Abbey Cheek signed autographs for fans who again helped provide a “great atmosphere” for UK in NCAA regional play.

Signee Johnny Juzang Gives Kentucky A “Great Shooter”
May 22, 2019
Barnhart Named Athletic Director of the Year
May 22, 2019
Show all

Abbey Cheek signed autographs for fans who again helped provide a “great atmosphere” for UK in NCAA regional play.

BY LARRY VAUGHT

For the third straight year Kentucky softball not only hosted a NCAA regional, but also went 3-0 to easily advance to the Super Regional at Washington this weekend. Kentucky beat ACC regular-season champion Virginia Tech 8-2 and 11-1 after an opening win over Toledo to earn another Super Regional berth for coach Rachel Lawson. Senior third baseman Abbey Cheek, the SEC Player of the Year, said getting to host postseason games in John Cropp Stadium was a huge plus for the Cats. “Definitely, the Big Blue Nation, for sure, the fans that we bring in and it is just insane to have such a great atmosphere here,” Cheek said. “It really shows that if we get a big hit how loud they are or if we get a groundout on defense before we even throw the ball they are screaming because they know it is going to be an out. “It is really cool to have that fan base and just to play at home for this senior class one more time was really cool and we went out with a bang.” Kentucky will take a 36-22 record into Super Regional play after playing one of the nation’s most competitive overall schedules this year. The Cats will be trying to reach the World Series for the second time — and first since 2014. “Every year after we have lost in supers we have talked about how we have to get over that hump (to get to the World Series) and we have really focused all season on getting over that hump and getting to the World Series. I really feel like that as long as this team is staying in the moment like we keep saying, it is going to be really cool for this team,” Cheek said. It could better than cool having seniors Jenny Schaper, Katie Reed and Cheek at the top of UK’s batting order. This year third baseman Cheek is hitting a team-best .441 with 20 home runs and 53 runs batted-in. Schaper, a catcher and leadoff hitter, is at .315 with 12 homers and is third on the team with 49 RBI’s. Reed, the shortstop, is hitting .371 with six homers, team-best 16 doubles and 43 runs knocked in. “There is so much (confidence) right now. We have been through the regionals and supers for three years now and I think just being mature and having us at the top really helps the middle of the lineup and the bottom of the lineup know that if we are doing good they are going to be confident in the box if we are confident,” Cheek said. “It is just really important to have three seniors at the top of that lineup.” * * *

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: