First honor for a UK player in school history
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Junior shortstop Molly Johnson has been named the Amateur Softball Association /USA Softball National Player of the Week for her performance in Kentucky’s 4-0 week last week.
This is the first such honor for Kentucky’s shortstop that has started 150 consecutive games in her career. She led UK with a .692 batting average as the Wildcats clinched a berth in the SEC tournament for the first time since 2001.
““It’s a great honor,” Johnson said. “I’m glad that Kentucky is finally getting some national recognition, so that’s the biggest part. It’s great for our school to be on the national stage.”
Johnson who was also named the SEC’s Player of the Week on Monday guided UK to a sweep of perennial power Mississippi State for the first time since the 1998-99 seasons. In addition to her blistering batting average she tallied a pair of doubles, a triple and a home run along with six runs scored. Her six runs scored last week gave her 46 for the season which set a new single season Kentucky record.
“She obviously had a tremendous week but I am really pleased because she has these kinds of weeks all the time. It’s so great to see her receive recognition because she is such a great player for us both offensively and defensively,” said Kentucky Head Coach Rachel Lawson. “She is also a great leader on and off the field and just a great person. I am very happy to see her get this award.”
Johnson currently paces the team with a career-high .433 batting average. She has totaled a career-best eight home runs and 21 stolen bases this season. She ranks third on the team with 30 RBI batting from the lead off slot. She holds an incredible .506 on base percentage and a .707 slugging percentage.
After clinching the SEC tournament berth this weekend UK is currently on a quest to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. Johnson and the Blue and White battle state rivals No. 17 Louisville Tuesday night in a 5 p.m. ET contest. The regular season wraps up with a three-game series at South Carolina beginning on Saturday.