Raven Chavanne: 'We'll be back'

Improving offense key going forward

Raven Chavanne on the season, the WCWS and 2013

The Tennessee softball team's chartered flight back from Oklahoma City had just lifted off on Sunday when Ralph Weekly began divulging next season's plans.

"I promise, we'll be better,'' said Weekly, who intends on returning for a 12th season as the Lady Vols co-head coach along with his wife, Karen. "There's going to be a different attitude toward offense.

"We led the nation in defense (fielding percentage) this season, but pitching and hitting is what wins in the SEC.''

Tennessee's 2012 season ended with the Lady Vols (52-14) finishing seventh at the Women's College World Series after falling in consecutive games to Alabama (5-3, Thursday) and Oregon (3-1, Saturday).

"I'm not disappointed with the season, but I am disappointed with the last two games,'' said Weekly, whose team hit the 50-win plateau for the first time since 2009, recording a No. 4 RPI and a No. 5 national ranking en route to drawing the NCAA tournament's No. 7 seed.

"We had the capability to be better,'' he said. "We'll be much stronger next season, and I say that with conviction. We're returning eight of 10 starters, plus our entire pitching staff returns.

"We have six freshmen coming in, all of whom are very good and will compete.''

Erin Gabriel, Gatorade's two-time Ohio softball player of the year, is among the newcomers. Gabriel, from Poland (Ohio) Seminary, drew national acclaim this season when she struck out 34 batters in 16 innings at a national high school tournament in April.

Offensively, UT returns 85 percent of its hits, 91 percent of its home runs and 93 percent of its stolen bases to a team that finished second in hitting (.302 average) in the SEC to Alabama. The Crimson Tide, which features six seniors, will play Oklahoma in a best-of-three series starting tonight to determine the national champion.

Lady Vols' All-American lead-off hitter Raven Chavanne is among the rising seniors who figure to take a leadership role next season.

"I know our coaches have plans to make our offense stronger,'' said Chavanne, who led the SEC in hitting and keyed a 19-game winning streak. "We'll be back to the World Series.''

Ivy Renfroe, who pitched all six of the Lady Vols' NCAA tournament victories, said there's still disappointment over the WCWS showing, but also excitement about the future.

"I think we had a great season, and we worked very hard to get a good seeding and go to the world series,'' Renfroe said. "It didn't end the way we wanted it to end, but I think we'll be ready for the fall.

"There will be new leadership roles, and our (rising) senior class has a lot of experience, and that

will help us a lot.''

Five of the returning eight starters will be playing their senior seasons: Renfroe, Chavanne, Kat Dotson, Lauren Gibson and Melissa Brown.

Chavanne Surgery: Chavanne revealed that she will undergo shoulder surgery next week to repair an injury that plagued her throughout the season.

Chavanne batted .423, but she failed to hit a home run after hitting six her freshmen and sophomore campaigns.

"It will make a difference,'' she said. "I hope people don't think I just forgot how to hit for power this season.''

USA Invitees: Chavanne's surgery forced her to decline an invitation to try out for Team USA in Cleveland, Ohio, next week, but other Lady Vols will be among the 33 players vying for 17 spots on the team that will compete in the World University Softball Championship and Canada Cup.

Second baseman Lauren Gibson, pitcher Ellen Renfroe and shortstop Madison Shipman all have invitations.

Farewell Bid: UT will say goodbye to senior starters Shelby Burchell (designated player) and Ashley Andrews (catcher), along with pitcher/utility player Cat Hosfield and outfielder Holly Baker.

The seniors took part in 190 wins and two WCWS.

Burchell was UT's second-leading hitter in the NCAA tournament, with a .367 average and seven RBIs to share team honors with Chavanne. Andrews made her final game memorable by singling, stealing second, scoring the team's only run and gunning down the two base runners who attempted to steal on her at the WCWS.

Hosfield's senior campaign was cut short by a knee injury, while Baker finished her UT career reaching base safely in her final six at-bats.

Mike Griffith covers Tennessee sports. Follow him on twitter at http://twitter.com/MikeGriffith32

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Comments » 46

voloffaith writes:

Thanks Ladies! I think we will be better...didn't know Chavanne was injured as she played great defense...missed the power til she brought it up....Incoming pitcher sounds tough...how that works out with Junior and Senior established Renfroes will be interesting if she is good as advertised...oh this year was good and we must move on....Thanks ladies!!

fearthehound writes:

Lady Vols softball team is one of the classiest of all of the Vols sports teams. They represent us well. I'm looking forward to next year. Make all VFL's proud!!

