Softball

Rachel Lawson Crowned SEC Coach of the Year

LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the
first time in her distinguished career, Kentucky softball head coach Rachel
Lawson was crowned the Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year after guiding
the Wildcats to a 43-11 regular season record, the best in program history.

Lawson led Kentucky to not only a
program-best 43-11 regular season record, but a 17-7 SEC record, good enough
for outright second place in the toughest softball conference in the nation,
which was the highest finish in program history.

Now in her ninth season at the helm
in Lexington, Lawson has taken the Kentucky softball program to new heights
every year she has been in charge – including this season, where she became the
first coach in program history to eclipse 300 wins as the head coach at
Kentucky. In addition to winning her 300th game at Kentucky earlier
this season, she also surpassed 100 career SEC wins and 400 career wins all
this season.

The winningest head coach in program history has not only lead UK to its
first-ever appearance in the Women’s College World Series, four NCAA Super
Regionals the last five seasons, including a program-best 50 wins in 2014, but
UK’s administration come through on their promise and commitment to softball by
providing Lawson with one of the nation’s greatest collegiate softball
facilities in the $9.5 million John Cropp Stadium. 

Two of the last three seasons, Lawson had led the Wildcats to a national
seed in the NCAA Tournament – the school’s first-ever national seed was in 2013
– and hosted a NCAA Regional. Kentucky, which has made the NCAA Tournament each
of the last seven seasons – one of just 21 schools nationally to claim that
honor – is one of just nine schools to be a national seed two of the last three
seasons.

Now sitting at 409-294 in her career, Lawson is the winningest head coach
in school history and already has more wins in SEC play than UK had all told as
a program when she took over in 2007. UK finished the 2014 season ranked sixth
in both national listings for its best final ranking ever. In 2013, Kentucky
was ranked in the top 14 of both collegiate softball rankings for the second
time in school history with nine wins over ranked teams. In her nine
seasons at Kentucky, Lawson has defeated over 70 ranked foes, including 35 wins
vs. top-10 teams and 18 against top-five teams.

Kentucky will open SEC Tournament play on Thursday afternoon in
Starkville, Miss., at 2:30 p.m. ET live on the SEC Network. The second-seeded
Wildcats will play either the seventh-seeded LSU Tigers, or 10th-seeded
Texas A&M Aggies – who play on Wednesday afternoon in the opening round of
the tournament hosted by Mississippi State this week.

For
the latest on the Kentucky softball team, follow @UKSoftball on Twitter, Instagram
and Facebook, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com

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