Gibson named SEC Player of the Year

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Tennessee senior Lauren Gibson has been named the 2013 SEC Player of the Year, as announced by the Southeastern Conference on Tuesday. The Lady Vols lead all SEC schools with four First Team All-SEC selections in Gibson, Raven Chavanne, Kat Dotson and Madison Shipman.

The Southeastern Conference announced its annual softball awards to cap the 2013 season and kick off the SEC Softball Tournament in Lexington, Ky., May 8-11. The All-SEC Teams consist of 24 total student-athletes, along with a 12-member All-Freshman team and a nine-member All-Defensive Team. No ties were broken. The awards were voted on by the league's head coaches. Missouri's Chelsea Thomas was named Pitcher of the Year. Florida head coach Tim Walton was named Coach of the Year. LSU's Bianka Bell and Georgia's Geri Ann Glasco both eared Freshman of the Year honors. Missouri's Jenna Marston was voted the Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Chavanne, Dotson, Gibson and Shipman were also all selected to the 2013 SEC All-Defensive Team. UT's four defensive honorees also led the league.

Gibson is the third Tennessee player to earn Player of the Year honors, joining India Chiles (2007) and Tonya Callahan (2008). She had 12 home runs in conference play, tops in the league, and led the SEC in batting average (.448), slugging percentage (1.060), runs scored (26) and runs batted in (36). Gibson is a Top 25 finalist for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, ranks top-10 in the nation in RBIs (eighth), slugging percentage (10th) and runs per game (eighth) and was named the Louisville Slugger/NFCA National Player of the Week on April 23 after setting a school record and tying an SEC record with three home runs in a game vs. Ole Miss. This past weekend, Gibson hit three home runs against Missouri to set a new UT single-season home run record (she currently has 18). This is Gibson's third time earning All-SEC honors (2011 First Team, 2012 Second Team).

Chavanne has garnered First Team All-SEC honors in three consecutive years now (2011, 2012, 2013). She was also a Second Team All-SEC selection as a rookie in 2010. The Thousand Oaks, Calif., native has enjoyed a banner 2013 season, earning USA Softball Player of the Week honors on March 26 SEC Player of the Week honors on March 25. Her .439 batting average, 36 hits, 25 runs and 12 stolen bases in SEC play all ranked second in the league. Chavanne is a Top 25 finalist for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, finalist for the Senior CLASS Award and a Capital One Academic All-District 3 selection. She ranks among the nation's best in batting average (fifth), runs per game (third), on-base percentage (12th) and stolen bases per game (11th).

Dotson was named First Team All-SEC for the third time in her distinguished UT career (2010, 2012, 2013). The Savannah, Ga., native's .373 batting average in SEC games ranked eighth in the conference. She also ranked in the top 10 in league play in on-base percentage (fifth), runs (fifth) and stolen bases (ninth). This year marks the first time Dotson has been recognized for her stellar defense in right field.

Shipman has now been named First Team All-SEC in back-to-back seasons (2012, 2013). The junior shortstop ranked sixth in the conference with a .384 batting average in league play. She also ranked in the top 10 in hits (seventh), RBIs (sixth) and doubles (tied for eighth). Shipman has also been tabbed for All-Defensive honors in back-to-back years (2012, 2013).

2013 SEC Softball Awards
Player of the Year: Lauren Gibson, TENNESSEE
Pitcher of the Year: Chelsea Thomas, Missouri
Coach of the Year: Tim Walton, Florida
Freshman of the Year: Bianka Bell, LSU; Geri Ann Glasco, Georgia
Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Jenna Marston, Missouri

First Team All-SEC
P - Chelsea Thomas, Missouri
P - Hannah Rogers, Florida
IF - Lauren Gibson, TENNESSEE
IF - Raven Chavanne, TENNESSEE
IF - Madison Shipman, TENNESSEE
IF - Paige Wilson, Georgia
OF - Kayla Braud, Alabama
OF - Kat Dotson, TENNESSEE
OF - Kaylee Puailoa, Georgia
OF - A.J. Andrews, LSU
C - Jenna Marston, Missouri
DP/U - Lauren Haeger, Florida

Second Team All-SEC
P - Rachele Fico, LSU
P - Kimmy Beasley, Arkansas
IF - Samie Garcia, South Carolina
IF - Kelsey Stewart, Florida
IF - Bianka Bell, LSU
IF - Kaila Hunt, Alabama
OF - Haylie McCleney, Alabama
OF - Kelsey Horton, Florida
OF - Branndi Melero, Auburn
OF - Jacee Blades, LSU
C - Griffin Joiner, Kentucky
DP/U - Mel Dumezich, Texas A&M

Freshman All-SEC
P - Kelsey Nunley, Kentucky
P - Chelsea Wilkinson, Georgia
IF - Kelsey Stewart, Florida
IF - Bianka Bell, LSU
IF - Geri Ann Glasco, Georgia
IF - Emily Carosone, Auburn
OF - Haylie McCleney, Alabama
OF - Kaylee Puailoa, Georgia
OF - Kristi Merritt, Florida
OF - Andrea Hawkins, Alabama; Tiffany Howard, Auburn
C - Kellsi Kloss, LSU
DP/U - Cali Lanphear, Texas A&M

SEC All-Defensive
P - Chelsea Thomas, Missouri
C - Griffin Joiner, Kentucky
1B - Morgan Estell, Auburn
2B - Lauren Gibson, TENNESSEE
SS - Madison Shipman, TENNESSEE
3B - Raven Chavanne, TENNESSEE
LF - Kayla Braud, Alabama
CF - Haylie McCleney, Alabama
RF - Kat Dotson, TENNESSEE

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