Trio of Lady Vols named All American

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Lady Vol softball players Lauren Gibson, Raven Chavanne and Ellen Renfroe earned the UT program’s 19th, 20th, and 21st All-American nods, all received since 2004, by being selected on Wednesday to the 2011 Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-America Teams.

Gibson was tabbed to the 18-member first team as the choice at second base, Chavanne reaped her second consecutive All-American selection (was third team in 2010) in the outfield this time as part of the second team while Renfroe was named as one of the three pitchers on the third team.

The trio joins Big Orange alums Monica Abbott (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007), Tonya Callahan (2006, 2007, 2008), Kristi Durant (2005, 2006), Sarah Fekete (2005, 2006), Lindsay Schutzler (2005, 2006, 2007), India Chiles (2007), Tiffany Huff (2009) and Kat Dotson (2010) in forming an impressive list of 11 Lady Vols who have earned softball All-American honors. Every selection in program history has occurred under the leadership of co-head coaches Ralph and Karen Weekly, who arrived to helm Tennessee prior to the 2002 season. Abbott, Chavanne, Dotson and Ellen Renfroe constitute the list of Lady Vol players chosen as All-Americans following their freshman campaigns at Rocky Top.

“We are very happy for Lauren, Raven and Ellen,” Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly said. “All three are consummate team players and exceptional students in the classroom. Lauren is outstanding in every aspect of the game of softball. She is a five-tool player who is at her best with the game on the line. Raven is a tremendous table setter who is always a threat to score. She has already been named a 2011 Academic All-American, proving that she is an exemplary student-athlete. Ellen was clutch for us in so many games this year, including the SEC Tournament Championship. She has remarkable poise on the mound and is a terrific role model for young people. All three ladies are active in both school and community affairs and are a true pleasure to coach.”

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.

A top 10 national finalist for the 2011 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year trophy, Chavanne continues to lead the SEC with a .455 batting average (as of June 1) to go along with 66 runs scored, 90 hits, six doubles, two triples, three HRs, 32 RBIs and a team-leading 33 stolen bases. A Thousand Oaks, Calif., native and both a 2011 first team All-SEC and Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Southeast Region selection, Chavanne registered a squad-best 29 multi-hit games and eight multi-RBI contests. She also reached safely by hit or walk in 55 of her 61 match-ups and posted a career-long 15-game hitting streak from April 8-May 6. From a career standpoint the 5-8 outfielder/third baseman currently leads the way at Rocky Top in career batting average (.455) and on-base percentage (.518) while rating seventh in both stolen bases (70) and slugging percentage (.560). Chavanne sits just outside the all-time top 10 in runs scored (130) and total hits (185) and joins Schutzler (2004-07) as one of just two Lady Vols in program history to post 90 hits in two different seasons.

A first team Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Southeast Region and second team All-SEC choice, Renfroe registered an incredible freshman campaign for the Orange & White in 2011, tallying a 26-7 overall record from the circle, a 1.50 ERA and 259 strikeouts in 201.0 innings of work while allowing opponents to hit at a miniscule .194 clip. Among her numerous victims during the regular season were then-No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Georgia, No. 2 UCLA, No. 21 LSU (two wins) and No. 22 Auburn (two wins). The SEC Freshman of the Year also earned SEC Tournament Most Valuable Player accolades by going 3-0 with a 0.76 ERA as Tennessee rolled to the program’s second all-time league tourney title over May 12-14 with wins over No. 22 Kentucky (4-1), No. 23 Auburn (2-1) and No. 8 Georgia (6-5 in 8 inn.). The 6-0 right hander struck out 10 or more batters in a single contest seven times as a rookie, posting a remarkable 20 K’s during a 2-1 (10 inn.) victory over No. 22 Auburn on April 1.

2011 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-Americans

First Team

P Dallas Escobedo Arizona State University

P Jolene Henderson University of California, Berkeley

P Chelsea Thomas University of Missouri

C Kaylyn Castillo Arizona State University

1B Megan Bush University of Florida

2B Lauren Gibson University of Tennessee

3B Amanda Chidester University of Michigan

SS Ashley Hansen Stanford University

OF Kayla Braud University of Alabama

OF Kelsey Bruder University of Florida

OF Brittany Lastrapes University of Arizona

UT/Pitcher Jackie Traina University of Alabama

UT/Non-Pitcher Andrea Harrison University of California, Los Angeles

At-Large-SS Katelyn Boyd Arizona State University

At-Large-P Kelsi Dunne University of Alabama

At-Large-1B Adrienne Monka Northwestern University

At-Large-P Keilani Ricketts University of Oklahoma

At-Large-UT/NP Brittany Schutte University of Florida

Second Team

P Kenzie Fowler University of Arizona

P Blaire Luna University of Texas

P Hannah Rogers University of Florida

C Jessica Shults University of Oklahoma

1B Hoku Nohara New Mexico State University

2B Ashley Lane University of Michigan

3B Brigette Del Ponte University of Arizona

SS Kelsi Weseman Georgia Tech

OF Raven Chavanne University of Tennessee

OF Ashley Fleming University of Missouri

OF Megan Wiggins University of Georgia

UT/Pitcher Melissa Dumezich Texas A&M University

UT/Non-Pitcher Niki Williams University of Washington

At-Large-P Whitney Canion Baylor University

At-Large-3B Alisa Goler University of Georgia

At-Large-SS Whitney Larsen University of Alabama

At-Large-SS Jenn Salling University of Washington

At-Large-P Jordan Taylor University of Michigan

Third Team

P Jen Mineau Fordham University

P Sara Plourde University of Massachusetts

P Ellen Renfroe University of Tennessee

C Taylor Edwards University of Nebraska

1B Gabriele Bridges University of Louisiana at Lafayette

2B Aja Paculba University of Florida

3B Heather Johnson University of Notre Dame

SS Dani Leal Baylor University

OF Bree Evans University of Michigan

OF Jamia Reid University of California, Berkeley

OF Rhea Taylor University of Missouri

UT/Pitcher Aimee Creger University of Tulsa

UT/Non-Pitcher Dani Miller University of Notre Dame

At-Large-SS Lindsey Hansen Michigan State University

At-Large-P Brittany Mack Louisiana State University

At-Large-OF Michelle Moultrie University of Florida

At-Large-OF Christi Orgeron University of Louisiana at Lafayette

At-Large-2B Danielle Zymkowitz University of Illinois