Joiner, Nunley Named NFCA Southeast All-Region Third Team
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- University of Kentucky senior catcher Griffin Joiner and junior pitcher Kelsey Nunley have been named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Southeast All-Region Third Team for their strong on-field performances this season, it was announced Thursday.
Joiner was the lone catcher named to the third team and one of only three catchers listed on the first, second or third teams. Nunley was one of four pitchers on the third team, while eight pitchers received regional honors overall. This is the second NFCA honor for Joiner and Nunley, who were also named to the region's third team last season.
The multiple all-region honors mark the fifth time under eight-year head coach Rachel Lawson that UK has had two or more honorees. Lawson has led 10 players to 16 NFCA all-region honors during her time in Lexington. A full list of honorees from every region can be found at NFCA.org.
Joiner, who became the first catcher to ever earn three straight Southeastern Conference All-Defensive Team honors last week, is having a great season for Kentucky at the plate and behind it. Joiner is hitting .301 this season with eight doubles, one triple, team-best 11 homers and 40 RBI. The native of Hopkinsville, Ky., has started every game of her collegiate career and ranks top 10 in program history in hits, RBI, batting average, doubles, walks, at-bats, home runs, slugging percentage, total bases, putouts and fielding percentage. Joiner is one of only two players in school history to hit 10 or more home runs three or more seasons. Defensively, Joiner has been solid behind the plate with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage and limiting opponents to just six stolen bases this season with eight runners caught stealing.
Nunley doesn't have the stat line of years past, but she has pitched well in the circle in 2015 with a 2.45 ERA, 169 strikeouts and opponents hitting just .231 against her. The native of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., is 12-14 this season with wins against highly ranked LSU, Arizona, Florida State and Texas A&M. Nunley has five saves this season, which set a new program record for saves in a season, while she has 14 complete games and three shutouts. Nunley's numbers are even more impressive when you consider Kentucky played 11 games against teams that rank top 15 nationally in batting average, 15 games against teams that rank top 20 nationally in scoring and nine games against teams that rank top 10 nationally in home runs.
Kentucky will make its seventh straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament on Friday at 2 p.m. ET against Northwestern. The Wildcats are the No. 2 seed in the NCAA South Bend Regional being hosted by No. 16 national seed Notre Dame.
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