Open-and-shut-case for Gibson as SEC Player of the Year

Chavanne, Dotson, Shipman also earn first team All-SEC honors

KNOXVILLE, TN - APRIL 16: Lauren Gibson #27 watches her hit during the conference match between the University of Tennessee Lady Vols and the Appalachian State Mountaineers on April 16, 2013 at Lee Stadium in Knoxville, TN. The Lady Vols won 6-1. Photo By Andrew Bruckse/Tennessee Athletics

Photo by Andrew Bruckse/Tennessee Athleti, University of Tennessee Athletics and UTSports.com All Rights Reserved http://www.utsports.com contact: utadphoto@utk.edu

KNOXVILLE, TN - APRIL 16: Lauren Gibson #27 watches her hit during the conference match between the University of Tennessee Lady Vols and the Appalachian State Mountaineers on April 16, 2013 at Lee Stadium in Knoxville, TN. The Lady Vols won 6-1. Photo By Andrew Bruckse/Tennessee Athletics

When Lauren Gibson arrived at Tennessee in the fall of 2009 as a freshman on the softball team, she was unsure of a major.

She started out in pre-veterinary medicine/animal science, but soon switched to criminal justice and forensic science simply because she liked watching “CSI” and “Criminal Minds” on television.

On the field, however, the second baseman was a crafty detective from the beginning in figuring out her route to personal fulfillment and success.

Gibson, who has been a starter all four seasons at UT, hit a team single-season record 18 home runs and bat .430, including .448 in SEC play. She led the SEC in home runs, RBIs, runs, batting average and slugging percentage in league play.

On Tuesday, Gibson was named the SEC Player of the Year. Tonya Callahan was the last UT player to win the award in 2008, giving the Lady Vols back-to-back winners with India Chiles.

Gibson, from Pasadena, Md., said she was in class when she saw UT announce the honor on Twitter.

“That’s how I found out,” she said with a laugh. “I was really excited. This is my senior year and I really wanted to make an impression on the softball world.”

Co-head coach Ralph Weekly also was excited for the player he considers special on and off the field.

“She’s a kid who comes through in the clutch,” he said. “Lauren’s been a great player to have the entire time. She’s a great student and a great person. She’s never been in trouble and has always been a leader.”

Three other Lady Vols joined Gibson on the All-SEC first team, the most of any team in the league. Joining Gibson on the team that was voted on by opposing coaches are senior third baseman Raven Chavanne, junior shortstop Madison Shipman and senior right-fielder Kat Dotson. The same quartet also made the SEC All-Defensive team.

“To see our opponents vote on three of our four infielders from Tennessee speaks a lot for these kids,” said Weekly. “I’m proud of them and I’m proud of Kat Dotson in the outfield.”

It’s the third year in a row that Chavanne has made first team. She is second in the SEC in batting average (.439), hits (36), runs (25) and stolen bases (12-for-12).

Dotson was named first team for the third time. She is hitting .373 in SEC games for eighth best and ranked in the top 10 in on-base percentage (fifth, .481), runs (fifth, 21) and stolen bases (ninth, 7).

Shipman made the first team for the second year in a row. She is sixth in the conference with a .384 batting average and ranks in the top 10 in hits (seventh, 28), RBIs (sixth, 19) and doubles (tied for eighth, 5).

John Shearer is a freelance contributor.

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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Comments » 16

arkyvol writes:

well deserved. her middle name could be 'consistent'.

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

Think of the pressure Geer and Koenig will feel next year replacing Gibson and Chavanne. I hope, and anticipate, they're as good as advertised. I'm already looking forward to Lady Vol basketball and softball next year.Does anyone know if Erin Gabriel has pitched too much to be redshirted? An accurate answer would be truly appreciated.

huntined#565710 writes:

YESSSSS!!!!!! Just a real good player period...

voloffaith writes:

in response to snowpeapod#263184:

Think of the pressure Geer and Koenig will feel next year replacing Gibson and Chavanne. I hope, and anticipate, they're as good as advertised. I'm already looking forward to Lady Vol basketball and softball next year.Does anyone know if Erin Gabriel has pitched too much to be redshirted? An accurate answer would be truly appreciated.

Have to admit at first thought Geer and Koenig was a law firm..........are their bios on the Lady Vol website for perusal? Yes big shoes to fill no doubt. Alright ladies ya'll do some damage in bluegrass state and bring home hardware!! GO Lady Vols!!!

