UK Softball Notebook: Summer Update

June 13, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Assistant coach and former All-America player Molly Johnson began her third season with the United States National team this week, former players Brittany Cervantes and Chanda Bell made their pro debuts and the Wildcats capped their fourth-straight NCAA Tournament run by appearing in the final polls for the fourth-straight time.

Johnson and Team USA

Johnson began her third season with Team USA this week as the team opened camp in Ohio.

Last fall UK's assistant helped guide Team USA to gold at the Pan Am Games. There, she led the bats with an astounding .706 batting average to pace the team. She turned in a 12-for-17 performance with four doubles and eight RBI. Defensively, she made seven starts at shortstop and turned in 10 assists and a pair of putouts to provide excellent defensive prowess to a dominating pitching staff.

After earning an invitation for a try-out during her senior season at Kentucky, Johnson has spent the last two summers suiting up for the Red, White and Blue.

The Women's National Team will compete at the World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City, the Canadian Open Fast Pitch International Championship in Surrey, B.C., Canada, and the World Championship in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. Additional events may be added to the team schedules at a later date.

As a veteran member of the National Team, Johnson has begun work on a blog for the team's site detailing her experiences during the 2012 season. Check out what Johnson and Team USA are up to here: Johnson's Team USA Blog

Bell and Cervantes make pro debut with Bandits

Bell and Cervantes both made their pro debuts in helping lead the Chicago Bandits to a weekend-opening series over the USSSA Pride.

Bell worked 1.2 innings of relief and yielded just one hit against eight batters faced. Cervantes posted a 1-for-2 weekend at the dish in a pair of plate appearances. Her first professional hit went for a double and she would come around to score in a 5-2 win.

The Bandits will play until the end of August and play 12 additional series throughout the remaining schedule.

Wildcats receiving votes in final polls

For an unprecedented fourth consecutive season the Kentucky softball team capped the year among the final poll vote getters.

UK capped the year with 11 votes in the NFCA poll which results as the No. 31 ranked team. In the USA Softball poll, Kentucky hauled in five votes for a final ranking of 36.

The rankings coincide with the Wildcats run in the NCAA Tournament of four consecutive seasons. UK is one of just 27 teams in the nation to appear in the field of 64 in the previous four years.

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