« Softball 2015

Griffin Joiner

School

University of Kentucky

Position
Catcher
Major
Exercise Science

Classroom

Griffin Joiner is an amazing student-athlete who holds a 3.865 cumulative GPA entering the final semester of her college career. She has been a three-year member of the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll and as been on the Athletics Director’s Dean List multiple years. She can be seen leading study sessions during long road trips with the entire team and was named a CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree last season. She is a two-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America Scholar Athlete, and her strong leadership academically helped Kentucky have a 3.56 GPA as a team last spring, which was the best mark in the SEC and second-best nationally among BCS schools. UK Head Coach Rachel Lawson says, “Griffin is one of the smartest players I have ever coached, and that knowledge off the field shows on the field. She runs our team from behind the plate and is as good of a leader as we have ever had. She takes pride in her academics and holds her teammates accountable for that as well.”

Character

Joiner is a member of the school’s Frank. G. Ham Society of Character, which honors Wildcats who have shown an extraordinary commitment to academic excellence, athletic participation, personal development, career preparation and serving as a role model. She was voted captain of the team each of the last two seasons and is an ideal teammate who can always be seen going the extra mile for another. On road trips or at practice, she always helps out shagging balls or carrying heavy pieces of equipment. Born and raised in Kentucky, she takes a lot of pride in wearing the blue and white. Her parents are at every home and road game, and she credits them for her success. UK Head Coach Rachel Lawson says, “I remember recruiting Griffin several years ago, and it was the first time I had seen her, and she was missing every ball the pitcher was throwing. She couldn’t catch anything, but had great positioning and was hanging tough. After the game, I was talking to her about the game and asked why she struggled catching the ball today. She reached over and showed me her glove, and it had a hole in it. That shows you her toughness and character. She had a job to do and was going to do it no matter what. She’s just an exceptional human being.”

Community

Joiner has been very active in the Lexington community since arriving on campus, recording countless community service hours. Most recently, she helped mentor students at Dixie Elementary School, spending time during the fall semester reading and helping students with work. The last two years, she has spent several hours before UK football games walking around tailgates collecting money for the United Way and helped organize teammates to help as well. She regularly volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House on campus and rings the bell for the Salvation Army. Joiner has been active in UK Athletics Backpack Program, which supplies food for children from less fortunate homes. Each of the last two Christmas seasons, Griffin has helped collect blankets for the UK Children’s Hospital and delivered those blankets. She has helped at the Miracle League and packed meals at Southland Christian Church for “Hope for Haiti” service project. She also is a Big Blue U volunteer introducing incoming freshman to campus life at UK. Says UK Head Coach Rachel Lawson: “No one cares more about this community and this university than Griffin Joiner. This is a special place to her, and she spends as much time as possible giving back.”

Competition

Joiner, who has started 184 consecutive games at catcher, ranks high in several all-time records at UK, including 10th in batting average, ninth in doubles, fourth in walks, seventh in home runs, eighth in slugging percentage, second in putouts and second in fielding percentage. Her name is also inked all over UK’s single-season records list. The native of Hopkinsville, Ky., has a .304 career batting average with 33 doubles, one triple, 100 RBI, a .501 slugging percentage and a .426 on-base percentage. Last year, Joiner hit .309 with 11 doubles, 10 homers and 39 RBI. The catcher had a hot stretch to start the season and was named National Player of the Week, becoming only the fourth player in school history to claim the honor. She is only the third player in school history with four or more All-SEC honors. She was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team in 2012, a Second-Team All-SEC and All-SEC Defensive Team honoree in 2013 and an All-SEC Defensive Team honoree in 2014. Said UK Head Coach Rachel Lawson: “We have had very few players at UK during my time as good as Griffin Joiner. Her numbers last year would have been even better had she not been walked 47 times. She is the backbone of our team, no doubt.”