Sept. 18, 2008
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Fresh off a fifth consecutive 50-win campaign and a sixth overall berth in NCAA Regionals, the UT softball squad begins its work toward the 2009 season by serving as host of a pair of Tennessee Lady Vol/WORTH Fall Tournaments slated for September 27-28 and October 11-12 at the Sherri Parker Lee Softball Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn.
During the WORTH Fall Classic, the Big Orange will welcome in MTSU, Chipola, Vol State and Tennessee Tech with the Lady Vols christening their participation against MTSU at noon and Vol State at 2 p.m. ET on Sat., Sept. 27. UT will conclude its action at the event by battling Chipola (1 p.m.) and in-state rival Tennessee Tech (3 p.m.) on Sunday.
Over Oct. 11-12, Milligan College, Chattanooga State, Lee University and Pfeiffer University will visit Knoxville to face the Orange & White in the WORTH Fall Invitational. UT will battle Milligan (11 a.m.) and Lee University (1 p.m.) on Saturday, while closing its run on Sunday versus Pfeiffer (3 p.m.) and Chattanooga State (5 p.m.).
The '09 version of the Lady Vols welcomes back 12 letterwinners and five position starters off last season's 50-16 club, while bringing in a class of seven high-profile recruits from across the nation. Among those returning to guide co-head coaches Ralph and Karen Weekly's program are a trio of 2008 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Second-Team All-South Region selections (sophomore pitcher Ashton Ward, junior utility player Tiffany Huff and senior outfielder Lillian Hammond), a 2008 Southeastern Conference All-Freshman choice (Jen Lapicki) and a power-hitting outfielder who crossed the 10-homer plateau for the first time in her career (Erinn Webb).
Ward started her career at Tennessee by leading the '07 team from the circle with an outstanding 27-5 record, a 1.92 ERA and 187 strikeouts over 204.1 innings of work for a K-per-7-inning ratio of 6.4. Huff, a'07 preseason addition to the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List, continued providing strong offensive production into her sophomore campaign by hitting .313 with three home runs and 50 RBIs while delivering a team-high 18 doubles. The Saugus, Calif., native also drew 44 walks to drive her season on-base percentage up to an outstanding .452. A two-time ESPN the Magazine First Team Academic All-American, the speedy Hammond helped ignite the offense from the top of the order with a .349 batting average while plating 46 runs and swiping 23 bases in 24 attempts. Lapicki made quite a statement in her initial season at Rocky Top by blasting six homers and driving in 43 runs while posting a .283 average over 64 starts. Webb provided a solid power threat by hammering 10 home runs, including three big flies during the final two games of the 2008 campaign against eventual Women's College World Series participant Virginia Tech. The Hemet, Calif., product also tallied a .314 batting average, 14 doubles, a team-best six triples and 43 RBIs.
Among the high-profile newcomers to the Orange and White are 2008 EA Sports National High School Player of the Year Jessica Spigner (Santa Clarita., Calif.), 2008 National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) National Player of the Year Cat Hosfield and 2008 EA Sports All-American Ashley Andrews (Tumwater, Wash.). Along included in the prestigious class are sterling in-state product Shelby Burchell (Columbia, Tenn.), and oft-honored Diondra Fryer (Sterling, Va.) and Adrena Anderson (Woodstock, Ga.).
Worth Fall Classic
Sept. 27-28, 2008
Sherri Parker Lee Stadium
|Saturday, Sept. 27|
|10:00 am||MTSU vs. Chipola|
|12:00 pm||MTSU vs. TENNESSEE|
|2:00 pm||TENNESSEE vs. Vol State|
|4:00 pm||Vol State vs. Chipola|
|Sunday, Sept. 28|
|9:00 am||MTSU vs. Vol State|
|11:00 am||Tennessee Tech vs. MTSU|
|1:00 pm||TENNESSEE vs. Chipola|
|3:00 pm||TENNESSEE vs. Tennessee Tech|
|5:00 pm||Tennessee Tech vs. Chipola|
Worth Fall Invitational
October 11-12, 2008
Sherri Parker Lee Stadium
|Saturday, Oct. 11|
|9:00 am||Milligan vs. Chattanooga St.|
|11:00 am||TENNESSEE vs. Milligan|
|1:00 pm||TENNESSEE vs. Lee University|
|3:00 pm||Pfeiffer vs. Chattanooga St.|
|5:00 pm||Pfeiffer vs. Lee University|
|Sunday, Oct. 12|
|9:00 am||Lee University vs. Milligan|
|11:00 am||Milligan vs. Pfeiffer|
|1:00 pm||Chattanooga St. vs. Lee University|
|3:00 pm||TENNESSEE vs. Pfeiffer|
|5:00 pm||TENNESSEE vs. Chattanooga St.|