May 29, 2014
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Tennessee softball legend Madison Shipman officially signed with the USSSA Pride of National Pro Fastpitch on Wednesday and will join the Pride roster this summer.
The Pride selected Shipman with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 NPF Draft on March 31.
"I am so excited to start the new chapter of my career with the USSSA Pride," Shipman said in a press release from the Pride. "To be able to play at that level with that talent on the field is legendary! Go Pride!"
Shipman was the second-highest NPF draft selection in Tennessee softball history, second only to Lindsay Schutzler, who was taken No. 1 overall in the 2007 draft by the Chicago Bandits. Shipman was the 12th Lady Vol to be selected in the annual NPF College Draft joining Ivy Renfroe (Akron Racers, No. 11 in 2013), Raven Chavanne (Chicago Bandits, No. 12 in 2013), Kelly Grieve (Akron Racers, No. 18 in 2011), Lillian Hammond (Philadelphia Force, No. 9 in 2009), Tonya Callahan (Rockford Thunder, No. 13 in 2008), Shannon Doepking (Akron Racers, No. 15 in 2008), Schutzler (Chicago Bandits, No. 1 in 2007),Monica Abbott (Washington Glory, No. 12 in 2007), India Chiles (Akron Racers, No. 19 in 2007), Kristi Durant (New England Riptide, No. 9 in 2006) and Sarah Fekete (Philadelphia Force, No. 10 in 2006).
"Shipman is a five tool player, with some leadership," USSSA Pride general manager Don DeDonatis said. "She comes from a championship caliber program in Tennessee, and has championship experience. She isn't a stranger to the big stage, so we look for her to be able to step in and contribute right away. She's an all-around athlete, and I think she's a perfect fit for this program. We can't wait to get her in a Pride uniform."
The USSSA Pride opens its season on Friday, May 30, against the Pennsylvania Rebellion. The Pride will play four games against the Rebellion from May 30 to June 3 and ESPN3 will broadcast each of those games live online.
Shipman was named a first-team NFCA Division I All-American on Wednesday and is a Finalist for the Senior CLASS Award. She is sixth Lady Vol to be named an All-American three times (2012, 2013, 2014) in her career, joining Abbott (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007), Chavanne (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013), Callahan (2006, 2007, 2008), Schutzler (2005, 2006, 2007) and Lauren Gibson (2011, 2012, 2013). She was also a Capital One Academic All-America® First Team selection, a Top Ten Finalist for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the year, the 2014 SEC Player of the Year, a First Team All-SEC selection and a SEC All-Defensive Team pick.
Shipman enjoyed her best season as a senior in 2014 and was one of the main driving forces behind UT's run to the Super Regionals. She finished the season with a team-high .417 batting average, 18 homers, 16 doubles, 54 RBIs, 56 runs, 46 walks and 13 stolen bases. She also led the team with a .833 slugging percentage and a .548 on-base percentage. Shipman tied Tennessee's single-season record with a 20-game hitting streak from Feb. 9 to March 9 and set a new school single-game record with nine defensive assists against South Carolina on March 23.
Shipman shined throughout the grind of the 2014 SEC season and became the fourth Tennessee player to earn SEC Player of the Year honors, joining India Chiles (2007), Tonya Callahan (2008) and Lauren Gibson (2013). She was a two-time SEC Player of the Week (March 24, April 14) and led the league with a .591 on-base percentage and ranked second in the with a .449 batting average, an .899 slugging percentage and 26 runs in league play. She also ranked third with seven doubles, fourth with 25 RBIs and tied for fifth with nine homers in SEC play.
In 29 games against teams that made the 2014 NCAA Tournament, Shipman hit a team-best .416 (32-for-77) with 12 homers, four doubles, 30 RBIs, 30 runs, 29 walks, five stolen bases, a .935 slugging percentage and a .579 on-base percentage.
Shipman completed her Tennessee career as one of UT's best all-around players and one of its greatest power hitters. She finished her career ranked in Tennessee's top five in home runs (44, third), doubles (55, third), total bases (444, third), RBIs (207, fourth), walks (105, fourth) and slugging percentage (.611, fifth). Shipman posted a .348 career batting average and finished in the Lady Vols' top 10 in at-bats (737, ninth), runs (177, 10th), hits (253, 10th) and stolen bases (58, ninth). Her fielding was superb and she was widely regarded as the best defensive shortstop in the nation. Shipman's 397 career assists ranked second in Tennessee history and her 29 career double plays turned rank third.