LEXINGTON, KY- — After over 50,000 total votes throughout the last 10 days of voting from the Big Blue Nation on the UK Athletics website, and Kentucky Softball Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, the 10 members of the Kentucky Softball All-Decade Team were announced Friday afternoon by the program.
Fans were given a 24-hour window to vote on every position over the past 10 days, with the votes tallied up from all four medias to comprise one total at the end of the window.
Pitcher – Kelsey Nunley, 2013-2016
Catcher – Griffin Joiner, 2012-2015
First Base – Erin Rethlake, 2015-2018
Second Base – Alex Martens, 2017-2020
Third Base – Abbey Cheek, 2016-2019
Shortstop – Katie Reed, 2016-2019
Outfield – Meagan Aull, 2008-2011; Sylver Samuel, 2013-16; Bailey Vick, 2017-2020
Designated Player/Utility – Brittany Cervantes, 2009-12
About The Team
- Every player on the team qualified for the NCAA Tournament every year of their career that there was a championship held (No tournament in 2020, COVID-19)
- Between the 10 players, there are over 150 home runs, 500 total runs scored, 1,000 runs batted in, and 200 stolen bases
- There are a total of 27 appearances in the NCAA Super Regionals and three players who saw Hall of Fame Stadium when Kentucky made its appearance in the 2014 Women’s College World Series (Nunley, Joiner, Samuel).
- Many of UK’s current record holders are on the All-Decade Team including home runs (Cheek), RBI (Cheek), walks (Joiner), runs scored (Cheek), slugging percentage (Cheek), ERA (Nunley), pitching starts (Nunley), pitching wins (Nunley).
- Three members (Abbey Cheek, Katie Reed and Kelsey Nunley) are NFCA All-Americans
- Seven of the 10 members of the All-Decade Team were members of the SEC All-Freshman Team, highlighting Rachel Lawson’s ability to spot talent in recruiting
- Abbey Cheek and Kelsey Nunley, both winners of the two major SEC on-field awards, are on the team. Nunley won the 2016 SEC Pitcher of the Year award with Abbey Cheek winning 2019 SEC Player of the Year. Both were firsts in program history.
About The Voting
- Over 50,000 votes were cast through the 10-day period on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Instagram story and UKathletics.com, with the most votes total for one player going to Paducah, Kentucky native Bailey Vick during the outfield vote.
- The most voted-on platform was Instagram, where Kentucky Softball has over 52,000 total followers.
- The closest position vote was first base, where Erin Rethlake won 47% of the vote, and Lauren Cumbess, who was in second place, won 41% of the vote.
- The most voted-on position by the fans overall was shortstop.
Kelsey Nunley, P
Soddy Daisy, Tennessee; 2013-2016
- Member of the 2014 team that advanced to the Women’s College World Series
- Pitched every game of the NCAA Tournament in UK’s 2014 postseason run to Oklahoma City
- Leads UK’s all-time records book in career appearances, ERA and wins
Griffin Joiner, C
Christian County, Kentucky; 2012-2015
- 2014 NFCA Third Team All-Region
- SEC All-Defensive Team in 2014
- Third at Kentucky in career home runs, and leads UK all-time with 131 walks
Erin Rethlake, 1B
Huntington, Indiana; 2015-2018
- Do-it-all player who saw time at first base, pitcher and outfield in her time as a Wildcat
- Hit .306 her senior season with an on-base percentage of .366, both career high numbers
- Her 17 stolen bases in 2018 tied her with Bailey Vick, also on the All-Decade Team, for most on the team that season
Alex Martens, 2B
McHenry, Illinois; 2017-2020
- Led the NCAA with 47 runs batted in her senior season and had a 20-game hitting streak
- Was the 2017 NCAA Lexington Regional MVP, and SEC All-Freshman Team
- Hit .332 in her career with 181 RBI, putting her second all-time at Kentucky
Abbey Cheek, 3B
Inman, South Carolina; 2016-2019
- Kentucky’s career leader in RBI (202), home runs (61) and total bases (454)
- 2019 NFCA/Schutt Sports National Player of the Year, and 2019 SEC Player of the Year
- 2016 SEC All-Freshman Team, and 2019 First Team All-SEC as well as All-Defensive Team (3B)
Katie Reed, SS
St. Louis, Missouri; 2016-2019
- SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2018 and 2019
- NFCA All-American in her sophomore season of 2017
- Miss Wildcat at the CATSPY Awards in 2019 along with teammate Abbey Cheek
Meagan Aull, OF
Owensboro, Kentucky; 2008-11
- Named the SEC Player of the Week after guiding Kentucky to an upset sweep of No. 5 Florida in 2011
- Member of the 2011 SEC Community Service Team
- 2011 CoSIDA Academic All-American, the first in program history
Sylver Samuel, OF
Simpsonville, South Carolina; 2013-2016
- Holds the Kentucky record with 84 career stolen bases
- Ranks in the top 10 in school history with 119 runs scored and ranks inside the top 15 in batting average with a career .309 average
- Part of Kentucky’s Women’s College World Series team in 2014, when UK won a school-record 50 games
Bailey Vick, OF
Paducah, Kentucky; 2017-2020
- 2020 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, marking the third-straight season UK won the award (Katie Reed, 2018-2019)
- D1 Softball and Justin’s World of Softball National Player of the Week on Feb. 25, 2020 in her senior season
- Finished second in the NCAA in batting average during the 2020 season before the COVID-19 pandemic halted the year
Brittany Cervantes, DP/UTL
Chatsworth, California; 2009-2012
- Member of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics roster, and will be the first UK Softball player to play in the Olympics next summer
- Held the school home run record from 2012-2019 with 48 career home runs
- Currently fourth in doubles (42), fourth in walks (118), fifth in runs scored (139) and third in slugging (.557) all-time at Kentucky