BambooBoy writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

vollaw writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You probably don't really want the answer since you obviously are a jerk whose post is a thinly veiled, ignorant, not-so-clever attempt to trash women's athletics, but the NCAA pays for the travel expenses for all teams in the WCWS and the Men's CWS and most other NCAA championship events. As for football "paying for" the Lady Vols softball team, it does the same for all minor sports at UT (as it does at every other SEC school), including baseball, etc...

vollaw writes:

in response to BambooBoy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You're an idiot.

WetumpkaThumpa writes:

All those classy, BAMA girls would beg to differ Raven...

http://deepsouthsports.blogspot.com/2...

WetumpkaThumpa writes:

in response to WetumpkaThumpa:

All those classy, BAMA girls would beg to differ Raven...

http://deepsouthsports.blogspot.com/2...

I think that picture paints a million words. rtrTatt and the rest of the Gumpls will be happy at our loss, but they are the most classless people on the face on the earth. What fanbase poisons a tree in the name of Alerbama?

WetumpkaThumpa writes:

in response to WetumpkaThumpa:

I think that picture paints a million words. rtrTatt and the rest of the Gumpls will be happy at our loss, but they are the most classless people on the face on the earth. What fanbase poisons a tree in the name of Alerbama?

Or...Sexually Assualts an LSU fan???

http://www.ajc.com/sports/video-shows...

WetumpkaThumpa writes:

Gump fans. ^^^^^^^^

rtrchatt writes:

in response to WetumpkaThumpa:

Or...Sexually Assualts an LSU fan???

http://www.ajc.com/sports/video-shows...

Really is that the best you got? Bama took you and the PAC 12 to the woodshed this wkend. You are right about class as you can take out the cl and you have your name. Losers lose and haters hate. Idiots come in all colors skippy.

Congrads lady vols on a nice season. Maybe you should have made a music video for you tube like the girls from Bama. Check it out, 2 funny.

WetumpkaThumpa writes:

in response to rtrchatt:

Really is that the best you got? Bama took you and the PAC 12 to the woodshed this wkend. You are right about class as you can take out the cl and you have your name. Losers lose and haters hate. Idiots come in all colors skippy.

Congrads lady vols on a nice season. Maybe you should have made a music video for you tube like the girls from Bama. Check it out, 2 funny.

rtrTatt is back! Him even looking at this website is evidence enough. Get a life dude, really? That's sad....I really feel bad for you. Maybe this guy will help you out in you next life?? You guys may be related considering his obsession with Auburn and your's with Tennessee?

http://www.thevictoryformation.com/ta...

WetumpkaThumpa writes:

rtrtatt's brother...

Seems they both had no life and were obsessed with things that they couldn't control...

http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/20...

You keep it classy!!!!! by posting on a TENNESSEE WEBSITE!!!!!

SummittsCourt writes:

Thanks Coaches and players for another great season. Though it didn't end the way we all wanted it too, the softball team was the only team that competed for a National Championship and I for one am proud.

Can't wait until next season.

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I won't resort to name-calling but...what difference does it make? Is it not enough to be one of the nation's top eight teams?

It's not enough for the team, but that's up to them.

arkyvol writes:

until the lady vols come up with a dominating pitcher, ala traina/ricketts, there's not much chance they'll win it all. right now, they are a lesser version of california, decent team with good pitching. you saw what happened when they came up against bama and the sooners, decent teams with great pitchers.

voloffaith writes:

in response to arkyvol:

until the lady vols come up with a dominating pitcher, ala traina/ricketts, there's not much chance they'll win it all. right now, they are a lesser version of california, decent team with good pitching. you saw what happened when they came up against bama and the sooners, decent teams with great pitchers.

We agree to disagree....we are more than decent...pitching went off the rails in first inning both games then settled in. Hitting disappeared for most part after Va Tech regional game. Normal power hitter Gibson and Shipman 1 homer only in both regionals. We now know why Raven's power dropped off with shoulder surgery forthcoming. Don't recall for the moment what the next class of recruits is bringing other than a strong pitcher.....Thanks again Lady Vols!!

voloffaith writes:

in response to rtrchatt:

Really is that the best you got? Bama took you and the PAC 12 to the woodshed this wkend. You are right about class as you can take out the cl and you have your name. Losers lose and haters hate. Idiots come in all colors skippy.

Congrads lady vols on a nice season. Maybe you should have made a music video for you tube like the girls from Bama. Check it out, 2 funny.

