May 8, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Lady Vol softball program has continued its tremendous success in the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American program as three UT players have been chosen to the 2009 All-District IV First Team. Senior outfielder Lillian Hammond (4.0 GPA, sociology-criminal justice & anthropology), junior catcher/first baseman Tiffany Huff (3.69 GPA, special education) and sophomore catcher/first baseman Jen Lapicki (3.94 GPA, sociology-criminal justice) have each reaped a nod to the district squad, granting UT three selections on the 11-member first team.
Over the last five seasons, Tennessee has totaled a staggering 11 Academic All-District selections, with Hammond picking up her third consecutive All-District IV First Team nod. For both Huff and Lapicki the inclusion on the 2009 squad marks the first of their collegiate careers.
To be eligible for ESPN the Magazine 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 Top 10 finalist for the 2009 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award presented to the Division I softball player who best demonstrates their abilities on and off the field of play, Hammond recently added the '09 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor to a personal list that already included two nods as a First Team ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American (2007, 2008). Holder of a perfect 4.0 GPA in a dual major of sociology-criminal justice and anthropology, Hammond has posted a .315 batting average this season with 40 runs scored, five doubles, nine RBIs and 25 stolen bases in 27 attempts. A fixture in left field for the Big Orange, Hammond has made 52 starts this season while posting 14-multi-hit games. Perhaps her finest performance of the year came during a rugged challenge from Cal Poly back on Feb. 21st as UT prevailed in eight innings, 8-6. Hammond delivered a 4-for-5 effort at the plate with two doubles, two runs scored and a pair of RBIs.
Huff has posted a breakout junior campaign thus far by registering career-highs in batting average (.409 on 61-of-149), RBIs (65), home runs (eight), runs scored (47), stolen bases (11) and both slugging (.671) and on-base percentage (.521) while adding 13 doubles, a triple and 36 walks. Her 65 RBIs currently rate her second in the SEC and a 1.20 RBI-per-game average places her at fourth in NCAA Division I in that category. Her RBI total through 54 games tops her entire season's production from both her freshman (58) and sophomore campaigns (50). A Top 25 finalist for the prestigious USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award, Huff has started every game for the Big Orange in 2009 at either first base or behind the plate. The Saugus, Calif., native has tallied 14 multi-hit and 14 multi-RBI games and recorded a career-long 17-game hitting streak from Feb. 20-March 21 during which she .556 with four HR's and 27 RBIs. Among her stellar individual performances in 2009 were a 3-for-4, career-high six-RBI effort with a double and a home run in a rout of San Jose State and a perfect 4-for-4 performance with two doubles, a triple and four RBIs against Boston College.
During her sophomore campaign, Lapicki has tallied a .295 batting average (44-of-149) with eight doubles, a triple, five home runs and 26 RBIs over 54 starts at either first base or behind the plate. The Oldwick, N.J., native started off slow offensively but really picked up her production once the squad entered the rugged Southeastern Conference, leading the squad in hitting during league games at .361 and slugging percentage (.583) while also adding five two-baggers, three HR's and 15 RBIs. During a 14-2 (5 inn.) rout of Kentucky back on April 8th, Lapicki was a perfect 4-for-4 at the dish with a double, two runs scored and a career-high six RBIs.
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
|FIRST TEAM ALL-DISTRICT IV|
|P||Kimberly Reeder||Ohio State||IV||Sr.||3.84||Communications|
|P||Hayley Wiemer||Bowling Green||IV||Sr.||4.00||Adolescent / secondary educ.|
|C||Jen Lapicki||Tennessee||IV||So.||3.94||Sociology / criminal justice|
|IF||Sarah Earley||Akron||IV||So.||3.91||Applied mathematics|
|IF||Tiffany Huff||Tennessee||IV||Jr.||3.69||Special education|
|OF||Kristi Cunningham||Louisville||IV||Sr.||3.83||Exercise science / pre-nursing|
|OF||Lillian Hammond||Tennessee||IV||Sr.||4.00||Soc. & crim. just. / anthropology|
|DP||Charlotte Morgan||Alabama||IV||Jr.||3.69||Criminal Justice|