March 12, 2010
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The 2010 Tennessee Lady Vol softball recruiting class has been named the No. 1 class in the nation according to a Friday release by ESPN RISE. Made up of six student-athletes, including the No. 2 national recruit Madison Shipman, the Lady Vols led a contingent that included four Pacific 10 schools, three Southeastern Conference programs, two schools from the Big 12 and a member of the Big 10.
"Karen (co-head coach Weekly) and I are extremely pleased with this recruiting class," Lady Vol co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. "We knew all along that it was a special group of student-athletes. We strive for a combination of speed and power as well as strength in the circle. I believe we have achieved these goals with this class. What is especially exciting is that all but four of our current roster is sophomores or freshmen, and we have a lot of very young athletes competing at a very high level right now."
ESPN/RISE Recruiting Class Rankings
(credit for article below to Garland Cooper, ESPN RISE Softball Editor)
This is a smart recruiting class for Tennessee. Not only have they brought in six great softball players, but they all are overall athletes, most of them playing more than one sport. With that kind of athleticism, these players can come to the Lady Vol roster and provide flexibility and depth, which is an asset to any college coach.
Melissa Davin has rewritten the record books for Clovis East High School (Clovis, Calif.). In her junior year she batted .459 with a .776 slugging percentage. She is a two-time All-State and All-County player and a three-time All-League athlete. Davin has not only power, but also speed, and will be an asset to the Lady Vol lineup.
Tory Lewis plays three sports at Girls Preparatory School (Chattanooga, Tenn.). A true speedster, Lewis stole 22 bases in 23 attempts for her travel team, the Tennessee Fury. She also batted .466 with an on-base percentage of .502. With an impressive six state championship rings in three sports, Lewis is a pure athlete and will be a solid competitor for Tennessee.
Chelsea O'Connor hit .585 with 32 RBIs last year for Windsor High School (Windsor, Colo.). She is a two-time All-State and a four-time All League selection. Another deadly combination of speed, power, and athleticism, O'Connor will be able to make an immediate impact at Tennessee.
Ellen Renfroe represents the pitching in this 2010 class. What is important about Renfroe is that she is not only a pitcher, but also a hitter and an athlete who can excel in several positions. From Trinity Christian Academy in Jackson, Tenn., Renfroe led her team to their second consecutive state title last year. In her career, she has recorded a 0.36 ERA, 790 Ks and a 75-7 record.
Madison Shipman, out of Valencia High School (Valencia, Calif.), is one of the most highly recruited athletes in her class. A star shortstop and force at the plate, Shipman batted .411 last year for her high school squad. She also has played with and against some of the best competition in the nation. Her experience, her ability to hit for average and power, and her impressive defensive skills, will make her a top tier college athlete
Kourtny Thomas rounds out the recruiting class for the Lady Vols. The Houston County High School (Warner Robins, Ga.) infielder and catcher is a powerful hitter. Standing six feet tall, Thomas has an intimidating presence on the field and backs it up with consistency at the plate. She batted .307 and led her team to a district championship in 2009. A solid athlete, Thomas is also a basketball star for her high school.
The combination of speed and power is prominent in this class. They also have experience playing at a high level and competing against the best athletes in the country, which will obviously come in handy when the join Tennessee in the SEC.
Top Ten ESPN/RISE Recruiting Classes in 2010
5. Texas A&M
Top Five ESPN/RISE Recruits in 2010
1. Dallas Escobedo, P, Arizona State
2. Madison Shipman, SS, Tennessee
3. Jaclyn Traina, P, Alabama
4. Kourtney Salvarola, SS, USF
5. Nicole Morgan, Texas A&M