Hey farragut 5-3 is not the woodshed over Lady Vols. Hey farragut 5-2 is not the woodshed over Oregon either. Try and learn to be classy when you win. No one respects someone whose team wins then goes around attempting to rub their face in the ground. Yes that applies to fans of any team. Sadly you keep popping up on Vol website spewing your lil diatribes of Elephant team stuff. Grow up! Your team of lady elephants is in the hunt with big guns for the championship. So focus on them and stop being the lil third grader throwing dirt balls at people.....jeepers Wally when will ya learn.....

volboy81 writes:

GREAT season Lady Vols...disappointed in the WCWS like everyone else, but it happens. I believe it took Bummer 8 tries to get to the finals...we did it in 3. Cant wait til next season! ...as for the rest of this year...
GO SOONERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Theo writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Poor, bitter, little man. College athletics is not about making money and it doesn't matter which team funds what. It is about providing experiences to students (men and women) to enrich their college experiences and prepare them to be productive citizens.
I realize you are clueless about most of what I just said - like being a college student, being a productive citizen. Try and use your imagination.

Theo writes:

in response to rtrchatt:

Really is that the best you got? Bama took you and the PAC 12 to the woodshed this wkend. You are right about class as you can take out the cl and you have your name. Losers lose and haters hate. Idiots come in all colors skippy.

Congrads lady vols on a nice season. Maybe you should have made a music video for you tube like the girls from Bama. Check it out, 2 funny.

Actually I think sexually assaulting opponent's fans is quite a lot. Stay classy Mullet State fans.
Univ of Texas - LMAO - choke.

ps11824 writes:

I wish this site could be cleaned up. I appreciate those who keep it real with respectable comments. There's never a place for humiliating, disrespect on this site. There are enough fans who post on a regular basis to insist the garbage be banned from ever getting their immature obnoxious filth from being allowed. If this does not get cleaned up, gvx will turn into an x-rated vermin-infested site.

Please don't let that happen. These players work hard year round. They spend time and resources to be the best representative of the University of Tennessee that they can be. The Lady Vols and their families sacrifice to get where they are while children like bamboobie spews venom at them like they were as filthy as he is. That's just not right.

The fine print at the bottom of this thread clearly states this will not be allowed. Clearly states those like the venomous posters will be banned. Get them off here so sensible fans can enjoy gvx, please

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to ps11824:

I wish this site could be cleaned up. I appreciate those who keep it real with respectable comments. There's never a place for humiliating, disrespect on this site. There are enough fans who post on a regular basis to insist the garbage be banned from ever getting their immature obnoxious filth from being allowed. If this does not get cleaned up, gvx will turn into an x-rated vermin-infested site.

Please don't let that happen. These players work hard year round. They spend time and resources to be the best representative of the University of Tennessee that they can be. The Lady Vols and their families sacrifice to get where they are while children like bamboobie spews venom at them like they were as filthy as he is. That's just not right.

The fine print at the bottom of this thread clearly states this will not be allowed. Clearly states those like the venomous posters will be banned. Get them off here so sensible fans can enjoy gvx, please

98,

What can we do? I wrote to Jack Lail about how the site has spiraled downward, and he just ignores it.

The trolls here have roosted mainly to antagonize Vol fans. Even the never ending so-called Vol fans who daily whine about the past and assume everything about the future are almost as bad.

We can easily see who the legitimate Tennessee fans are...........and you are one of those. Thank goodness we do not have to deal with some of the ones to whom you and I refer, aside from this site. If we were at a game and a couple of these trolls were nearby there would be some trouble. We've seen people like that escorted out of the stadium/arenas etc.

Thanks for a very well stated analysis of how this site has been allowed to slide as it has. No, the administrator clearly does not feel inclined to straighten out the mess.

And by not doing so, the trolls such as the "great kid/toad, Gomer 'pile', Chattanooga chatterbox, bamboo etc are gleefully ruining the site, which is their purpose.

frblalack writes:

Congratulations for another fine year, Ms Raven! Our whole University and all its fans appreciate the excellent effort put forth by you & your teammates. Hoping your surgery goes well, and I am truly looking forward to another great year next season. With you & Maddi & Lauren we have the nucleus for the BEST infield in the country, and I'm certain our Renfroes will be awesome! My only concern for next year is losing Ashley; hope she will stay on as a graduate assistant or in some capacity. I know we have the talented Ms Hannah to replace AA, but someone's got to step up big-time to replace her spirit! Here's lookin' at ya, Raven!

