Every Tuesday, UK Athletics recognizes outstanding performances for our student-athletes. These are the honorees for the week ending Sunday, May 8:
Softball: Chanda Bell
Junior Chanda Bell was electric for the Wildcats in the circle in leading the Blue and White to a 10-2, six-inning win over Auburn. Bell tossed the complete-game effort to earn her sixth victory against different league opponents this season. Bell allowed just four hits in the game while striking out seven. In the final game of the series, she entered trailing 2-0 and allowed just one hit in three flawless innings of play. For the weekend, she worked 9.0 total innings and allowed just five hits while striking out eight. Auburn batted just .156 against UK's right-hander for the weekend.
Softball: Emily Jolly
Freshman Emily Jolly capped her freshman campaign in stylish fashion with a .500 week in the series against Auburn. She started all three games at second base for UK and made her presence felt both in the field and at the plate. In the victory over the Tigers, Jolly smacked her seventh double of the season and would round home to score. In the final game of the series, she was plucked with a pitch twice and then had an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to reach base in all three plate appearances in the game. As the No. 9 hitter, her RBI single brought in the team's only run of the inning but enabled UK a chance for a comeback effort with the top of the order coming to the plate and nobody out. In the field, Jolly made six putouts and seven assists throughout the weekend to lead the squad.
Baseball: Alex Meyer
Kentucky junior right-handed starter Alex Meyer turned in yet another gem in a pitching duel posting a complete-game shutout win over No. 1 Vanderbilt on Friday night. In a matchup with VU's Sonny Gray that was billed as the top two pitchers in college baseball, Meyer tossed the best start of his career, going nine full innings, allowing only five hits and one walk, striking out five. The complete game was Meyer's SEC-leading fourth of the year and the second complete-game shutout of the season. A 6-foot-9 native of Greensburg, Ind., Meyer pitched UK to the 2-0 win over top-ranked VU, the first win over a No. 1-ranked team since UK upset David Price, Casey Weathers and Pedro Alvarez-led Commodores in Lexington in 2007. Meyer shut down the blistering-hot Dores, who entered the series leading the SEC in batting average, average in SEC games and on-base percentage, ranking second in runs scored. Meyer, who leads the SEC with 96 strikeouts, needed just 110 pitches for the complete game, with Vandy not getting a runner to second base until the seventh frame, throwing 72 strikes and first-pitch strikes to 17 hitters. Meyer faced only four hitters above the minimum and faced the minimum through his first six innings. Meyer allowed only five singles in the game in the first shutout surrendered by the Dores since 2010 vs. South Carolina . On the year, Meyer has fanned an SEC-leading 96 in 87.2 innings, owning a 2.98 ERA in 12 starts, allowing only 66 hits and a .220 opponent batting average. Of the 66 hits he has allowed, only 11 have come as extra-base knocks. The gem was his eighth quality start of the year for Meyer, who owns a 1.71 ERA in his eight quality starts and a 1.67 ERA in his last four outings. In his three-year career, Meyer ranks sixth in UK annals with 239 strikeouts in 197.1 innings. Meyer's stellar pitching has come despite getting minimal support offensively and in the bullpen, as UK owns a 8.24 ERA out of the bullpen in his 12 starts and have hit .269 with 4.2 runs scored per game in his outings. Overall, the UK bullpen has inherited six runners from Meyer in his starts, with all six scoring.