With the baseball and softball seasons about to start, both Coach Rachel Lawson and Coach Nick Mingione took the podium today to talk about the upcoming seasons.

Coach Rachel Lawson: Coach Lawson was very upbeat about her team and the season itself. Last year, the softball team finished 39-19 overall, 12-12 in the SEC and 17th in the country. Coach Lawson says, “Our outfield is the best I have ever seen, the left side of our infield is one of the best in the country.” Coach also believes Erin Rethlake will take a major step forward this season. She said they are not working towards competing for regionals or super regionals, but for championships. “The secret of Kentucky softball is the fact that all the players we have are very self-motivated, and they put a lot of work in on their own.” Coach Lawson finished with one question, “What’s next? We’ve been to super regionals a bunch of times. What’s next?”

Three players from the softball team also spoke to media today. Erin Rethlake spoke today on her increased role. “I’m excited to know that my role is going to be bigger this year, and I am ready for it.” Katie Reed and Bailey Vick also said that the team is super close this year from waking up at 5 am and being together all day.

Coach Nick Mingione: Coach Mingione opened the conversation by addressing the “elephant” in the room, “This year’s team is ranked 8th in the country.” Coach was very happy about what his team did last year, “… every great team has to learn how to take a punch. We started 0-4, and then did something that had never been done before in school history. Last year we set a school record for hits.” The baseball coach also was very proud of his team’s 3.2 GPA and the fact the team has served 210 hours of community service so far. Coach Mingione was also very excited for his team this year, “We are bigger, stronger, and faster this year.” He added, “We have a huge emphasis on team defense this year. Look at the two teams that played for the title last year, both were tops in defense.” He also was very proud of the BBN because all the season tickets are sold out. Coach Mingione posed one challenge for his team, “The BBN bought the tickets, so now we have to show out.”

Five members of the UK Baseball team also spoke to the media today: Kole Cottam, Troy Squires, Tristan Pompey, Justin Lewis, and Sean Hjelle.

Kole Cottam

Troy Squires

Tristan Pompey

Justin Lewis

Sean Hjelle

Image courtesy of Michael Tawasha Photography