Junior Melissa Brown
May 3, 2012
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Lady Vol softball program has continued its outstanding success in the Capital One Academic All-American program as junior third baseman Raven Chavanne (3.89 GPA/Political Science), sophomore pitcher Ellen Renfroe (3.75 GPA/Psychology) and junior first baseman Melissa Brown (3.81 GPA/Kinesiology) have been chosen to the All-District III First Team.
Over the last eight seasons, Tennessee has totaled 17 Academic All-District selections, with Chavanne picking up her second career Academic All-District First Team nod. For both Renfroe and Brown the inclusion on the 2012 squad marks the first of their collegiate careers.
To be eligible for Capital One Academic All-District or All-America honors, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.
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 currently leads the Southeastern Conference in overall batting average (.439), rates second in hits (65), third in stolen bases (28), seventh in on-base percentage (.503) and is tied for ninth in runs scored (39) despite missing nine contests in 2012 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.
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.
It's been a true breakout season offensively for Brown as the Valencia, Calif., native has taken over as the everyday starter at first base for the Big Orange, hitting .289 overall with a team-best 11 doubles (tied for fifth in the SEC) to go along with five HR's and 30 RBIs. She has recorded 11 multi-hit and five multi-RBI efforts during her junior campaign at Rocky Top, while posting a streak of reaching base safely over 14 straight games and a career-best nine-game hitting streak from March 21-31, during which she hit .367 overall with a pair of HR's and 10 RBIs. Perhaps her biggest contribution of the entire 2012 campaign came at #1 Alabama as Brown blasted a tone-setting, three-run HR off the left field fair pole during the second inning of an eventual 5-2 Big Orange triumph.
Since the program's inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 14,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA covering all NCAA championship sports.