She can play shortstop, catcher, or the outfield.
She can bat right-handed or left-handed. She can hit for power from either side or be a slapper from the left side.
Oh, and one other thing.
Tennessee senior Ashley Andrews can also serve as unofficial player/psychologist for the softball team. She will earn her degree in psychology this summer.
No wonder Andrews can settle down the Lady Vols when even their coaches can't.
"She's calming, she's a leader, she's the captain, no question," UT co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. "She's the boss out there on the field, and she definitely calms them down when they need it."
Andrews learned to take charge of a team in the summer of 2009 — before her freshman year at UT — when her travel-team coach let her do the on-the-field managing.
It was her initiation into a role she has grown to love.
"I don't rule by the sword, or whatever, but I love to have fun and encourage my teammates," Andrews said. "That's what I love to do, just try and make them feel comfortable."
Andrews will continue her role the rest of her senior season, which continues today when the No. 6 Lady Vols (40-9) play host to Tennessee State (11-34) for a doubleheader at Lee Softball Stadium. First game starts at 5 p.m.
Andrews' contributions to the Lady Vols go far beyond the leadership role.
"I think she's a great
player, best defensive player all-around we've ever had here, no question," Weekly said.
At what position?
"At any position. Wherever we put her," said Weekly, in his 11th season as UT's co-head coach with his wife Karen.
The Weeklys recruited Andrews as a catcher out of Turnwater (Wash.) High School, but when she got to Knoxville, the Lady Vols already had All-American catcher Tiffany Huff.
No problem. Andrews moved to starting shortstop for two years — until the Weeklys brought in Madison Shipman to play shortstop. So Andrews moved to catcher for the 2011 season.
This season, Andrews moved to center field — in large part to stabilize a youthful outfield — with the addition of freshman catcher Hannah Akamine.
Now, Andrews is back at catcher as the Lady Vols make their stretch run.
"Really wherever I'm playing, I don't really care, as long as I'm in the lineup," Andrews said. "I truly just love catching. Right now, there's nowhere else I'd rather be."
Andrews is hitting .264 in 45 games this season and has eight RBIs and 23 runs scored. She went 3-for-4 with four RBIs last Sunday as the Lady Vols beat South Carolina for their 13th consecutive victory.
After starting the season hitting from the left side, Andrews has moved back to the right, where she hit at South Carolina.
"She's a true switch hitter, the first one I've ever coached," Ralph Weekly said. "She can hit from both sides. She's more finesse hitter from the left side, but she does have power from the left side, and she's more of a power hitter from the right side. I guess the big thing is she's the first real true switch hitter I've seen who is equally as good from both sides."
Andrews spent most of her softball career hitting right-handed, but did some slap hitting the summer before coming to UT and stayed as a slapper her freshman year. She went back to the right side in 2010, when left-hitters Kat Dotson and Raven Chavanne joined the Lady Vols.
This season, she has hit from both sides.
"Just to be able to have the flexibility to go right or left in different situations gives the coaches the opportunity to put someone in there who can give a different look to the team," Andrews said.
Andrews was the starting shortstop in 2010 when the Lady Vols reached the Women's College World Series.
She calls it an indescribable experience, one that inspires her every day.
"It does give me a lot of motivation," Andrews said. "I want to go back. It's my last year. I want all my teammates to go back. You never know when it's your last day playing ball, so not only for me and the three other seniors but for all of my other teammates to be able to go."
Dave Link is a freelance contributor.