UK Softball Soars to New Heights in 2011

June 1, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The 2011 Kentucky softball team finished its most successful season in school history on Sunday following the team's first appearance in the NCAA Super Regionals. Kentucky performed admirably in front of more than 1,700 fans at the UK Softball Complex there to share in the excitement of another budding program in the Commonwealth.

The Wildcats' run included its first 40-win season in school history, appearing in the national rankings for a school-record 14 consecutive weeks, defeating 12 top-25 ranked teams, capturing a school-best five Southeastern Conference series, becoming one of just 31 teams in the nation to advance to the NCAA Tournament in there straight seasons and shattering 12 single-season records.

Junior pitchers Chanda Bell and Rachel Riley tossed the school's first perfect games and did so consecutively in wins over Austin Peay. Senior Megan Yocke was named the National Player of the Week after leading UK to a come-from-behind win over No. 7 Tennessee. Senior Annie Rowlands and freshman Emily Jolly contributed new single-game records with a pair of sac flies and three doubles, respectively. Furthermore, four different UK players hit 10 or more home runs in a season for the first time in school history. And that's just an inkling of the accomplishments of this team.

In a game driven by statistics it should be of no surprise just how impressive this Wildcat team was in 2011. The numbers do not lie. During Rachel Lawson's tenure, UK has improved drastically in every phase of the game matching the meteoric rise among the national ranks. Following the most successful run in school allure, it is only fitting to look back on the 2011 season.

Statistical Breakdown

Kentucky has shown dramatic improvements in all phases of the game under Lawson's direction. UK has improved offensively, defensively and in the circle in each and every season.

Batting Average: .295 (2011) - .269 (2010) - .264 (2009) - .255 (2008)
Runs scored: 315 (2011) - 210 (2010) - 255 (2009) - 204 (2008)
Hits:
436 (2011) - 405 (2010) - 387 (2009) - 347 (2008)
Home Runs: 65 (2011) - 42 (2010) - 39 (2009) - 20 (2008)
RBI:
275 (2011) - 190 (2010) - 217 (2009) - 178 (2008)
Walks:
207 (2011) - 125 (2010) - 153 (2009) - 124 (2008)

Fielding Percentage: .968 (2011) - .966 (2010) - .958 (2009) - .945 (2008)
Errors: 51 (2011) - 56 (2010) - 70 (2009) - 85 (2008)

ERA: 2.41 (2011) - 2.82 (2010) - 2.91 (2009) - 4.57 (2008)
Shutouts:
17 (2011) - 11 (2010) - 9 (2009) - 2 (2008)
Strikeouts: 392 (2011) - 391 (2010) - 315 (2009) - 157 (2008)
Runs allowed:
158 (2011) - 188 (2010) - 216 (2009) - 311 (2008)
Opponent batting average: .218 (2011) - .223 (2010) - .244 (2009) - .307 (2008)

Records were made to be broken

In addition to the drastic improvements, the Wildcats shattered 12 single-season records and set a combined nine single-game records as well.

Single-season records
Batting average (.295)
Runs scored (315)
Home runs (65)
RBI (275)
Total Bases (275)
Walks (207)
Opponent batting average (.218)
Runs allowed (158)
Earned runs allowed (130)
Hits allowed (310)
Doubles allowed (51)
Strikeouts (392)

Single-game records (team)
Home runs (4) - vs. Mississippi State
Strikeouts tossed (20) - vs. Tennessee Tech

Single-game records (individual)
RBI (6) - Rachel Riley vs. Austin Peay
Doubles (3) - Emily Jolly vs. DePaul
Home Runs (2) - Five different players hit two in a game
Sacrifice hits (2) - Kara Dill vs. Arkansas
Sacrifice flies (2) - Annie Rowlands vs. South Carolina
Strikeouts (16) - Chanda Bell vs. Tennessee Tech and Colorado State
Putouts (21) - Megan Yocke vs. Tennessee Tech

Single-season charts rewritten

A team is driven by numerous outstanding individual performances throughout a season. The 2011 edition of the UK softball team had a number of players achieve sensational years. The single-season individual top-10 charts were rewritten by UK's athletes this season.

Meagan Aull: fourth (sacrifice flies); sixth (RBI, total bases); seventh (home runs); eighth (at-bats, hits, runs scored); ninth (stolen bases); 10th (slugging percentage)
Chanda Bell: first (opponent batting average); second (shutouts); third (ERA, strikeouts); fifth (win-loss percentage); eighth (wins)
Brittany Cervantes: first (runs scored, walks); second (home runs, RBI, on-base percentage); fourth (slugging percentage); eighth (total bases)
Lauren Cumbess: second (ERA, win-loss percentage); third (opponent batting average); ninth (shutouts)
Samantha DeMartine: seventh (home runs); eighth (putouts)
Kara Dill: fifth (runs scored); seventh (stolen bases); eighth (batting average); 10th (hits, on-base percentage)
Rachel Riley: third (win-loss percentage); fifth (shutouts); seventh (ERA, opponent batting average); eighth (wins, slugging percentage)
Megan Yocke: second (walks); third (on-base percentage); fourth (runs scored, putouts); fifth (fielding percentage); sixth (home runs); ninth (slugging percentage)
Ellen Weaver: first (win-loss percentage) Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the UK softball team and all of Kentucky's 22 teams.