June 17, 2011
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced on Friday that Tennessee Lady Vols Kelly Grieve and Lauren Gibson have been chosen to the 18-member roster (plus one alternate) for the 2011 USA Softball Senior Women's National Team.
By virtue of their selections, Gibson and Grieve now join former Lady Vol standout and 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist Monica Abbott as all-time Big Orange participants with the most prestigious national team in USA Softball.
Tennessee, Florida, Missouri and Oklahoma were the only collegiate programs that boasted two selections on the 2011 national team roster.
"Both Karen (Co-Head Coach Weekly) and I are extremely excited for both Lauren and Kelly" Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly said. "Each of them had a tremendous tryout this past week at the USA National Team Selection Camp in Chula Vista, Calif. They will represent both the Tennessee softball program and the USA Softball Senior Women's National Team in a truly outstanding manner."
The high-profile squad wastes little time by venturing out on the road in less than a week, facing its first competitions in exhibition series' in Plant City, Fla. (June 25), Salem, Va., (June 29) and Bowie, Md. (July 1). Each of the doubleheaders will be contested against the USA Softball Junior Women's National Team that currently boasts rising Tennessee sophomore Madison Shipman and incoming 2012 Big Orange freshman Cheyanne Tarango.
Over July 9-17, 12 of the 18 players on the USA Softball Senior Women's National Team roster will play in their first international event at the Canadian Open Fast Pitch International Championship in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, before returning home for the World Cup of Softball VI over July 21-25 in Oklahoma City, Okla. The squad will also seek its ninth overall Pan American Games crown and seventh in a row in Guadalajara, Mexico, from Oct. 17-23 at the XVI Pan American Games.
The Southeastern Conference batting champion (counting league games only) after registering a blistering .451 mark, Gibson truly took her offensive production to another level in 2011 while serving as UT's everyday second baseman. The Pasadena, Md., native registered a .420 overall batting average with a team-best 13 doubles, to go along with three triples, eight HR's and 63 RBIs while also going a perfect 12-for-12 on stolen bases. On two separate occasions she blasted two HR's in a single contest during her sophomore campaign. Back on April 16 at No. 21 LSU, the first team All-SEC and first team Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Southeast Region selection went 3-for-4 at the dish with two HR's, including her first grand slam, and a career-high seven RBIs as Tennessee blasted the Bayou Bengals, 11-0. During the NCAA Knoxville Regional on May 21, Gibson was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with two HR's and six RBI as UT staved off elimination with a 7-0 throttling of No. 19 Georgia Tech.
Grieve, an Asheville, N.C., native and 2011 second team All-SEC selection, posted a .376 batting average with 48 runs scored, nine doubles, four triples, five HR's, 21 stolen bases and 37 RBIs during her final campaign clad in the Orange & White. The 5-4 center fielder completed her stint in Knoxville as one of only two Lady Vols (former All-American Lindsay Schutzler is the other) to record 200 hits, 100 runs and 100 stolen bases during her playing career. She is also listed throughout the UT record book, rating second all-time in stolen bases (104) and triples (12), fifth in runs scored (183), seventh in hits (265), ninth in total bases (341) and 11th in batting average (.370) while tallying 65 multi-hit games. Grieve was often at her best in the biggest contests, completing her time at Tennessee with a .431 career batting mark in NCAA Tournament match-ups.
2011 USA SOFTBALL SENIOR WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER
Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif./California)
Whitney Canion (Aledo, Texas/Baylor)
Kaitlin Cochran (Yorba Linda, Calif./Arizona State)
Lauren Gibson (PASADENA, MD./TENNESSEE)
Kelly Grieve (ASHEVILLE, N.C./TENNESSEE)
Taylor Hoagland (Flower Mound, Texas/Texas)
Ashley Holcombe (Fayetteville, Ga./Alabama)
Molly Johnson (Tucson, Ariz./Kentucky)
Stacy Johnson (Reno, Nev./Iowa)
Megan Langenfeld (Bakersfield, Calif./UCLA)
Jenae Leles (Sacramento, Calif./Arizona)
Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla./Florida)
Christine Orgeron (New Orleans, La./ULL)
Keilani Ricketts (San Jose, Calif./Oklahoma)
Brittany Schutte (Fountain Valley, Calif./Florida)
Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif./Michigan)
Rhea Taylor (Buford, Ga./Missouri)
Chelsea Thomas (Pleasantville, Iowa/Missouri)
Alternate - Jessica Shults (Valencia, Calif./Oklahoma)