July 13, 2006
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Lady Vol softball center fielder Sarah Fekete, a 2006 first-team Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-American and the nation's leading hitter in '06 with a staggering .500 (110-of-220) batting average, has been selected as the 2006 Alpha Omicron Pi Lady Vol Athlete of the Year. By virtue of this honor, she becomes Tennessee's nominee for SEC Female Athlete of the Year.
The Maryville, Tenn., native's efforts were instrumental in the Tennessee softball program's second consecutive third-place national finish at the annual Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla., and UT's NCAA Division I-best 61 victories. She was chosen as the Lady Vol honoree from a field of nominees from each of the 10 women's athletics teams at "Rocky Top."
During the 2006 campaign Fekete led the NCAA in batting average while establishing a new Southeastern Conference record for single-season hits (110). The 5-8 senior's total eclipsed the previous conference mark of 107 base knocks registered by teammate Lindsay Schutzler during the 2005 run to the WCWS. The first-team All-South Region selection hit safely in 60 of her 72 games played in 2006 and reached base by hit or walk in an incredible 65 of 72 contests. She also led the SEC in on-base percentage (.553) and hits while rating third in the league in runs scored (61). Fekete completed her career as the all-time Tennessee leader in batting average (.398), on-base percentage (.456) and stolen bases (85) while finishing second in runs scored (189) and hits (296). During UT's postseason run she hit .489 and was honored as the UT Daily Beacon Athlete of the Year over such Lady Vol standouts as All-American basketball phenom Candace Parker and All-Americans Kristen Andre (volleyball) and Ali Christoph (soccer). She also was honored as one of four national finalists for the prestigious Honda Sports Award for Softball. Her abilities in the classroom garnered Fekete a second consecutive selection to the SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll.
Fekete has also proven capable of contributing immediately in the pros by hitting .400 (14-of-35) during her initial stint with the Philadelphia Force of the National Pro Fastpitch League (NPL). In her pro league debut against the Texas Thunder, she registered a perfect 3-for-3 effort from her lead-off position in the line-up to help guide the Force to their initial win of the campaign, 12-5.
Tremendous success on the diamond has also opened doors within the prestigious USA Softball program for Fekete. She will open defense of the Red, White & Blue's 2004 title as a member of the World University Games squad in Tainan City, Taiwan, from July 15-23 at the 2nd World University Championship. She recently saw action in the outfield for the junior roster in a 7-1 exhibition defeat to the U.S. Senior National Team on July 10 in Irvine, Calif.
2006 Fekete Honors List
- Led NCAA Division I and the Southeastern Conference in hitting at .500 (110-of-220) in 2006 while tallying a personal career-high 34 RBI
- Louisville Slugger/NFCA First-Team All-American in 2006
- Louisville Slugger/NFCA First-Team All-South Region choice in 2006
- First-Team All-SEC in 2006
- Hit safely in 60 of 72 games in 2006; Reached base by hit or walk in 65 of 72 games in `06
- Led the Southeastern Conference in on-base percentage (.553) and hits (110) while rating third in runs scored (61)
- Completed career as all-time Tennessee leader in batting average (.398), on-base percenatage (.456) and stolen bases (85) while rating second in UT annals in runs scored (189) and hits (296)
- Broke the Southeastern Conference single-season record for hits with 110 (old mark was 107)
- Set new school single-season records for hits, batting average and on-base percentage in 2006
- Named All-SEC Tournament in 2006 after hitting .667 (8-of-12) in helping UT to first SEC Tournament title
- Led the Tennessee team in the postseason (including SEC and NCAA Tournaments) by hitting .489 (23-of-47) with on-base percentage of .529
- Honored as UT Daily Beacon Athlete of the Year in 2006
- SEC Player of the Week on March 13, `06 after hitting .609 with 12 runs scored at the USF adidas Tournament
- SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll (2006); Academic All-SEC
- Louisville Slugger/NFCA First-Team All-American 2005
- Louisville Slugger/NFCA First-Team All-South Region 2005
- First-Team All-SEC 2005
- All-SEC Tournament 2003, 2004
- Academic All-SEC 2005
- SEC Player of the Week 2005 (3/21)
- All-Tourney, Georgia Southern Invitational 2005
- All-Tourney, Lady Vol Classic 2004