LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Kentucky softball team has been placed at 20th in the preseason rankings for the D1Softball Top 25. Meantime, two other Wildcats have been voted a couple of the top players in the game.
It's the 13th straight season UK has been ranked in the Top 25 to start the season under coach Rachel Lawson. Kentucky is set to play No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 2 Alabama, No. 8 Arkansas, No. 10 Missouri, No. 11 Virginia Tech, No. 12 Michigan, No. 15 Arizona, No. 17 LSU and No. 24 Liberty this season, with 18 games coming against the preseason top-25 powered by D1Softball.
Two Wildcats have also been named to the Top 100 players in college softball according to Extra Innings Softball. Catcher Kayla Kowalik is all the way up at number three. That's the highest at her position and the second best player from the Southeastern Conference. Last season, Kowalik hit .495 on the year to lead the NCAA. She also led the nation in hits with 100 on the season, becoming the first UK player to ever log 100 hits in a single season.
Erin Coffel was ranked 69th by the same publication. During her freshman season, she hit .337 and added 16 home runs and 56 runs batted in, both leading all Kentucky players. Coffel also had 11 multi-run games and 14 multi-hit games.
Kentucky opens its season Feb. 10 in Leesburg, Florida at the Northern Lights Southern Nights Invitational presented by FLOsoftball. The first home game is March 3 against No. 12 Michigan.