Kentucky Softball preparing for NCAA run hosting opening round

NCAA Softball and bats (Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
NCAA Softball and bats (Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /
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Kentucky softball
NCAA softball (Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /

Talented Wildcats led by four named All-Southeast Region

Accolades don’t win championships, but they can carry you a long way when your team is built with talent.

Kentucky is led by four players who were just named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Southeast Region Team.

Kayla Kowalik was named the first-team catcher, with both shortstop Erin Coffel and pitcher Autumn Humes placed on the second team. Outfielder Renee Abernathy made the third team by the coaches in the region who voted on the awards.

This team strikes early at the plate often staking Humes with some early runs that give them a decisive advantage. The Cats have plated a run in the first inning in 28 of 52 games this season and have outscored opponents 64-25 in that opening inning.

Kowalik carries and swings the big stick. She leads the country with a .505 batting average and is one of only seven Power Five players hitting .450 or better. The junior now boasts the single-season runs record at Kentucky with 73, and she had a 23 game hitting streak. She also claims the record for most hits in a season with 92 including 12 home runs. and currently has reached base in 32 straight games.

She has a keen eye behind the plate and at the plate is that she is a former volleyball player and track star at John Paul II High School in New Braunfels, Texas. That speed has accounted for a team-leading 73 runs this season with 14 stolen bases.

Coffel, a freshman from Bremen, Indiana, is putting up numbers no Wildcat freshman has ever done hitting .354 with team-highs in homers (16) and RBI’s with 53, and a slugging percentage of .714 and scored 45 times.

Abernathy, a junior from Springfield, Illinois, has 52 hits with 10 clearing the fence and has driven in 43 runs.  Lauren Johnson also swings a powerful bat with 11 doubles and four triples while driving in 41 runs. She also has 12 stolen bases.

Humes, a fifth-year senior, will be in the circle for the Cats where the junior is 20-7 with a 2.93 ERA. She has 139 strikeouts while walking 49.

dark. Next. Sehvir Wheeler officially becomes a Cat