Larry Vaught Weekly: UK Softball Coach Has Soft Heart + Quotes of the Week

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Larry Vaught Weekly: UK Softball Coach Has Soft Heart + Quotes of the Week

Softball coach Rachel Lawson hates being called a softie, but her players say that is exactly what she is. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By: Larry Vaught

Kentucky opened its softball season last weekend and coach Rachel Lawson has built the team into a national power during her 10 years at UK. But while she does not want anyone to know it, she’s a softie and made that clear when she cried talking about a senior player at Media Day before the season even started.

“She is a softie at heart,” UK pitcher Meagan Prince said. “She is tough and intimidating and you can’t get into her head, but she has a soft heart when it comes to her girls.”

Breanne “Buzz” Ray is another senior who has seen the soft side of Lawson that the coach doesn’t go public with often.

”Honestly, I was not surprised she cried. She puts on a hard front for everyone else — I think she has to. But once you get to know her, she has such a love for our team and every player,” Ray said. “She cares a lot. Everything she does is for us. She wants us to succeed more than even we probably do.

“She always cries at Senior Day. She tries to hold it together, but she can’t. She cries a lot on our alumni weekend, too, because everyone that has come through the program is important to her. A lot of coaches are just about business. They worry about stats and games and wins. She cares about us and who we are even past softball. She’s never ready for any of us to leave.”

Quote of the Week: Junior college defensive back Lonnie Johnson enrolled at Kentucky in January and is glad to be in Lexington. “Life in junior college is terrible. We don’t eat. The beds are small. It is just like the difference in being poor and rich. This is rich right here. I love it here,” Johnson said.

Quote of the Week, Two: Does Kentucky freshman Bam Adebayo pay attention to mock draft reports? “I don’t really get on social media like that, pay attention to it,” he said.

Quote of the Week, Three: Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen on freshman teammate Kash Daniel of Paintsville sometimes being a bit hyper. “When he is in that moment, I say, ‘Kash, calm down.’ He just has to get his head right. We just have to help him get his focus down because he can kind of go off at times in his own way.”

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