June 2, 2014
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee All-American shortstop Madison Shipman has been named one of four finalists for the prestigious Honda Sports Award for softball, as announced by THE Collegiate Women's Sports Awards (CWSA) on Monday.
Shipman, Oregon's Cheridan Hawkins, Florida State's Maddie O'Brien and Michigan's Sierra Romero are the four finalists for the 2014 Honda Sports Award for softball.
The Honda Sports Award is presented annually by the CWSA to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports and signifies "the best of the best in collegiate athletics." The winner of the sport award becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2014 Honda Cup. The nominees were chosen by a group of experts representing the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA).
The Honda Sports award winner for softball will be announced next week after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote.
Shipman is the fifth Lady Vol to be named a finalist for the Honda Sports Award for softball and she is Tennessee's sixth finalist selection as Monica Abbott was a finalist in both 2006 and 2007. UT had two finalists in 2006 in Abbott and Sarah Fekete, who led the nation with a .500 batting average. Abbott won the award in 2007 after a stellar senior campaign in which she posted 50 wins and set the NCAA single-season record with 724 strikeouts. Tonya Callahan was a finalist for her 2008 SEC Player of the Year senior campaign. Lauren Gibson was a finalist in 2013 for her SEC Player of the Year senior season.
Tennessee women's basketball legends Chamique Holdsclaw (1998) and Candace Parker (2008) are the only two UT student-athletes to win the Honda Cup.
Last week, Shipman became the first Tennessee student-athlete in any sport to win the prestigious Senior CLASS Award. Shipman enjoyed a banner 2014 season in which she also earned NFCA All-American honors for the third-straight year and Capital One Academic All-America honors for the second-consecutive year. She was a top 10 finalist for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award and became just the fourth Lady Vol to be named SEC Player of the Year.
Shipman helped guide Tennessee to the 2014 NCAA Super Regionals and had the best season of her career. She finished the year 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, 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.
THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation's top NCAA women athletes for 37 years, recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $2.7 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women's athletics programs at the institutions.