UK senior shortstop Katie Reed has received a number of accolades in her storied career, but there is something she hasn’t achieved quite yet.
“As a team, we’re trying to push to go to the Women’s College World Series. Our expectation is to be in Oklahoma City this June,” Reed said during softball media day.
In 2014, the Cats made the Women’s College World Series for the first time in team history. However, since then, the Cats have gotten so close, yet been so far. Three of last four seasons for UK have ended in the NCAA Super Regionals.
“My freshman class got to play with some of the players from that  team. We would always hear them say, ‘This is for the postseason. This is all for Oklahoma City.’ So just that constant reminder is all we are looking for this year,” Reed said.
Last year was a breakout year for Reed-- she was named a First-Team CoSIDA Academic All-American, SEC All-Defensive Team member and SEC Scholar-Athlete of the year after maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
One of the Cats’ statistical leaders, Reed had a .352 average batting average last season and led the team in hits with 63. She also had 32 runs batted in and hit six home runs. She was stout with her glove as well, as she had a .977 fielding percentage.
This year presents a chance for Reed to reach more than a WCWS. She has been named to the 2019 USA Softball National Player of the Year Watch List for the first time, giving her the chance to win National Player of the Year honors.
“I think every year I’ve been here, we’ve had awesome leadership, from the staff down, but also from the seniors during freshman year,” Reed said. “Now, our senior class is a pretty big one and we’re in that position.”
To try and get to the big dance, the Cats will face 38 games against 23 different teams that made last year’s NCAA Tournament.
“We need a couple of wins [at the beginning of the season] and stay consistent and set ourselves up for a good seed in the tournament,” Reed said.
With Reed and her fellow seniors playing in their last season in front of the Wildcats’ faithful, she sees more than a chance to reach the WCWS.
“We seniors are just trying to make the most of it and not think about it [the WCWS] too much. We want to enjoy the moment and our last season together,” Reed said.