Three UK Players Earn All-SEC Awards
May 12, 2010
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Three Kentucky softball players earned All-Southeastern Conference awards announced by the league office on Wednesday. Senior Molly Johnson was an All-SEC first team selection with junior Megan Yocke earning second-team honors. Additionally, both players were picks on the All-Defensive team. Senior Natalie Smith was named to the SEC Community Service team.
Johnson becomes the first player in school history to earn All-SEC distinctions in all four seasons of her career. She is the second player to repeat on the All-SEC first team. Current assistant coach Lyndsey Angus was the last player to achieve the feat in the 2001 and 2002 seasons.
Yocke is an All-SEC second team selection for the second consecutive season. She has now earned All-SEC honors in all three of her seasons after earning All-SEC Freshman team honors in her rookie campaign.
The league's coaches voted Johnson as the top defensive player at shortstop with Yocke claiming the golden glove at catcher. Those honors are the first of both players' careers and they become the first members of the All-Defensive team in school history.
"It is quite an honor for (Megan) Yocke and (Molly) Johnson to be considered members of such an elite class of athletes," UK coach Rachel Lawson said. "Because of their hard work, talent and resiliency it is a distinction that is well deserved."
Johnson paces the UK attack with a .409 batting average, four home runs, eight doubles and 22 runs scored against conference foes. She has a hit in 22-of-28 conference games including multi-hit outings in 12 of those contests. She ranks among the top of the league in six offensive categories including batting average, on-base percentage, runs scored, hits, total bases and doubles. Defensively, Johnson is touting a career-best .963 fielding percentage while contributing on 117 outs.
UK's senior ranks first all-time at Kentucky in career batting average, slugging percentage, home runs, doubles, total bases and runs scored. She has enjoyed another tremendous offensive season charting at least one hit in all but 13 games this season.
Yocke is batting .373 in conference action while driving in a team-best 17 runs and possessing a team-high .642 slugging percentage in league games. She ranks among the conference's best with 143 putouts on 158 chances and a .994 fielding percentage. From behind the plate she has thrown out eight base stealers and is second in the league with only 17 steal attempts against.
For the season, Yocke is batting a career-high .326 with six home runs and 29 RBI. She paces the squad with 14 combined sacrifice hits. Defensively, Yocke has charted 348 putouts on the year and owns an impressive .995 fielding percentage.
Smith was chosen to the All-SEC Community Service team for the first time in her career. The SEC honors one individual from each institution who has displayed a tremendous effort in giving back to her community.
"Natalie has been an integral part of the Lexington community and the University of Kentucky," Lawson said. "I would like to thank both Natalie and the SEC for their commitment to community involvement in the Southeast region."
Smith's community service efforts include a UK Fusion volunteer, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure volunteer, Salvation Army Bell Ringing, Big Blue U!, God's Pantry Food Drive, YMCA Fall Festival, Northern Elementary Fall Festival, Skeeter Johnson Walk, Softball Camp, Special Olympics Polar Bear Plunge, Ronald McDonald House volunteer, Jesus Prom 2009 and Circle of Love.
The Glendale, Ariz. native is also a three-time All-SEC Academic team member, 2007 All-SEC Freshman team honoree, 2010 CATSPY award winner for Supporting Role, a member of SAAC and the Frank G. Ham Society of Character.
Kentucky will hit the field Thursday at noon ET for the first game of the SEC Tournament. UK meets the tournament's No. 3 seed in LSU airing live on ESPNU.Follow along with the Wildcats at the SEC Tournament all week long at UKathletics.com.
2010 SEC Softball Awards
First Team All-SEC
P - Kelsi Dunne, Alabama
P - Stephanie Brombacher, Florida
IF - Kayla Braud, Alabama
IF - Megan Bush, Florida
IF - Alisa Goler, Georgia
IF - Molly Johnson, Kentucky
OF - Francesca Enea, Florida
OF - Taylor Schlopy, Georgia
OF - Megan Wiggins, Georgia
OF - Kirsten Shortridge, LSU
OF - Kat Dotson, Tennessee
C - Chelsea Bramlett, Mississippi State
DP/U - Charlotte Morgan, Alabama
Second Team All-SEC
P - Rachele Fico, LSU
P - Ivy Renfroe, Tennessee
IF - Whitney Larsen, Alabama
IF - Kyndall White, Auburn
IF - Aja Paculba, Florida
IF - Lauren Grill, Ole Miss
OF - Jessica Bachkora, Arkansas
OF - Michelle Moultrie, Florida
OF - Rachel Mitchell, LSU
OF - Raven Chavanne, Tennessee
C - Megan Yocke, Kentucky
DP/U - Miranda Dixon, Arkansas
P - Kelsi Dunne, Alabama; Rachele Fico, LSU
C - Megan Yocke, Kentucky
1B - Brianna Hesson, Georgia
2B - Aja Paculba, Florida
SS - Molly Johnson, Kentucky
3B - Jessica Mouse, LSU; Sandra Smith, AR
LF - Megan Wiggins, Georgia
CF - Kirsten Shortridge, LSU
RF - Rachel Mitchell, LSU; Kat Dotson, Tennessee
SEC Community Service Team
Catherine Dozier, Junior, Alabama
Amanda Caldwell, Junior, Arkansas
Morgan Murphy, Sophomore, Auburn
Francesca Enea, Senior, Florida
Jennie Auger, Junior, Georgia
Natalie Smith, Senior, Kentucky
Ashley Applegate, Junior, LSU
Courtnie Ghinaudo, Senior, Ole Miss
Jessie Bailey, Senior, Mississippi State
Kaitlin Westfall, Sophomore, South Carolina
Tiffany Huff, Senior, Tennessee