#13 Kentucky Softball 2021 Preview

Kentucky Wildcats
Overall Rank: #13
Conference Rank: #5 SEC
Kentucky Logo
Kentucky put together a strong 2019 season as the Wildcats won the Lexington Regional in impressive fashion and advanced to the Seattle Super Regional where they lost to the Washington Huskies in two games. The Wildcats have a nice foundation in place as a program that is consistently in the mix to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. The next immediate step for Kentucky is to get themselves in a position where they won’t have to travel way out west in the Super Regional round of the NCAA Tournament.
2019: 36-24, 14-10
2019 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Rachel Lawson
Key Departed Players:
Abby Cheek, UTIL, .428 BA, 20 HR, 53 RBI, 8 SB
Katie Reed, INF, .361 BA, 6 HR, 43 RBI, 15 SB
Jenny Schaper, C, .303 BA, 12 HR, 49 RBI
Alex Martens, INF, .310 BA, 13 HR, 66 RBI
Bailey Vick, OF, .205 BA, 0 HR, 6 RBI, 10 SB
Larissa Spellman, P, 3.48 ERA, 2-0 W/L, 20.2 IP, 19 BB, 13 SO
Key Returning Players:
Kayla Kowalik, C, .357 BA, 0 HR, 25 RBI, 14 SB
Lauren Johnson, OF, .345 BA, 3 HR, 21 RBI
Mallory Peyton, INF, .243 BA, 13 HR, 40 RBI
Grace Baalman, P, 3.49 ERA, 10-10 W/L, 141.2 IP, 66 BB, 102 SO
Autumn Humes, P, 4.14 ERA, 15-11 W/L, 150.0 IP, 38 BB, 84 SO
The task of replacing the production of Abby Cheek, Katie Reed, and Jenny Schaper won’t be easy as this trio hit over .300, with Cheek hitting over .400 in 2019. They also provided a ton of power as they were responsible for 38 homeruns and 151 runs batted in. Mallory Peyton is back to lead the way as the primary power sources for the Wildcats in 2020. Kayla Kowalik has some great speed and stole 14 bases in 2019 and her 25 runs batted in proved that she can drive in that timely run as well. Grace Baalman and Autumn Humes will be back in the circle for head coach Rachel Lawson this season. Baalman had a 3.49 earned run average and struck out 102 batters in 141.2 innings of work in 2019. Humes won 15 games, had a 4.14 earned run average and, if she can lower the opponents’ batting average against her by about 20-25 points, that will be a huge bonus for Kentucky. Meghan Schorman more than came into her own during the shortened 2020 season. She hurled more innings than either Humes or Baalman, sporting a 1.67 ERA and a 7-1 record.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament