Joiner, Nunley Named Preseason All-SEC by League Coaches
LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky senior catcher Griffin Joiner and junior pitcher Kelsey Nunley have been named to the 2015 Southeastern Conference Softball Coaches Preseason All-SEC Team, it was announced Thursday.
Joiner, who has now earned Preseason All-SEC honors each of the last two seasons, had a great junior season in 2014. The native of Hopkinsville, Ky., hit .309 last season with 26 runs scored, 11 doubles, 10 homers and 39 RBI. Joiner, who was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team each of the last two years, has a .990 career fielding percentage, including a .998 mark last season. The senior catcher has started 184 consecutive games behind the plate for Kentucky and is one of three players in UK history to earn four or more career All-SEC honors.
Nunley is coming off the best season in program history where she was named All-SEC Second Team, SEC All-Tournament Team and Women’s College World Series All-Tournament Team. The native of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., went 30-11 last season with 282.1 innings pitched, allowing only 76 earned run with 219 strikeouts and limiting opponents to a .213 average. The junior won all nine postseason games for Kentucky, guiding the Wildcats to their first appearance in the SEC Tournament Championship Game and the Women’s College World Series.
Auburn and Georgia led all schools with three selections each, while Florida, Kentucky, LSU and Missouri each had two representatives on the squad and Alabama and Tennessee both had one player named to the team.
The Preseason All-SEC Softball Team is voted on by the league’s head coaches and consists of a minimum of 14 players. Each SEC head coach voted for five infielders, four outfielders, three pitchers, one catcher and one designated player/utility. No ties were broken.
In a class-by-class breakdown, the 2015 team consists of five seniors, eight juniors and three sophomores.
Kentucky will begin its season later Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. ET against Florida A&M in Tallahassee, Fla. The Wildcats begin the season ranked sixth in the USA Today/NFCA Preseason Top 25.
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2015 Preseason All-SEC Softball Team
Emily Carosone, Auburn – IF
Kasey Cooper, Auburn – IF
Kelsey Stewart, Florida – IF
Alex Hugo, Georgia – IF
Paige Wilson, Georgia – IF
Bianka Bell, LSU – IF
Haylie McCleney, Alabama – OF
Branndi Melero, Auburn – OF
A.J. Andrews, LSU – OF
Taylor Gadbois, Missouri – OF
Chelsea Wilkinson, Georgia – P
Kelsey Nunley, Kentucky – P
Tori Finucane, Missouri – P
Griffin Joiner, Kentucky – C
Annie Aldrete, Tennessee – C
Lauren Haeger, Florida – DP/UT