Lady Vols Softball Prepares To Enter The NCAA's With Home Field Advantage


(WVLT) -- The UT Lady Vols Softball Team is on to the NCAA tournament.
In fact, the Lady Vols Host a regional this weekend with games beginning on Friday at Tyson park, where your WVLT, Volunteer TV Sports Overtime Team will be live Friday at 6 and 7:00p.

Playing in the Post Season is nothing new for this team, but the pressure's still there...

India Chiles say, "We just have to really focus on satying up for evry game. The pressure has been on forever, we've been used to that, we're used to teams coming in here fired up, we have to play our game.

Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly, "Having been there a couple times in a row, they know what it takes, I think they're pretty serious about it."

Friday's double header begins with North Carolina and Winthrop at 2:30.
The Lady Vols will face Furman at 5:00p.
The two winners will meet on Saturday in this Double Elimination Tourney.

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Individual achievements by members of the No. 2 Tennessee Lady Vol softball team (54-5) have been recognized with the announcement of the annual National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-South Region selections. Five Lady Vols received nods to the two squads, with four members of the Big Orange scoring first-team choices. From 2005 through this season, UT has tallied a staggering 14 All-South Region selections.

Senior pitcher Monica Abbott (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 region selections), senior center fielder Lindsay Schutzler (2005, 2006, 2007), senior left fielder India Chiles (2007) and junior first baseman Tonya Callahan (2006, 2007) were each chosen to the first-team, while junior catcher Shannon Doepking picked up her first career All-Region award by being named to the second-team. Over the previous two campaigns, all nine of Tennessee's region selections have gone on to receive either first- or second-team Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-American honors.

The 2007 season has seen the Orange & White register a sparkling 54-5 record, pick up the program's initial Southeastern Conference regular season title and secure its highest-ever national seeding of fifth in the NCAA Tournament Field of 64. The 54 victories are the most that any UT team has recorded through 59 match-ups, while the trip to the NCAA Tourney is the fifth in program history and the fourth consecutively.

Abbott has spent this year breaking high-profile records as the Salinas, Calif., native has established new marks in the NCAA Division I all-time record books for career wins (180), shutouts (105), appearances (241) and strikeouts (2,303). The 6-3 lefthander led the Southeastern Conference in every major category this year to pick up her third SEC Pitcher of the Year award by punching out 587 hitters with a 0.64 ERA and a 41-3 record in 283.0 innings of work. She currently leads the country in strikeouts per seven innings (14.5) and wins, while rating second in ERA. Abbott is the only pitcher in NCAA history to K more than 500 batters in each of her four collegiate seasons. She is one of 11 remaining finalists for the prestigious USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award.

One of only 12 players in NCAA Division I history to register 300 hits, 200 runs scored and 100 stolen bases in her playing career, Monterey, Calif., native Schutzler is currently hitting .412 for the Big Orange with 49 RBI. Last year's ESPN the Magazine University Division Academic All-American of the Year, Schutzler leads the UT record books in career hits (350), runs (232), stolen bases (115), total bases (467) and triples (20) while rating fourth overall in career batting average (.386) and on-base percentage (.448) and sixth in RBI (152). The 2007 first-team All-SEC selection is also one of 11 remaining finalists for the prestigious USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year trophy and one of 20 finalists for the inaugural Senior CLASS award.

The reigning 2007 SEC Player of the Year, Chiles is currently guiding the league in batting average at .473 and finished the league campaign with an SEC-only average at a remarkable .544. The Louisville, Ky., native currently leads the UT record books in batting average at .420, to stand .022 of a point ahead of former two-time All-American Sarah Fekete (.398). She also rates No. 1 in on-base percentage (.459 - first), while her 83 total stolen bases are good for third in Lady Vol history. She has recorded a team-high 25 multi-hit contests in 2007 with a pair of 4-for-4 efforts. Chiles recorded a .633 (8-of-12) mark for Tennessee at Kentucky and hit .562 during a four-game stretch with a school record four stolen bases in UT's 9-4 series-closing victory over UK to receive her first SEC Player of the Week honor back on April 16.

First-team All-SEC selection Callahan has continued her strong production for the Big Orange during the 2007 season. The all-time leader in UT history in home runs with 34, the Holden, Mo., native has recorded a .390 batting average this season with a team-high 13 doubles, 10 HR's and 51 RBI. She recently swept the NFCA and USA Softball National Player of the Week and SEC Player of the Week awards after hitting .833 (5-of-6) with six RBI in a high-profile doubleheader sweep of then-No. 1 Alabama in Knoxville. Callahan has recorded 17 multi-hit contests and 13 multi-RBI games in 2007.

Doepking reaped first-team All-SEC honors with a combination of a solid campaign that saw the Acton, Calif., native hit a career-best .289 with four HR's and 22 RBI to go along with numerous examples of clutch hitting. Since March 14, she has been responsible for five game-winning RBI in conference contests. Her efforts began at Ole Miss in the first game of a DH on March 14 by knocking in Tennessee's lone run in the seventh inning of a 1-0 victory. The Acton, Calif., native continued her heroics on March 17 against Mississippi State with a walk-off double to left center in UT's 2-1, eight-inning win. Then came the first match-up versus South Carolina on March 21 as Doepking blasted a game-winning walk-off two-run homer to deep left in the bottom of the seventh inning during the Big Orange's 2-0 triumph. Against Auburn, Doepking delivered a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth inning of a 2-1, extra-inning win (April 21) and blasted a grand slam in the sixth inning during the finale to break a 1-1 tie as Tennessee completed a sweep of AU on April 22.

2007 All-SOUTH REGION TEAMS FIRST TEAM:

Monica Abbott, Pitcher, Tennessee
Chrissy Owens, Pitcher, Alabama
Killian Roessner, Catcher, LSU
Tonya Callahan, First Base, Tennessee
Lauren Parker, Second Base, Alabama
Brooke Marnitz, Shortstop, Kentucky
Kelley Montalvo, Third Base, Alabama
Holly Tankersley, Utility-Pitcher, UL-Lafayette
Chelsea Bramlett, Utility-Non Pitcher, Mississippi State
Lindsay Schutzler, OF, Tennessee
India Chiles, OF, Tennessee
Brittany Rogers, OF, Alabama

SECOND TEAM:

Emily Turner, Pitcher, LSU
Dani Hofer, Pitcher, LSU
Angel Shamblin, Pitcher, Houston
Brooke Loudermilk, Pitcher, Tennessee-Chattanooga
Ragan Blake, Pitcher, Texas State
Nicole Henderson, Pitcher, Mississippi Valley State
Bonnie Bynum, Pitcher, Tennessee Tech
Shannon Doepking, Catcher, Tennessee
Charlotte Morgan, First Base, Alabama
Brooke Broadhead, Second Base, McNeese State
Beth Boden, Shortstop, Tennessee Tech
Jessica Valis, Shortstop, Houston
Jessica Rogers, Third Base, Texas-San Antonio
Candy Shumper, Third Base, Mississippi Valley State
Mary Jane Callahan, Utility-Pitcher, Ole Miss
Jordan Praytor, Utility-Non Pitcher, Alabama
Leslie Klein, OF, LSU
Jazz Jackson, OF, LSU
Hayle Guess, OF, Mississippi State
Katie Jones, OF, Texas-Arlington

Story Courtesy: UT Lady Vols Sports Information


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