Johnson, Riley Earn SEC Weekly Honors

April 27, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. -

Junior shortstop Molly Johnson and freshman pitcher Rachel Riley were honored as SEC Players of the Week it was announced by the league office Monday.

Johnson was tabbed the SEC Player of the Week with Riley taking home SEC Freshman of the Week honors. Riley’s honor is the first of her career. Johnson was a two-time SEC Freshman of the Year in 2007.

Johnson enjoyed an outstanding week at the plate. She led the team with a .692 batting average as UK won all four games, including earning a sweep of Mississippi State for the first time since 1998-99. UK’s three SEC wins also helped clinch just the third appearance in the SEC tournament in school history. Johnson totaled four extra base hits and six runs scored in four games. With her six runs she has now totaled a single-season school record with 46 runs scored on the season. This weekend she also moved into fourth on the single-season home run list (8), ninth in single-season hits (65), fourth in total bases in a season (106), fifth in single-season stolen bases (21) and third in hit by pitches in a single season (9).

Riley continued to be a force for UK in the circle as well as at the plate this week as she went a perfect 3-0 with a stellar 0.74 ERA while hitting .335 with five RBI. Riley yielded just one walk while striking out 11 batters and did not give up a single extra base hit in 19.0 innings of work. She also tallied a career-best six strikeouts in a win over Eastern Kentucky. At the plate, she hit her first career home runs (the game-winning solo shot in the second inning vs. EKU) and a grand slam in the fourth inning of game one against Mississippi State.

This marks the first time a pair of UK players has earned SEC weekly honors. Freshman pitcher Chanda Bell has won SEC Freshman of the Week twice this season. With four total weekly honors it helps the 2009 squad surpass the 2000 team that won three honors in a season.

Kentucky Guaranteed Spot in SEC Tournament

With just a week remaining the regular season the Kentucky softball team has already clinched a berth in the 2009 SEC tournament. Kentucky holds an 11-13 SEC record with three games remaining and currently sits in sixth place overall in the standings. This marks just the third time in school allure that UK has earned a spot in the tournament and the first since 2001.

The Wildcats have four regular season games remaining and are searching to become just the second time in school history to reach the 30-win plateau. UK has a 29-18 overall record. With an RPI rating of 16 UK is in contention for it’s first-ever NCAA berth.

Kentucky will face No. 17 Louisville Tuesday in the final non-conference matchup of the season. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.

Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information about the UK softball team.