All Vols - Lady Vols = CLASS! - Love my Lady Vols!

AllforTenn writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Hey farragut 5-3 is not the woodshed over Lady Vols. Hey farragut 5-2 is not the woodshed over Oregon either. Try and learn to be classy when you win. No one respects someone whose team wins then goes around attempting to rub their face in the ground. Yes that applies to fans of any team. Sadly you keep popping up on Vol website spewing your lil diatribes of Elephant team stuff. Grow up! Your team of lady elephants is in the hunt with big guns for the championship. So focus on them and stop being the lil third grader throwing dirt balls at people.....jeepers Wally when will ya learn.....

Good response. The poor kid must have a problem.

vol49 writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

98,

What can we do? I wrote to Jack Lail about how the site has spiraled downward, and he just ignores it.

The trolls here have roosted mainly to antagonize Vol fans. Even the never ending so-called Vol fans who daily whine about the past and assume everything about the future are almost as bad.

We can easily see who the legitimate Tennessee fans are...........and you are one of those. Thank goodness we do not have to deal with some of the ones to whom you and I refer, aside from this site. If we were at a game and a couple of these trolls were nearby there would be some trouble. We've seen people like that escorted out of the stadium/arenas etc.

Thanks for a very well stated analysis of how this site has been allowed to slide as it has. No, the administrator clearly does not feel inclined to straighten out the mess.

And by not doing so, the trolls such as the "great kid/toad, Gomer 'pile', Chattanooga chatterbox, bamboo etc are gleefully ruining the site, which is their purpose.

+1. You hit it out of the park.

Biggie writes:

Is there a reason that Knoxnews videographers can't center their subjects on the screen? I feel like I'm going to lose Revn out the bottom of the screen mid sentence......

AlexAndersonAAradio writes:

I think the biggest key to improving the offense next year is to get Kat Dodson 100%. Even hurt she's a really good player but when healthy she's big time.

ps11824 writes:

Thanks for removing the abusive comments.

Rookie2 writes:

This team seemed to just be glad to be there this year. I hope they come back next year with some fire in their eyes and more of a "we're here to win it" attitude. Alabama's got it. And Raven's got it.

Theo writes:

Love the fact they are moving on. Great organizations achieve success via disciplined, incremental improvements. Coach Ws and the team seem to be totally on board with doing what it takes to continue that upward climb. Good for them. Congratulations on a great season and I look forward to even bigger and better things next year.

UTistheOLEMISSoftheEAST writes:

Once again the ut fans are crying like a bunch of 'lil girl losing softball players because another SEC team is getting it done. Quit crying and win something for a change.

And you wonder why the rest of college sports fans everywhere continue to laugh at ut.

Theo writes:

Hopefully the Lady Vols will be the first SEC champs ever next year. I was going to root for any SEC school - including Mullet State but rtrchitt cured me of that.

BigBadVol writes:

Congrats ladies on a nice season and an even better attitude. How refreshing to see from the players and the coach. You make me proud to be a VFL!

voloffaith writes:

in response to UTistheOLEMISSoftheEAST:

Once again the ut fans are crying like a bunch of 'lil girl losing softball players because another SEC team is getting it done. Quit crying and win something for a change.

And you wonder why the rest of college sports fans everywhere continue to laugh at ut.

Actually they are expressing that towards ewe out of pity that you have a one track mind that is heading fool steam towards a cliff......We aren't crying....sad it had to end...learn and move on til the next campaign....

vollaw writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not as weak as you trashing the softball team, Title IX and all women's athletic programs, plus not being smart enough to know that the NCAA pays the expenses to all championships for a school's official travel party. Sorry, but my patience for ignorance happened to have run out when I read your post. It hit me wrong. Btw, before you dismiss my posts as the rants of a "feminist" in order to make yourself feel superior,I am a man, a former high school and D-II football and baseball coach and compliance officer at a D-II school. Actually, I probably am a "feminist." That's what happens to a man when he has three daughters who play sports.

vollaw writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Btw, I don't see where I called you a name. I just formed the opinion from reading your post that you were obviously, or at least acting like, an uninformed jerk. Your statments and the facts speak for themselves.

