April 23, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Tennessee senior Lauren Gibson has been named the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I National Player of the Week for the week of April 15-21, as announced by the NFCA on Tuesday.
This is the first national weekly honor for Gibson in her storied Tennessee career. She is the third UT player to receive national weekly honors in 2013. Ivy Renfroe was named both Louisville Slugger/NFCA National Player of the Week and USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week for the week of March 4-10. Raven Chavanne was tabbed the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week of the week of March 18-24.
"I feel very honored to be named Louisville Slugger/NFCA National Player of the Week, but obviously without my teammates and coaches this would not have happened," Gibson said. "I can't thank them enough."
Gibson was also named SEC Player of the Week on Monday.
Gibson enjoyed arguably the finest week of any Lady Vol hitter in school history. No. 2 Tennessee (42-6, 15-3 SEC) went 4-0 on the week with a midweek home win over Appalachian State and a three-game sweep at Ole Miss. Gibson was an offensive juggernaut, hitting .818 (9-for-11) with five home runs, three doubles, 18 RBIs, eight runs and three walks. She had an out-of-this-world OPS of 3.255 (2.455 slugging percentage and .800 on-base percentage).
"Lauren's performance last week was truly remarkable," Tennessee co-head coach Karen Weekly said. "It's a testament to her commitment to having a great mental approach each at-bat and sticking to her game plan. We're really proud of her."
On Saturday, April 20, Gibson had the most impressive single-game showing by a UT hitter in program history, going 4-for-5 with three homers, a two-run double and nine RBIs. She set a single-game school record and tied the SEC single-game record set by Auburn's Holly Currie on April 21, 2001, with three home runs in UT's 15-5, six-inning win over Ole Miss. Gibson's nine RBIs against Ole Miss on Saturday also tied a Tennessee single-game record set by Kat Dotson on March 15, 2011. Thanks in large part to Gibson's offensive brilliance on Saturday, Tennessee set a school record for most runs scored in an SEC road game with 15 runs against the Rebels. UT's 15 runs were its most in an SEC game since dropping 16 runs on Mississippi State in a 16-2, five-inning win in Knoxville on March 23, 2003.
All five of Gibson's home runs on the week were of the multi-run variety. She had a two-run shot against Appalachian State on April 16, a two-run shot at Ole Miss on April 19 and two two-run shots and one three-run blast at Ole Miss on April 20.
With five home runs this week, Gibson pushed her career home run total to 42, moving her into sole possession of second place on Tennessee's all-time list behind only Tonya Callahan (51). Gibson has 15 home runs in 2013, which is her new personal best for a single season.