Jessica Spigner leaves Lady Vols softball

Tennessee's Jessica Spigner, left, runs to home plate in front of Georgia pitcher Erin Arevalo, right, to score in the second inning of their game in the NCAA championship softball tournament, in Oklahoma City, Friday, June 4, 2010.

AP Photo / Sue Ogrocki

Tennessee's Jessica Spigner, left, runs to home plate in front of Georgia pitcher Erin Arevalo, right, to score in the second inning of their game in the NCAA championship softball tournament, in Oklahoma City, Friday, June 4, 2010.

Jessica Spigner, UT softball player 2009

Jessica Spigner, UT softball player 2009

Tennessee softball co-head coach Ralph Weekly announced Thursday that third baseman Jessica Spigner is no longer with the Lady Vols.

“The move was in the best interest of both parties,’’ said Weekly, who along with his wife, Karen, shares the head-coaching duties. “I appreciate her contributions and wish her well in the future.’’

Spigner, who is transferring to play at Arizona, led the Lady Vols with 16 home runs last season and was sixth on the team with a .325 batting average and a .966 fielding percentage.

Toward the end of this past season, her junior year, Spigner started sharing time at third base with sophomore All-American Raven Chavanne.

Spigner, who is from Santa Clarita, Calif., was an All-SEC freshman team selection in 2009, and with 38 career home runs she leaves No. 2 on the Lady Vols’ all-time home run list behind Tonya Callahan (51).

Tennessee finished last season 49-12, winning the SEC tournament before being upset in the NCAA regionals by Women’s College World Series participant Oklahoma State.

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Comments » 23

blewissmith writes:

A lot must go on behind the scenes!!

chrisw2967 writes:

hmmm this is kind of an odd move at this time

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Have to agree with the previous posts. Not a clue here as to what this is all about.

Hopefully the team can reload and move on.

PureOrange writes:

Attitudes matter. Bad ones cannot be tolerated.

Just like the old saying, "No I in TEAM!".

voloffaith writes:

Did we sign another third baseman in recruiting? Big bat and coach have a spat over time played?
A big loss for power game and going to Arizona of all places.

UTByrd writes:

in response to PureOrange:

Attitudes matter. Bad ones cannot be tolerated.

Just like the old saying, "No I in TEAM!".

There was a wacky beer commercial a couple of years ago whereas the athlete says, "There may not be an I in team, but, there is an M and an E.

Go VOLS and LADY VOLS!!!!!

huntined#565710 writes:

That is one heck of a BIG LOSS!!!

VOLsince68 writes:

What is going on over there??? Don't understand this move at all.

GO VOLS!!!!!!

Elitesoftballfan writes:

PureOrange - how do you know spigner had an attitude? I've watch spigner play and she was a good 3B - why did they move her?

kazoo writes:

Best interest of both parties? Seems rather stupid to me, given that Spigner is a senior and best power hitter on the team. Maybe she's adamant that she plays third base. Why not be a team player and find another position? To transfer heading into your senior year is very unusual and very unfortunate.

Elitesoftballfan writes:

some say its attitude...now we think that she gave up her senior year to go elsewhere. If the coaches wanted her she would still be a ladyvol. I think the coaches made promises to other players they were trying to keep and spigner is the casualty. When you really think about it she just transferred to Arizona who currently has the #1 coach in the nation. Good luck to spigner.

voloffaith writes:

Third and pitcher are what she has played for us since coming. If Chavanne took 3rd due to better quickness there coming from outfield then Spigner is limited. She doesn't have the speed for the outfield and won't be pitching which she has done in very limited role since coming. So squeezed out. I agree sad and again we don't know it all. This happens every year,but it has been the recruits that didn't pan out that have been quietly removed from roster. Williamson the young pitcher is now at Marshall. Ashton Ward went to Virginia Tech. Don't know all that goes on ,but haven't heard any departing player speak ill of the Weeklys when these things take shape.

voloffaith writes:

