Erin Coffel Prepared to Build on Legacy in 2024

Erin Coffel Prepared to Build on Legacy in 2024

by Bryson Steed

Following a second-team All-American season in 2023, there is quite a bit of anticipation and excitement for Kentucky softball shortstop Erin Coffel in 2024.

Last season, Coffel hit .440 with 19 home runs and 55 runs batted in, and she moved into second place on UK’s career home run list (55). In addition, she was named a finalist for the USA Softball National Player of the Year. In addition to her achievements from the 2023 college softball season, Coffel competed in the Pan American Games in the summer of 2023. It was a rewarding experience for Coffel.

“I played with some legends, I took away a lot of things,” she said. “The biggest thing was having fun. Girls that are getting into their 30s and they’re still playing softball – they are having fun at that point and trusting what they do. That’s the biggest thing I brought back was trusting what I do, they’ve all worked hard, I’ve worked hard.”


Coffel is likely to break the UK career home run record this season. After the first weekend of the 2024 season, the senior has 56 career long balls and needs just six home runs to pass UK legend Abbey Cheek on that list. Despite her proclivity for hitting the long ball, it’s not something that crosses Coffel’s mind.

“I don’t think about hitting home runs to be honest with you, it just kind of happens for me,” Coffel said. “If I thought about hitting home runs, I don’t think I would be very good.”

Coffel and the Cats got the 2024 season off to a strong start last weekend. UK went 4-1 in San Diego while facing three ranked teams. The Cats earned two wins over then-No. 3 Stanford and also beat UC-Santa Barbara and Minnesota, while falling to homestanding San Diego State. Coffel went 4 for 16 with a double and a home run in five games. She also walked three times as opponents pitched her very carefully.

Always a team player, Coffel believes the team has improved as a collective. She hopes there are big things ahead for the 2024 Cats.

“I think this year, it’s more of a collective piece and it has taken our culture a step ahead of where it was last year in a sense, so I’m really excited for that,” Coffel said. “I think in times of defeat, we can lean on a lot of girls a on our team.”


Kentucky head coach Rachel Lawson believes Coffel is a lot better than last year, mentioning that Coffel had hit five home runs in four scrimmages this offseason. Coffel knows that Lawson expects a lot from her in 2024.


“She (Coach Lawson) challenged me this past fall because this previous spring was a struggle with me getting walked a lot,” Coffel said. “So, I really dove into that this fall and she challenged me a lot and that really helped going into the winter with the two weeks I was away from the team I made sure I dove into certain thing hitting wise, so I’ve gotten better at that.”


Coffel figures to have a big season for the Cats in 2024. If Kentucky is to do big things this season, it would be no surprise if Coffel is not a key piece in the team’s success throughout the season.

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