14th_rated_sec_coach writes:

The lady softvols will be back next year because they have good coaches and good prospects coming in and good players returning. I wish I could say the same for football but I cant....because the coach is a career loser

voloffaith writes:

in response to 14th_rated_sec_coach:

The lady softvols will be back next year because they have good coaches and good prospects coming in and good players returning. I wish I could say the same for football but I cant....because the coach is a career loser

Evidently ewe think Coach Dooley's lead is a good one as you continuously exhibit the very sentiment ewe scream about our coach.....you are making a career out of bashing the coach in the midst of another article that is completely off the subject(again)

vollaw writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Actually, those are former jobs from many years ago, I am currently an attorney in private practice. And your most recent response just confirms my initial observation and conclusion, i.e., you are a jerk. Enjoy your sad life as a mysoginistic troll. meaningless life.

voloffaith writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

" Are ya feeling lucky punk? You see I can't remember whether it was i before e except after c or not....go ahead make my day and spell receiving with i b4 the e." Doggone tax payer supported job....BTW he was providing a needed service in the community so get off his "back". Let me explain that in plain english...he was paid to provide a service even if it was sports related...interviewed and hired.... must you always be antagonistic?

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Travel man,

Appears you need to take a pill, go somewhere and cool off. While you are bashing lawyers, we can hardly wait for you to get around to another lawyer who is a football coach as well. That's next.

voloffaith writes:

Man alive we got us a soap opera here....no not the 'Phantom of The Opera.'

vollaw writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not that it matters to you, but at this point in my legal career, I now primarily work as a guardian ad litem representing abused and neglected children, providing free legal services to those that can't afford it, and still do some coaching as an unpaid volunteer coach at the high school level. Of course, this is after spending several years, yes again being paid by taxpayers, making very little money as a prosecutor primarily prosecuting child abusers, although I put a few drug dealers and other criminals in jail too. In any case, I am done with this back and forth. I have wasted enough time with you, because as Ron White says, "you can't fix stupid." Plus, I just realized that I have probably been arguing with an unemployed 21-year-old still living at home. Boy, do I feel silly. Have a good life Traveler. Hope you never need a lawyer

Theo writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Wow - are you pathetic. So now abused and neglected children shouldn't be represented because there is federal funding involved. I would imagine, based on your postings, that almost everyone on here pays more in taxes than you do. When/if you receive medicare/soc sec etc please send that back. I wouldn't want you to be funded by the taxpayer.

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

My question is, if Coach Weekly says we have 6 new recruits coming in next year, who are they other than Erin Gabriel, Anna Renfroe, Lexi Overstreet and the girl from Colorado whose name escapes me?

Jblue writes:

OH MY GOSH , CAN SOME OF YOU JUST SHUT UP!!! Every time, seriously EVERYTIME i come on this site to read an article, there is someone complaining about something. And that's not just softball, it's everything sport(basketball,football,etc). This has been the most successful ut vols sports team this year, and yet some of you still act like they finished last in the conference. NEWS FLASH!!! Our two lead off hitters played through injuries and we still did great. It's all in the article but guessing from the comments, i bet some of you didn't read the article. You just jumped on to comment on any and everything that except for the lady vols success this season. These people I'm talking about include: 1) those who think they are the ones who led the lady vols to 5wcws appearances and refuse to let the coach do their job and criticize them. If it wasn't for the weekly's, the softball program wouldn't be where it is now. If you were qualified, then you would be in their position but you're not, so... 2) those who talk about every other subject except the one presented in the article. You will talk about another school, sport, coach,etc before you talk the good things that happened this season. A little advice: go to the teams website if you want to talk about them 3) those of you think it's cute to slam the vols for no particular reason. You come on the vols website to brag, complain, and start arguments over the internet(seriously how old are you?). Some of you are trolls and others just don't want to admit it , but I'm sure your school has it own website where you can brag and boast all you want. Just don't do it on here and be disrespectful. Which brings me to 4) those of you who entertain the trolls. What is it called when someone argues with an idiot? Answer: 2 idiots arguing. Explanation: because you allow someone to bring you down to their level. You give them exactly what they want which is a response. If you don't give them a response or even acknowledge that they exist, they will eventually go away. The only Power they have is the power you give them. The only thing more annoying than a troll is, someone who argues with them. You people are adults(even though you don't act like it) arguing over the Internet like teenagers and This is coming from a 17 year old(using dad's account). So that alone should shame you. I love the lady vols and everything that team does, they had a tremendous season that didn't go as planned at wcws. But that does not take away from what they did this year. Greatest of luck next season Love Them Lady Vols!!! There is nothing wrong with voicing your opinion as everyone is entitled to their own, but if your purpose is to ridicule or simply get a response out of someone, then you should take your comment somewhere else or don't comment at all. Sorry for this long drawn out speech, but thanks for those who read it.

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