Six Lady Vols receive southeastern conference softball honors

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – With the annual Southeastern Conference Tournament slated to begin on Thursday, May 10, at Rhoades Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., the league office released its annual All-SEC teams for softball with an impressive six Lady Vols included among the players honored.

Tennessee junior third baseman Raven Chavanne, sophomore shortstop Madison Shipman, sophomore pitcher Ellen Renfroe and junior outfielder Kat Dotson each reaped first team All-SEC honors to grant UT the most first team selections in the league. Junior second baseman Lauren Gibson and sophomore outfielder Melissa Davin were both chosen second team All-SEC, while Shipman and Gibson also earned mentions on the SEC All-Defensive Team at shortstop and second base, respectively.

SEC Eastern Division champion, second-seeded and No. 5-ranked Tennessee (45-9, 22-6 SEC) opens the 2012 SEC Tournament on Thursday, May 10, at 2:30 p.m. ET in a match-up against seventh-seeded Auburn (33-20, 12-16 SEC). The contest will be shown live on ESPNU with Cara Capuano, Michele Smith and Holly Rowe combining to serve as the broadcast contingent.

“Karen (Co-Head Coach Weekly) and I are extremely proud of each of our players who were selected on Wednesday to these prestigious All-SEC softball teams,” Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly said. “These student-athletes have always represented the University of Tennessee in an exceptional manner in the classroom, in the community and on the field of play. They are all very deserving of these honors.”

A 2011 Top 10 and a two-time (2011, 2012) top 25 national finalist for the prestigious USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year trophy, Chavanne leads the Southeastern Conference (counting all games) in batting average (.439), rates in a tie for second in hits (65), is third in stolen bases (28), fifth in on-base percentage (.503) and 11th in runs scored (39) despite missing nine contests this year because of injury. The Thousand Oaks, Calif., native is currently on a streak of reaching base successfully over a career-best 33 consecutive games, dating back to March 11 against #3/4 Florida, and also leads the Lady Vols in multi-hit efforts this season with 23. In league match-ups only she finished first in both batting average (.391) and hits (36), was second in thefts (13), tied for fifth in runs scored (22) and seventh in on-base percentage (.472).

The SEC’s current leader in overall RBIs (58) and the RBI champion counting league contests only (33), Shipman has served as a defensive stalwart at shortstop for all 54 of UT’s games in 2012, making just four errors in 152 total chances for the nation’s top-rated defense. The Valencia, Calif., native has registered a team-best 17 multi-RBI games to go along with 15 multi-hit efforts, while posting a .316 batting average with 10 doubles, nine HR’s and 17 stolen bases. Counting league contests only, Shipman finished first in the SEC in RBIs, was tied for third in steals (11), for seventh in HR’s (six), and for ninth in runs scored (19), ranked ninth in slugging percentage (.591) and was dead-locked for 12th in hits (27).

One of the top pitchers in the country and a top 25 national finalist for the 2012 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award, Renfroe has shown zero signs of the dreaded “sophomore slump.” The Jackson, Tenn., product has recorded a stellar 26-3 overall record with a 1.22 ERA, a NCAA Division I-leading 15 solo shutouts and 265 strikeouts over 207 innings of work while allowing opponents to hit at just a .180 clip. The 6-0 right hander gave #1 Alabama its first loss of the season back on March 21 (5-2), blanked #1 and defending national champion Arizona State (3-0) in Tempe, Ariz., on Feb. 11, and three-hit #3 Florida with a season-high 15 strikeouts during a 1-0 shutout on March 11. With those performances Renfroe now possesses six career victories over teams rated #1, #2 or #3 in the national rankings. In league action she finished first in ERA (1.14) and opposing batting average (.173), tied for second in wins (13) and was fourth in strikeouts (129).

Included on the preseason “Watch List” for the 2012 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award and a current member of the USA Softball Senior Women’s National Team, Gibson has been a true leader on the infield as UT’s everyday starting second baseman, making only one miscue for the top-rated defense in the country. The Pasadena, Md., product has posted a .325 batting average to go along with 49 runs scored, six doubles, a team-best 13 HR’s, 15 steals and 42 RBIs, while recording 10 multi-hit and nine multi-RBI games for the Lady Vol offense. Counting all contests she currently rates in a tie for third in the SEC in runs, is sixth in HR’s, seventh in RBIs, eighth in on-base percentage (.483), 10th in slugging percentage (.623) and 13th in steals. Gibson completed the 28-game league season with a .333 mark (tied for 10th in the SEC), 25 tallies (second in the SEC), four HR’s and 14 RBIs while rating eighth in on-base percentage (.466).