OOPS Spigner was listed as 3b/1b,but with Davin having good frosh year as a late bloomer that probably put a redlight to her eyes of opportunity. Hey maybe she just wanted to finish out closer to home and her school choice gives her another realistic shot at nC2a championship with them.

topsoftballplayer writes:

Ralph and Karen are negative coaches and drive players away. Who would leave in their senior year. The coaches rode her and tried to make her quit.When she didn't they tossed her. Recruits should take a long hard look at this program. Coaches pit players against one another to create friction.It will be interesting to see how Spigner performs in a climate where she is wanted. This player under pressure all year from the coaches still performed. A little support wold have gone a long way.Current players cannot speak the truth while they are still there if they wish to play.

kazoo writes:

Isn't she one of the best hitters on the team? This group is always backsliding near the top of the mountain. Knowing UT's luck, she'll hit a home run to eliminate the Vols in the series next year.

voloffaith writes:

in response to topsoftballplayer:

Ralph and Karen are negative coaches and drive players away. Who would leave in their senior year. The coaches rode her and tried to make her quit.When she didn't they tossed her. Recruits should take a long hard look at this program. Coaches pit players against one another to create friction.It will be interesting to see how Spigner performs in a climate where she is wanted. This player under pressure all year from the coaches still performed. A little support wold have gone a long way.Current players cannot speak the truth while they are still there if they wish to play.

Welcome with your initial/only post as a negative on the Weekly's. I pointed out some have left and I haven't heard from Williamson at Marshall or Ashton Ward at Va. Tech as former Vol pitchers who moved on. Since you are a top softball player should I call you MS. Abbott? Again current players can't speak,but I've yet to hear a former who left speak as such. Would you be so kind and factual to support your point please. I hope your first post is not a glimpse of future postings.

P.S. to all: don't forget your dad's if they are still with us tomorrow on Father's day .

kazoo writes:

in response to topsoftballplayer:

Ralph and Karen are negative coaches and drive players away. Who would leave in their senior year. The coaches rode her and tried to make her quit.When she didn't they tossed her. Recruits should take a long hard look at this program. Coaches pit players against one another to create friction.It will be interesting to see how Spigner performs in a climate where she is wanted. This player under pressure all year from the coaches still performed. A little support wold have gone a long way.Current players cannot speak the truth while they are still there if they wish to play.

How do you know these things? Why would any coach want one of his best hitters to quit--doesn't make much sense? Ralph should have done whatever was necessary to find a position for her. A disturbing development, to say the least.

voloffaith writes:

I'm still reading rumor/speculation.....Dragnet Joe said,"nothing but the facts maam." Top please supply us with the facts, not speculation etc.

voloffaith writes:

Interesting that two new posters,Elite...and Top...both show up on 17th & 18th with this their inaugural posts. Not same person are ya? Happy to have ya when you bring facts and not rumors/speculations. For elite I checked stats and Spigner 4 errors and Chavanne had 1. So fielding% was close. Maybe someone wanted a guarantee that 3rd would be theirs and Weekly's wouldn't budge. We don't know and the players and coaches are basically mums the word on it. Till we hear to the contrary the speculation/gossip needs to stop.....

kazoo writes:

You would think that Weeks would find her a new position, if he wants to play somebody else at third, and that Spigner would accept the position change in the best interest of the team. Too bad that didn't happen.

Elitesoftballfan writes:

I'm curious because my daughter is a fan of spigner's and she loved watching her play. First time posting and I only have one name "Elite". In coaching my daughter we always tell the kids if you're hitting we will find a spot for you. It just seems they did the opposite with spigner.

ladyvolsalltheway writes:

Everyone seems to be assuming that the coaches are to blame. Is it conceivable that the player was not happy being re-assigned to another position. There is a lot more to a decision like this...than "a coach running a player off". I imagine there were a lot of factors that ultimately brought both parties to the same conclusion...that it was the best move for both parties.

putmeincoach writes:

in response to kazoo:

You would think that Weeks would find her a new position, if he wants to play somebody else at third, and that Spigner would accept the position change in the best interest of the team. Too bad that didn't happen.

They did. She didn't.

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