April 9, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Tennessee seniors Ellen Renfroe and Madison Shipman have been named Top 25 Finalists for the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, as announced by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball on Wednesday.
The 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be announced at the opening of the 2014 NCAA Women's College World Series (WCWS) in Oklahoma City. This award, which is considered the most prestigious honor in Division I women's collegiate softball, is designed to recognize the outstanding athletic achievement by female players across the country.
Renfroe is a Top 25 Finalist for the third-consecutive year (2012, 2013, 2014). Shipman is a Top 25 Finalist for the first time in her career after being named to the Top 50 "Watch List" in each of the last two seasons (2013, 2014).
Tennessee has had Top 25 Finalist for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award in each of the last 11 years, going back to 2004. Monica Abbott won the prestigious award in 2007. In 2013, Raven Chavanne was a Top 3 Finalist.
This year's Top 25 is comprised of 12 seniors, 10 juniors and three sophomores. The student-athletes selected represent 16 NCAA Division I universities and five athletic conferences. Alabama, Arizona State, Florida State, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, South Alabama, Tennessee and Tulsa each have two players represented and Arizona, Baylor, Oklahoma, South Florida, Texas, UCLA and Western Illinois each have one member among the Top 25 Finalists.
Just prior to the start of post-season play, on May 7 the list will be narrowed to the Top 10 Finalists. The Top 3 Finalists will be announced May 21, while the winner of the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be revealed on May 27 prior to the start of the NCAA WCWS in Oklahoma City.
The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award is voted on by coaching representatives from 11 Division I Conferences in the 15 ASA Regions, members of the media who consistently cover Division I Softball across the country as well as past winners of the award.
Renfroe is enjoying an incredible senior year. The two-time NFCA All-American (2011, 2012) and team ace has been a force in the circle this season, posting a 22-2 record and a 1.54 ERA over 28 appearances and a 22 starts. She has amassed 166 strikeouts over 149.2 innings and limited opposing hitters to a .176 batting average. Renfroe was named SEC Pitcher of the Week three times (Feb. 17, Feb. 24, March 31) and garnered USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week honors on April 1. She ranks in the top five of several UT pitching categories and stands second in career ERA (1.52), shutouts (38), innings pitched (782.1) and strikeouts (926).
Shipman is also playing an outstanding senior campaign. The two-time NFCA All-American (2012, 2013) leads the team with a .422 batting average, 49 hits, 11 home runs, 38 runs, a .793 slugging percentage, a .531 on-base percentage and a 1.324 OPS.She held a 20-game hitting streak from Feb. 9 to March 9, matching Tennessee's single-season hit streak record. On March 23, she set a UT single-game record with nine defensive assists in a 6-5 win over South Carolina. Shipman was named the SEC Player of the Week on March 24. On April 2, she was named one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award (vote at 1tn.co/VoteShipman). Shipman ranks in the top 10 of many Tennessee offensive career categories, including runs (159, 10th), doubles (49, tied for fourth), home runs (37, fourth), grand slams (four, first), multi-run homers (20, third), RBIs (186, sixth), stolen bases (53, ninth), total bases (396, seventh) and slugging percentage (.587, fifth).