2011 Team Awards and 2012 Captains Announced

Oct. 28, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The UK softball program held its annual Alumni weekend during Kentucky's Homecoming festivities last week. Head coach Rachel Lawson utilized the event to reward the 2011 team with awards and announced the election of this year's captains.

The 2011 squad finished its most successful season in school history ranked among the top-13 in the nation after appearing in its first Super Regional. UK's run included its first 40-win season in school history, appearing in the national rankings for a school-best 15 consecutive weeks, defeating 12 top-25 ranked teams, capturing a school-record five Southeastern Conference series, becoming one of just 31 teams in the nation to advance to the NCAA Tournament in three straight seasons and shattering 12 single-season records.

Meagan Aull and Rachel Riley were tabbed as the most valuable players for the Wildcats during their incredible 2011 run.

Aull broke out for career-highs in batting average (.362), home runs (10), and multi-hit games (18) and was an All-SEC and All-Region honoree. She may be most remembered for her solo home run to lead off the seventh inning comeback effort to dispatch of No. 2 Michigan to advance to the Super Regional game. Aull excelled off the field just as valiantly, earning CoSIDA Academic All-America honors and she was tabbed the SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year.

Riley served as a dual-threat for the Wildcats both in the pitching circle and in the batter's box. She was tabbed an All-Region team member after earning career-highs in batting average (.354) and home runs (8). Furthermore, she posted a career-high 13 victories in the circle. She had a game to remember when she notched a UK single-game record with six RBI at the plate while also tossing a perfect game to capture the win.

Annie Rowlands was awarded the Blue Heart Award. Rowlands started every game in left field for the Wildcats and saved the best performances of her career when it mattered most for the Blue and White. Rowlands was responsible for the walk-off RBI single to upset the Wolverines in the improbable seventh-inning rally. She then went on to have a terrific Super Regional performance which included a 2-for-2 game in UK's 8-0 defeat of Cal.

Chanda Bell and Megan Yocke were honored as the Defensive Players of the Year.

Bell recorded a perfect 1.000 fielding clip with 17 assists and four putouts on the year to go along with a team-high 205 strikeouts for the season.Yocke capped her career as the best defensive player in school allure with a career fielding clip of .992 percentage and 1,203 career putouts which tops the all-time record books in both categories. Yocke's lone error of the 2011 season came as she played shortstop for the first time in her collegiate career.

UK's offensive players of the year were Samantha DeMartine and Kara Dill.

DeMartine posted career-highs with a .306 batting average, 10 long balls, 34 RBI and 25 runs scored. She led the team with seven game-winning hits and 20 two-out RBI, as she charted 12 multiple hit games on the year. DeMartine notched an incredible three games in the Regionals with a 6-for-7 combined effort at the plate to go along with four doubles, four RBI and four runs scored.

Dill had a break-out season in her first full-time year as a starter. She charted team-highs with a .377 batting average and 20 stolen bags. She struck for a career-long 14-game hitting streak and had a hit in all but 10 of UK's games for the season.

Emily Jolly claimed Rookie of the Year honors at the annual banquet. Jolly began her freshman campaign by claiming a single-game record with three doubles in a win over DePaul. She finished the year with a .218 batting average and eight multi-base hits as she earned All-SEC Freshman team honors.

Lawson also took the opportunity to announce the team captains for the 2012 season at the Alumni event. Riley and classmate Brittany Cervantes were elected team captains for the 2012 season as voted on by their teammates, coaches and support staff. Riley served as a team captain during the 2011 season and Cervantes will serve as the team's second captain for the first time in her career.

Follow along with the UK softball program all season long at UKathletics.com