Every Tuesday, UK Athletics recognizes outstanding performances for our student-athletes. These are the honorees for the week ending Sunday, April 24:
Softball: Kara Dill
Sophomore Kara Dill had a week to remember in helping lead UK to a 4-1 week. Dill and the Wildcats snapped an eight-game losing streak to Louisville and captured their fifth SEC series for the most series won in a single-season at South Carolina.
Dill was magnificent at the dish with a 9-for-18 week and a .500 average. She matched her single-game highs in back-to-back outings with three hits against Eastern Kentucky and Louisville. Her two stolen bases against the Colonels also matched a career-high in that category.
In the win over the Cardinals, Dill's bases-clearing three-run triple in the third inning tied the score at seven after UK had trailed 7-0 through two innings of action. Dill then scored the go-ahead run on Meagan Aull's single. The three-bagger was the first of her career, and could not have come at a more critical time with the bases loaded and two outs trailing by three.
UK's shortstop then earned two more hits in the opening game of the South Carolina series, while scoring two of UK's five runs in that contest. She singled and scored in a 3-2 win in the nightcap of a doubleheader. Dill posted a career-long and the longest hitting streak in school history with a 15-game stretch of games with a hit.
Dill's 18 stolen bases for the season ranks as the eighth most in a single-year in school history, while her 39 runs is the sixth best in a single-year in school allure. She currently leads the team in batting average in just her second season of play.
Baseball: Alex Meyer
Kentucky junior right-handed starter Alex Meyer turned in the start of his career in the series opener against No. 12 Arkansas, pitching UK to a win over the red-hot Razorbacks ... Meyer tossed his league-high third complete-game of the year, allowing only three hits and one earned run, striking out 10 ... A native of Greensburg, Ind., Meyer's 10-strikeout gem was his seventh career double-digit strikeout game and his third this year ... Meyer allowed only one hard-hit ball in the game, an RBI double from Arkansas All-American James McCann in the second inning ... Meyer now owns 224 career strikeouts, good for the seventh-best total in UK career history ... With 81 strikeouts in 71.2 innings pitched, Meyer leads the SEC in strikeouts, fanning 10.17 per nine innings pitched ... Meyer ranks second in the SEC in innings pitched, first in complete games, holding opponents to a .230 batting average ... Meyer threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of the 34 hitters he faced in the complete-game gem ... Meyer was most dominating over the final four innings of work, where he threw first-pitch strikes to five consecutive hitters to end the game and fanned five batters in the final three frames.
Softball: Rachel Riley
Junior Rachel Riley was exceptional this week on the mound in helping UK to a 4-1 week.
Riley entered the Louisville game in the third inning with UK trailing by seven runs. The junior right-hander yielded just three hits the rest of the way in helping the Blue and White to an improbable comeback effort. She was also magnificent at the plate going 4-for-4 on the day with a home run and three RBI to help her own cause. She yielded just one walk and struck out four in the win.
In the second game of the doubleheader with South Carolina, Riley picked up her 11th victory of the year on a five-hit performance. With the win she equaled her own career-high for wins in a single year in helping UK to the series win. It marked the fifth SEC series win of the year for UK, a new single-season high.
For the week, Riley tossed 12.2 innings of ball, yielding eight hits total and just one walk while striking out five. Batters could muster just a .182 batting average against UK's right-hander.
Riley was also terrific at the plate with a 7-for-18 week on a .389 average. The junior enjoyed a career-long nine game hitting streak in the stretch as well.