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Callahan named SEC Player of the Year



BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The annual Southeastern Conference post-season awards have been announced and for the second consecutive season No. 14 Tennessee (46-13, 14-12 SEC) has had a player receive the prestigious SEC Player of the Year trophy. 

Senior third baseman Tonya Callahan reaped the honor after hitting .500 (30-of-60) in league play with 10 HR’s and 25 RBIs, following in the footsteps of her former teammate India Chiles who garnered the 2007 award for the Lady Vols.  Senior shortstop Kenora Posey received her initial conference nods after being chosen Second-Team All-SEC as well as to the All-SEC Defensive squad.  First baseman Jen Lapicki was named to the SEC All-Freshman team.  With three more selections this year, co-head coaches Ralph and Karen Weekly have now had players reap 26 total All-SEC or All-Freshman nods since arriving at Rocky Top prior to the 2002 campaign. 
                                                      
Having completed the regular-season with a staggering .500 (30-of-60) batting average in league contests with 10 HR’s and 25 RBIs despite being walked 33 times (15 intentionally), Callahan received her third consecutive First-Team All-SEC choice.  The Holden, Mo., native led the league in batting average, slugging percentage (1.033), on-base percentage (.684) and walks, while rating second in the SEC in home runs (10) and third in RBIs (25) despite having only 60 at-bats because of the immense number of walks.  The 5-8 third baseman owns a Lady Vol-best 18 multi-hit games and 16 multi-RBI contests with a pair of six RBI games in 2008 (Arkansas & LSU).  She also blasted two homers in single contests against Georgia and LSU, posted a pair of 10-game hit streaks and reached base safely at least once in 56 of her 59 games this year.  She has been on base at least once in each of her last 29 games and has hit an amazing .491 (26-of-53) with runners in scoring position in 2008 with 20 RBIs.  Callahan is already the school record holder in single-season and career HR’s, the SEC single-season record holder in walks and rates in the NCAA Division I single-season top five for intentional walks with 18.

Posey made the switch to shortstop for her senior season after spending three years at second base and played almost flawlessly in conference competition, committing only one error in 86 total chances.  The Los Angeles, Calif., product finished regular-season action second on the Lady Vol squad in batting average counting all games at .382 and posted a .342 mark in SEC action.  For the year Posey swiped 40-of-44 bases, and reached as the lead-off hitter at a .526 clip (30-of-57) while scoring a team-high 48 runs.  She also posted 13 multi-hit games in 2008 counting all games, seven in SEC play.  In a victory at No. 23 Mississippi State on April 26th, Posey delivered a career-high 5-for-5 effort at the dish with two runs scored.

Lapicki made quite a splash in her inaugural campaign wearing the Orange & White by hitting .285 overall (43-of-151) with 11 doubles, a triple, five home runs, 25 runs scored and 39 RBIs.  The Oldwick, N.J., native recorded 11 multi-hit and 10-multi-RBI games in 2008 with highs of three base knocks against both #14 Georgia (April 5) and Florida State (March 1) and five RBIs, including her initial career grand slam, in a 14-0 (5 inn.) triumph over Wagner (Feb. 23).  She was twice chosen as the SEC Freshman of the Week during the 2008 campaign.  Once after her performance at the NFCA Leadoff Classic during which she hit .500 with seven RBIs on the way to reaping NFCA All-Tourney honors and after posting a .568 mark during a perfect 5-0 week that included a sweep of No. 14 Georgia.

The fourth-seeded Lady Vols (46-13, 14-12 SEC) open the 2008 SEC Tournament on Thurs., May 8, at noon ET against fifth-seeded Georgia (43-21, 14-14 SEC).  Live stats will be available through utladyvols.com, while free live video will be available through links on www.secsports.com and www.lsusports.net.

A complete listing of the 2008 SEC Softball postseason awards follows:

First Team All-SEC 
P - Stacey Nelson, Florida
P - Kelsi Dunne, Alabama
IF - Tonya Callahan, Tennessee 
IF - Ali Gardiner, Florida
IF - Courtney Bures, Mississippi State
IF - Kelley Montalvo, Alabama
OF - Brittany Rogers, Alabama
OF - Rachel Mitchell, LSU
OF - Kim Waleszonia, Florida
OF - Megan Wiggins, Georgia
C - Chelsea Bramlett, Mississippi State
DP/U - Charlotte Morgan, Alabama

Second Team All-SEC 
P - Cody Trahan, LSU
P - Anna Thompson, Auburn
IF - Aja Paculba, Florida
IF - Kenora Posey, Tennessee 
IF - Sojourner Moody, Georgia
IF - Molly Johnson, Kentucky
OF - Dani Woods, Alabama
OF - Jordan Praytor, Alabama
OF - Quinlan Duhon, LSU
OF - Hayle Guess, Mississippi State
C - Ashley Holcombe, Alabama
DP/U - Lauren Grill, Ole Miss

Freshman All-SEC 
P - Kelsi Dunne, Alabama
P - Stephanie Brombacher, Florida
IF - Aja Paculba, Florida
IF - Jen Lapicki, Tennessee 
IF - Megan Bush, Florida
IF - Ali Bainbridge, Mississippi State
OF - Megan Wiggins, Georgia
OF - Meagan Aull, Kentucky
OF - Taylor Schlopy, Georgia
OF - Laura Mendes, South Carolina
C - Megan Yocke, Kentucky
DP/U - Tiffany DeFelice, Florida

SEC All-Defensive 
P - Stacey Nelson, UF
C - Ashley Holcombe, UA
1B - Ali Gardiner, UF
2B - Chrissy Schoonmaker, SC; Aja Paculba, UF
SS - Kenora Posey, UT 
3B - Kelley Montalvo, UA
OF - Kim Waleszonia, UF
OF - Myesha Finney, AU
OF - Brittany Rogers, UA

Player of the Year
Tonya Callahan, Tennessee
 

Pitcher of the Year 
Stacey Nelson, Florida

Coach of the Year 
Tim Walton, Florida

Freshman of the Year 
Kelsi Dunne, Alabama

Scholar-Athlete of the Year 
Jordan Praytor, Alabama


 

 

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