Every Tuesday, UK Athletics recognizes outstanding performances for our student-athletes. These are the honorees for the week ending Sunday, March 20:
Softball: Meagan Aull
Senior Meagan Aull led the Wildcats to a 3-2 week on the road in the Southeastern Conference. Aull has set a new personal best with a nine-game hitting streak, including having a hit in all eight SEC games. Aull charted three consecutive multi-hit performances in UK's three victories this week. In UK's win at LSU, just the third win against the Tigers in program history, Aull was 2 for 3 on the evening and scored two of UK's six runs. She also charted a stolen base in that outing. Aull was the only player to record a hit against Brittany Mack in the final game of the series. With eight hits this week, Aull moved into 10th all-time at UK with 176 career hits.
Baseball: Braden Kapteyn
Junior two-way star Braden Kapteyn had a solid week in leading UK to three wins and a series victory over red-hot Tennessee. Kapteyn batted .333 with a homer and five RBI on the week, also recording a save in the series opener on Friday. In the Friday win, Kapteyn belted a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning in a 3-3 game, giving UK a 5-3 lead. After hitting the homer, Kapteyn took the mound for a six-out save, striking out three of the six hitters he faced and not allowing a base runner for his seventh career save. Kapteyn, who now ranks 10th all-time on the UK career save list, has batted .320 on the year with four doubles, one triple, three homers and 17 RBI, drawing seven walks and striking out just six times with three stolen bases. On the mound this year, Kapteyn has a save in five relief outings, owning a 4.91 ERA and striking out 13 in 7.1 innings with only four hits allowed.
Baseball: Alex Meyer
Junior right-hander Alex Meyer posted his third quality start of the season in a winning effort over Tennessee on Friday night, lifting UK to a series-opening win over the red-hot Vols, who entered the series winning nine straight games and leading the conference in batting average, slugging, on-base percentage and stolen bases. In his start, Meyer picked up the win in seven innings, allowing only two earned runs with seven strikeouts. The SEC's leader in strikeouts, Meyer has fanned 46 in 34.2 innings. In five starts this year, Meyer has posted a 3-2 record and a 2.60 ERA, allowing only 23 hits in 34.2 innings, walking 15.
Baseball: J.T. Riddle
Freshman J.T. Riddle had a breakout week during UK's four games, including helping push the Wildcats to a series win over Tennessee on SEC opening weekend. Riddle led UK all week, batting .538 (7 for 13) with a homer and a team-best eight RBI. Riddle drew two walks and got hit by one pitch, only striking out once and totaling a .588 on-base percentage. Riddle's breakout game during the four-game week came in the rubber match on Sunday, with UK needing a win to clinch the series. Riddle belted his first career homer, a three-run job, and added a walk and an HBP, also making a jaw-dropping catch in rightfield to save extra bases with a fully extended, leaping catch. Riddle added a sac fly and stole 2-of-2 bases, charting a .769 slugging percentage. A natural shortstop and considered the shortstop of the future for the Wildcats, Riddle has forced his way into the lineup, playing right field for the first time in his career. In Tuesday's win over Murray State, UK kept Riddle out of the starting lineup, in an attempt to get the two-way star some innings on the mound. After UK had to pull Lucas Witt in the early innings due to injury, Riddle came off the bench to go 2 for 2 with three RBI, a walk and a stolen base, adding a sac fly. In the series opener vs. Tennessee on Friday, Riddle went 1 for 4, helping UK secure a 5-3 comeback win and making his first fully extended, diving catch in rightfield on the weekend. On Saturday, Riddle collected a career-high three hits, going 3-for-5 with two RBI and a stolen base. Currently riding an eight-game hitting streak, Riddle leads UK with a .381 average (16 for 42) with four stolen bases and a .500 on-base percentage through 15 games.
Softball: Ellen Weaver
With UK utilizing all four of its pitchers in rotating fashion, freshman Ellen Weaver made her first career SEC start on the opening night of the series at LSU. Weaver was masterful in limiting the Tigers to just one run while striking out nine, one shy of her career-high mark of 10 strikeouts. Weaver tossed all seven innings of action, and the highlight of her night may have been in the fourth inning with LSU threatening with runners on first and second. Weaver was sensational in getting out of the jam by striking out the next three batters she faced to limit any further damage. Weaver earned the win on the mound, marking just the third time in school allure the Wildcats defeated LSU. She is the second consecutive freshman to win on the mound against the Tigers in Baton Rouge, La., as Chanda Bell earned the last win two years ago during her freshman season. In the outing, Weaver also saw action at the plate and recorded her first career SEC hit.