Despite dealing with the effects of a pre-existing knee injury throughout her junior campaign, Dotson has continued her impressive production for the Big Orange from the top portion of the line-up. The Savannah, Ga., native has registered a .349 overall batting average (11th in the league) with 51 hits, four doubles, 12 steals, 14 RBIs and 14 multi-hit games, while also patrolling right field for the UT defense. She was especially effective once entering SEC action, finishing in a tied for third in total hits (counting league games only) with 32, eighth in average (.348) and in a dead-lock for ninth in thefts (seven). Dotson enters the SEC Tournament on a five-game hitting streak and has hit at a robust .402 clip over UT’s last 27 contests dating back to March 21.

Last but certainly not least, Davin has recorded a breakout offensive campaign as a sophomore in the Orange & White. The Fresno, Calif., product owns a .321 overall batting average to go along with 16 runs scored, a career-high seven HR’s and 26 RBIs, while recording six multi-RBI and five multi-hit efforts at the dish. Once reaching SEC play was when she really made her mark at the plate, hitting an impressive .386 against league opposition with four HR’s and 15 RBIs. Davin also blasted two HR’s in a single game twice (making it three times performing the feat in 2012 – Western Michigan back on Feb. 12) over a six-contest stretch as part of a 3-for-3, four-RBI performance at South Carolina (April 20) and during a 2-for-2, five-RBI effort versus Ole Miss (April 28).

2012 SEC Softball Awards

Player of the Year
Michelle Moultrie, Florida

Pitcher of the Year
Jackie Traina, Alabama

Coach of the Year
Pat Murphy, Alabama

Freshman of the Year
Devon Wallace, Arkansas

Co-Scholar-Athletes of the Year
Jennifer Fenton, Alabama
Brittany Mack, LSU

First Team All-SEC
P - Jackie Traina, Alabama
P - ELLEN RENFROE, TENNESSEE
IF - RAVEN CHAVANNE, TENNESSEE
IF - Brittany Cervantes, Kentucky
IF - Kaila Hunt, Alabama
IF - MADISON SHIPMAN, TENNESSEE
OF - Michelle Moultrie, Florida
OF - Jennifer Fenton, Alabama
OF - Lauren Lackey, South Carolina
OF - KAT DOTSON, TENNESSEE
C - Kristyn Sandberg, Georgia
DP/U - Devon Wallace, Arkansas

Second Team All-SEC
P - Rachele Fico, LSU
P - Hannah Rogers, Florida
P - Erin Arevalo, Georgia
IF - LAUREN GIBSON, TENNESSEE
IF - Lauren Guzman, Auburn
IF - Cassie Reilly-Boccia, Alabama
IF - Kara Dill, Kentucky
OF - Jaz Lunceford, Alabama
OF - Kayla Braud, Alabama
OF - RT Cantillo, Ole Miss
OF - MELISSA DAVIN, TENNESSEE
C - Kendall Dawson, Alabama
C - Kelsey Horton, Florida
DP/U - Amanda Locke, Alabama

Freshman All-SEC
P - Kimmy Beasley, Arkansas
P - Alyssa Bache, Florida
IF - Lauren Haeger, Florida
IF - Paige Wilson, Georgia
IF - Sami Fagan, Florida
IF - Allison Brown, Ole Miss
OF - A.J. Andrews, LSU
OF - Jessica Damico, Florida
OF - Branndi Melero, Auburn
OF - Ashley Phillips, Mississippi State
C - Griffin Joiner, Kentucky
DP/U - Devon Wallace, Arkansas

SEC All-Defensive
P - Hannah Rogers, Florida
C - Kendall Dawson, Alabama
1B - Cassie Reilly-Boccia, Alabama
2B - LAUREN GIBSON, TENNESSEE
SS - MADISON SHIPMAN, TENNESSEE
3B - Brittany Cervantes, Kentucky
LF - Ashley Langoni, LSU
CF - Michelle Moultrie, Florida
RF - Jaz Lunceford, Alabama


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