, from Chatsworth, Calif., batted a team-best .357 with 11 home runs and 23 RBI to lead the Wildcats to a school-record six SEC series wins this season. She ranked among the top five in the league in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, RBI, home runs and walks, and led the league in total bases.

Dill batted .304 with five doubles, two triples and nine RBI. The LaGrange, Ohio, native led the league with 69 hits, posted a UK-record 15-game hitting streak and also stole six bases.

Joiner, from Hopkinsville, started every game for the Wildcats behind the plate in league play and batted .263.

She led the conference by catching 12 runners on the base paths.

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