Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly
May 17, 2012
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The 2012 Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Southeast Region softball teams were announced on Thursday and the #5 Tennessee Lady Vol softball team (46-10) dominated the region first team, getting a total of five selections on the 12-member squad.
With the occurrence, UT also became one of just three schools in the nation able to boast of five first-team All-Southeast Region recipients this season, joining Alabama and Louisiana-Lafayette as part of that illustrious club.
Sophomore pitcher Ellen Renfroe (second career selection), junior second baseman Lauren Gibson (second career selection), junior third baseman Raven Chavanne (third career selection), sophomore shortstop Madison Shipman and junior outfielder Kat Dotson (third career selection) each were tabbed as first-team All-Southeast Region, giving Tennessee 42% of the 12-player first team and 75% of the first-team infield. The quintet now advances on to the ballot for potential Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-America honors.
Since the arrival of Co-Head Coaches Ralph and Karen Weekly to helm the UT program prior to the 2002 campaign, Tennessee has received a total of 39 Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Region nods.
A top 11 finalist for the 2012 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year trophy, Chavanne currently guides the way for the Big Orange offensively from her lead-off spot in the line-up, posting a .435 average to go along with 67 hits, 40 runs scored, a .500 on-base percentage and 29 stolen bases over 47 games played. The Thousand Oaks, Calif., native heads the Big Orange with 23 multi-hit games and enters NCAA Tournament play having reached safely by hit, walk or hit-by-pitch in a career-best 35 consecutive contests dating back to March 11.
One of the top RBI producers in the SEC (58) and the RBI champion counting league contests only (33), Shipman has served as a defensive stalwart at shortstop for all 56 of UT's games in 2012, making just four errors in 159 total chances for the nation's top-rated defense. The Valencia, Calif., native has registered a team-best 17 multi-RBI games to go along with 15 multi-hit efforts, while posting a .311 batting average with 10 doubles, nine HR's and 18 stolen bases.
Included on the preseason "Watch List" for the 2012 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award and a current member of the USA Softball Senior Women's National Team, Gibson has been a true leader on the infield as UT's everyday starting second baseman, making only one miscue for the top-rated defense in the country. The Pasadena, Md., product has posted a .321 batting average to go along with 49 runs scored, six doubles, a team-best 13 HR's, 16 steals and 43 RBIs, while recording 10 multi-hit and nine multi-RBI games for the Lady Vol offense.
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, Ellen Renfroe has tallied a stellar 27-3 overall record with a 1.21 ERA, 15 solo shutouts and 269 strikeouts over 214.2 innings of work while allowing opponents to hit at just a .178 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.
Despite dealing with the effects of a pre-existing knee injury throughout her junior campaign, Dotson has continued her impressive production for the Big Orange from the top portion of the line-up. The Savannah, Ga., native has registered a .344 overall batting average with 52 hits, four doubles, 12 steals, 14 RBIs and 14 multi-hit games, while also patrolling right field for the UT defense. She was especially effective once entering SEC action, finishing in a tied for third in total hits (counting league games only) with 32, eighth in average (.348) and in a dead-lock for ninth in thefts (seven).
No. 5 Tennessee christens its NCAA Tournament run by serving as host for the Knoxville Regional over May 18-20 at the Lee Softball Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. After a 3:30 p.m. ET opener between UAB and Virginia Tech, UT faces-off against Miami (Ohio) at 6 p.m. For more information on the Knoxville Regional and links to watch a free live stream of all games, activate live stats, tickets, etc., visit the official event website at KNOXVILLE REGIONAL TOURNAMENT CENTRAL
2012 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-Southeast Region Teams
P -- Ellen Renfroe -- UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE
P -- Hannah Rogers -- University of Florida
C -- Kristyn Sandberg -- University of Georgia
1B -- Tess Sito -- University of Georgia
2B -- Lauren Gibson -- UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE
3B -- Raven Chavanne -- UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE
SS -- Madison Shipman -- UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE
OF -- Kat Dotson -- UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE
OF -- Michelle Moultrie -- University of Florida
OF -- Shellie Robinson -- University of South Carolina Upstate
UT/P -- Lauren Haeger -- University of Florida
DP/UT-Non-P -- Ally Blake -- University of North Carolina
P -- Erin Arevalo -- University of Georgia
P -- Lori Spingola -- University of North Carolina
C -- Kelsey Horton -- University of Florida
1B -- Cheyenne Griffin -- University of South Carolina Upstate
2B -- Tiffani Brown -- Florida State University
2B -- Kelsey Cartwright -- Lipscomb University
3B -- Kelsi Weseman -- Georgia Tech
SS -- Paige Wilson -- University of Georgia
OF -- Shayla Jackson -- Florida State University
OF -- Lauren Lackey -- University of South Carolina
OF -- Kelli Wheeler -- University of North Carolina
UT/P -- Hope Rush -- Georgia Tech
DP/UT-Non-P -- Chelsea Hawkins -- University of South Carolina