UK Softball Qualifies for 14th Straight NCAA Tournament; Two Cats Earn All-SEC Honors
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky softball team has qualified for its 14th-straight NCAA Tournament and has been placed in the 2023 Evanston Regional hosted by Northwestern University this weekend just outside of Chicago. Northwestern earned the No. 12 overall national seed in the championship.
Kentucky and NU will be joined by Eastern Illinois and Miami (OH) in the regional set to begin Friday and running through Sunday. Northwestern earned the No. 12 overall national seed in the tournament.
Kentucky is the No. 2 seed in the regional and will play No. 3 seeded Miami RedHawks on Friday in the first game of the regional at Friday on SEC Network.
Ticket information will be announced by Northwestern soon.
2023 NCAA Softball Championship
Evanston Regional – Evanston, Ill. – Hosted by Northwestern University
Friday, May 19
1pm ET – Kentucky vs. Miami (OH) [SEC Network]
3:30pm ET – Northwestern vs. Eastern Illinois [ESPN+]
Saturday, May 20
1pm ET – Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner [TV TBA]
3:30pm ET – Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser [TV TBA]
6pm ET – Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner [TV TBA]
Sunday, May 21
4:30pm ET – Game 3 winner vs. Game 5 winner [TV TBA]
7pm ET – If necessary [TV TBA]
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Kentucky softball players Erin Coffel and Kayla Kowalik were named to the 2023 All-Southeastern Conference First Team, the league office announced Friday morning. In addition to being named All-SEC, Kowalik was voted to the SEC All-Defensive Team.
The awards were voted on by the 13 head coaches in the league with the 21 highest vote getters being named First Team All-SEC, and the next 21 highest vote getters being placed on the All-SEC Second Team. The defensive team was comprised of the top single vote getter for each defensive position across the league. Only conference stats are considered when voting for the awards.
With Kowalik being placed on the All-SEC Team, she earns the distinction of being named All-SEC by the league coaches in every year that she was eligible. She hit .450 this season with 44 runs scored, 77 hits, 10 doubles, three triples and a home run. She caught in all but three games this year with only one error to her name and three passed balls, marking herself as one of the best catchers in the nation.
Coffel hit .427 with 56 runs scored in the 2023 season, as she has 50 total hits with 27 of those 50 connections coming as extra-base hits. On the year, she also led the NCAA with 62 total walks and was a perfect 2-for-2 in swiping bases with 51 runs batted in.
Florida’s Skylar Wallace was the SEC Player of the Year. Tennessee’s Karlyn Pickens won freshman of the year and Karen Weekly nabbed coach of the year. Auburn’s Maddie Penta was the SEC Pitcher of the Year.