OREHEAD, Ky. — The 2019 National Player of the Year and former University of Kentucky softball standout Abbey Cheek will begin her coaching career at Morehead State. Cheek has joined head coach Sam Jones’ Eagle staff.
One of the most prolific athletes in Kentucky history, Cheek culminated her four-year collegiate foray be being named the Schutt/National Fastpitch Coaches Association National Player of the Year this past season while also earning Southeastern Conference Player of the Year accolades.
“It is with great pleasure that we welcome Coach Abbey Cheek to our Eagle family. Coach C is one of the best up-and-coming coaches in our sport, and I am positive that she will be an excellent addition to our coaching staff and program,” said Jones, also a Kentucky alum who is in her second year at MSU. “I believe her credentials speak for themselves as she was a highly successful collegiate athlete at Kentucky and is currently a standout member of the Chicago Bandits professional team. Most importantly, Coach C is committed to developing our student athletes. I believe Coach C will bring more knowledge to our program, and we are excited for her arrival to Morehead State.”
Also in the final 10 for the USA Softball National Player of the Year, Cheek was drafted 14th overall by the Bandits in the National Pro Fastpitch Draft this year.
“I am super excited about the opportunity to give back to the game that has brought me so much joy and made me the person I am today,” said Cheek. “Thankfully I have a lot of blue in my closet already. Playing for Kentucky was an opportunity of a lifetime and still something that I cherish. Coach (Rachel) Lawson and her staff provided me with a lot of guidance and support during my time, and I’m excited to take those skills and traits that I’ve learned from her and help apply them to the athletes at Morehead State.”
Cheek, who played third base, nailed 20 home runs during her senior season and smashed the UK career record by 13, nailing 61 career long balls. She also recorded 33 career doubles, scored 173 times and drove in 202 career runs. She was a unanimous First-Team All-American as well as All-Region and All-SEC in 2019 and earned a spot on the SEC’s All-Defensive Team too.
She set the Wildcats’ single-season program record for total bases (138), on-base percentage (.602), slugging percentage (.902) and walks (64), and her .428 batting average in 2019 ranks second on that list. Cheek started all 234 games in her collegiate career.
A native of Inman, S.C. and a graduate of Chapman High School, Cheek put up legendary and unrivaled numbers as a junior softball athlete. She clobbered more than 200 home runs as a member of the SC Elite in nine seasons.
She burst onto the collegiate scene in 2016, hitting 10 home runs as a Wildcat freshman and being named to the All-SEC Freshmen Team. She smacked 13 round-trippers as a sophomore in 2017 and drilled 18 more in 2018.
Cheek was also a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll multiple times.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in community and leadership development in 2019.