March 24, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Tennessee senior shortstop Madison Shipman was named SEC Player of the Week on Monday, as announced by the conference office.
This week's honor marks the second time Shipman has been named SEC Player of the Week. She was last SEC Player of the Week on April 9, 2012. Shipman is the third Lady Vol to receive SEC weekly honors this week as Annie Aldrete was last week's SEC Freshman of the Week (March 17) and Ellen Renfroe was twice named SEC Pitcher of the Week (Feb. 17 and Feb. 24). She is the first UT player to earn SEC Player of the Week honors since Lauren Gibson on April 22, 2013.
Shipman is a Senior CLASS Award candidate and Top 50 Watch List selection for USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. She enjoyed both a strong week at the plate, hitting .429 with seven RBIs, and an impressive week in the field, setting a new Tennessee single-game assist record. Shipman recorded a five-RBI game and a pair of multi-hit games against South Carolina to help the Lady Vols sweep the Gamecocks and improve to 5-1 in SEC play. She had a .714 slugging percentage and a .467 on-base percentage on the week for a 1.181 OPS.
Shipman drove in two runs in Tennessee's 9-8 win over MTSU on March 18 in the inaugural Mid-State Classic in Columbia, Tenn. She knocked a two-RBI double to right field with one out in the fourth.
On March 21, Shipman went 2-for-3 with a grand slam and five RBIs to lead Tennessee to an 11-2, five-inning win. In the third inning, she hit a line-drive grand slam over the wall in left field off a 3-2 pitch from Lakyn Shull. The grand slam was the fourth of Shipman's career - the most of any Lady Vol according to records dating back to 2001.
On March 22, Shipman was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate in UT's 5-4 win over South Carolina to clinch the series. She also stole two bases in the game, marking the third time in her career that she had tallied three hits and two stolen bases in one game. Last season, she went 3-for-5 with two stolen bases against Southern Utah on Feb. 7, 2013, and later went 3-for-4 with two stolen bases against NCAA in the NCAA Regionals on May 19, 2013.
Shipman scored two runs on Sunday in Tennessee's 6-5 win over South Carolina. She set a new Tennessee record with nine defensive assists in the game, breaking the previous school record of eight, which was most recently matched by Ashley Andrews on March 3, 2009. Carrie Swinford set the old record of eight on April 14, 1998 and Kelli Fitzgerald tied it on May 8, 1998. Shipman was involved in the first nine South Carolina outs of the game, fielding three 6-3 groundouts to close the first inning, fielding one 6-3 groundout and turning a 6-3-5 double play in the second inning and fielding three 6-3 groundouts in the third inning.
The double play Shipman started in the second inning on Sunday was her fourth on the season and the 23rd of her career. She is tied with Kelli Glass (23 from 1998-99) for fourth on UT's all-time double play list and is just two back of Lauren Gibson (25 from 2010-13) in third place. Tonya Callahan (2005-08) and Kelli Fitzgerald (1996-99) hold the school record of 31.
No. 3 Tennessee hosts No. 1 Florida this week in a three-game series between two of the best teams in the nation. Friday's 6 p.m. game will feature a free live video broadcast on UTSports.com. Saturday's and Sunday's games are both at 1 p.m. and will be televised on CSS. WNML 990 AM will carry a live radio broadcast of each game with Brian Rice on the call.