Triple threat

Kennedy Sullivan, who led Scott County to three KHSAA softball championships in five seasons, has established herself as one of the nation’s top pitchers and power hitters at Western Kentucky University. She recently added an academic all-district honor, as well.

Kennedy Sullivan, whose powerful arm and bat staked Scott County High School to three KHSAA state softball championships in five years, has continued to shine on the diamond and in the classroom at Western Kentucky University.

Sullivan, a sophomore during the abbreviated 2020 season, received selection to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team, it was announced last week.

She is the second WKU softball player to earn that status in the past three seasons and the 13th all-time.

"A well-deserved honor for Kennedy," WKU coach Amy Tudor said. "We all are proud of her performances and efforts both in the classroom and on the field and the continued positive impact she has on our program."

CoSIDA academic recipients must be start or play a substantial role on their team while carrying a grade point average of 3.3 or better.

Sullivan, a nursing major, has already completed more than half her undergraduate credits while wielding a 3.47 GPA.

She started all 25 games for WKU this spring. 

At the plate, Sullivan's 35 hits and 28 RBI each placed her among the top 25 in the nation for those categories.

She was even more overpowering in the circle. Sullivan struck out 13.1 batters per seven innings, the second-best rate in the nation.

 Sullivan, who played in the outfield or designated player role when not pitching, batted .417 with an on-base percentage of .467 and slugging percentage of .679. She belted five home runs and seven doubles, scoring 21 runs.

During her first two seasons in Conference USA, Sullivan snagged a Co-Pitcher of the Week award in 2019 and one Player of the Week honor this spring.

As a freshman, Sullivan was an NFCA second team all-region choice while also picking up a spot on the Conference USA all-freshman team.

Sullivan is a two-time Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll selection for academics and has posted dean’s list in back-to-back semesters.

The all-district selection makes Sullivan a candidate for CoSIDA Academic All-America. That roster will be revealed in June. Kristalyn Smith (2002) and Shannon Smith (2010) are the only prior WKU players to achieve that level.

Sullivan made one pitching appearance as an eighth-grader during the 2014 KHSAA state tournament and went the distance in both the 2016 and 2018 championship games in Owensboro.

Kal Oakes can be reached via email at sports@news-graphic.com.

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