SummittsCourt writes:

Congrats to all for a great year. Raven could have won the SEC player of the year award as well.

Lauren Gibson should win NCAA player of the year as well, or maybe Raven...

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

Congrats to all for a great year. Raven could have won the SEC player of the year award as well.

Lauren Gibson should win NCAA player of the year as well, or maybe Raven...

Summitts Ct

Agree. I sure will miss these 6 seniors......that's why I felt this was one of the best chances to really go far in the tournament.

What was surprising to me at least, was Lauren's
ability to hit the long ball. 18 home runs !

And, she's not one of these portly, offensive tackle lookalikes that some other teams have.

Well deserved honor Lauren. You and the team go and make us proud !

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Have to admit at first thought Geer and Koenig was a law firm..........are their bios on the Lady Vol website for perusal? Yes big shoes to fill no doubt. Alright ladies ya'll do some damage in bluegrass state and bring home hardware!! GO Lady Vols!!!

Yes, the article was posted November 19, 2012. Go to UT Athletics web site and click on Softball and scroll down to the 11/19 article.Ralph said it might be their best recruiting class that didn't include a pitcher. While you're researching, see if you can find the answer to my question in my original post. If I was in Knoxville I'd go to the softball office to find out.

865fan writes:

in response to snowpeapod#263184:

Think of the pressure Geer and Koenig will feel next year replacing Gibson and Chavanne. I hope, and anticipate, they're as good as advertised. I'm already looking forward to Lady Vol basketball and softball next year.Does anyone know if Erin Gabriel has pitched too much to be redshirted? An accurate answer would be truly appreciated.

Ein did not redshirt. I spoke to her mother after Auburn series and she said Erin is disappointed about injury but looking forward to 3 strong years.

voloffaith writes:

in response to snowpeapod#263184:

Yes, the article was posted November 19, 2012. Go to UT Athletics web site and click on Softball and scroll down to the 11/19 article.Ralph said it might be their best recruiting class that didn't include a pitcher. While you're researching, see if you can find the answer to my question in my original post. If I was in Knoxville I'd go to the softball office to find out.

Not sure on Erin's innings/games pitched. They obviously shut her down and went with Tarango as their midweek/third option after Erin got hammered a few times.Thanks for the answer.

voloffaith writes:

Erin was in 9 games with 8 starts and total 29 innings. Don't know yet the limit on games/innings to get a redshirt.

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Not sure on Erin's innings/games pitched. They obviously shut her down and went with Tarango as their midweek/third option after Erin got hammered a few times.Thanks for the answer.

Erin only pitched 29 innings in a total of 9 games. That's why I thought she may be available to redshirt. Anyway, I'm glad you found the information you were looking for.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Summitts Ct

Agree. I sure will miss these 6 seniors......that's why I felt this was one of the best chances to really go far in the tournament.

What was surprising to me at least, was Lauren's
ability to hit the long ball. 18 home runs !

And, she's not one of these portly, offensive tackle lookalikes that some other teams have.

Well deserved honor Lauren. You and the team go and make us proud !

Orangecountyvols,
I agree, this is going to be their year. The pitching is good enough and the hitting has to be the best they have ever had.

I prefer a Lauren Gibson over those big girls who can't run past first base unless it's a home run. It's either a home run or an out with those girls.

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

in response to 865fan:

Ein did not redshirt. I spoke to her mother after Auburn series and she said Erin is disappointed about injury but looking forward to 3 strong years.

Thanks for the info although I am a little disappointed to hear it. You must live in the northern part of Ohio as I am currently near Cincinnati. I do spend 6 months in Knoxville each year. Thanks again for the info.

865fan writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Not sure on Erin's innings/games pitched. They obviously shut her down and went with Tarango as their midweek/third option after Erin got hammered a few times.Thanks for the answer.

They did not "shut her down" because she got hammered. She tore a muscle in her shoulder and was out for the season. It was an injury, not a coaching decision.

arkyvol writes:

not only a great player, that is one great picture (look at her face).

voloffaith writes:

in response to 865fan:

They did not "shut her down" because she got hammered. She tore a muscle in her shoulder and was out for the season. It was an injury, not a coaching decision.

I sit corrected and appreciate the update. Don't know how I missed,but obviously I did. Will pray for recovery as well as patience in the rehab.

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