5-17-2011 National Players of the Week


May 17 2011

Tennessee’s E. Renfroe Named USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week

OKLAHOMA CITY –  The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today that Tennessee’s Ellen Renfroe (Jackson, Tenn.) was named the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week for the week of May 9-15. The freshman pitcher was named the Southeastern (SEC) Conference Tournament’s Most Valuable Player after helping lead third-seeded and then- No. 7-ranked Tennessee to the program’s second SEC Tournament title.

“It is such a terrific honor to be chosen as the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week,” said Renfroe. “When you are pitching against great teams like Kentucky, Auburn and Georgia, you have to have a solid defense behind you and a great offense to give you support, so my teammates deserve most of the credit for this award.  I especially want to thank the Lord for granting me the ability to play softball at this level and for giving me the opportunity to play with such a great group of teammates.”

With victories against then-No.20 Kentucky (4-1), then-No.20 Auburn (2-1) and then-No.9 Georgia (6-5, 8 innings), she was also a selection to the SEC All-Tournament Team. Renfroe registered a 3-0 record in the circle with a 0.76 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 18.1 innings of work while holding three ranked teams to a miniscule .179 batting average. As the starting pitcher during the tourney opener versus Kentucky, the right-hander worked five innings, allowing just a single run to the .300-hitting Wildcats while striking out three.

Easily her finest performances of the weekend came in vital relief as Renfroe entered in the second inning versus Auburn in the semifinal with two base runners already on and no one retired. She eventually struck out the side to help the Big Orange escape a huge early jam. From there she allowed just a single hit over the final five frames to the Tigers as Tennessee held on for a 2-1 victory.

“Being named USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week is a huge honor for both Ellen and our team,” Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Karen Weekly said.  “Ellen’s performance during the entire SEC Tournament was masterful.  Her relief appearance against Georgia in the Championship Game was especially clutch, holding UGA’s powerful offense to just one run over 7.1 innings.  These types of awards come after great individual and team performances.  Ellen would be the first to credit her teammates for the SEC Championship.”

Renfroe entered the match-up in relief versus a power-hitting Georgia squad in the first inning of the SEC Championship Game with Tennessee already down 4-0. In a crucial effort from the circle, she held Georgia to only one run on five hits with five strikeouts in 7.1 innings of work as Tennessee rallied for  6-5 (8 innings), walk-off victory. 

This is the first-time honor for the freshman and the only Player of the Week honor for Tennessee of the season.  This also marks the final Player of the Week selection of the 2011 softball season. For a complete listing of Player of the Week honors, click here.


 Michigan’s Taylor Earns Final NFCA Division I National Player of the Week Honor of 2011
May 17, 2011

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Michigan senior Jordan Taylor has been named as the final NFCA National Player of the Week of the 2011 season for games played May 9-15.

Taylor helped lead the Wolverines to the Big Ten title and sweep over arch-rival Michigan State last week with two commanding performance in the circle.  On the week, Taylor allowed no runs off of just one hit with 19 strikeouts and only two walks over 11 innings of work.  She finished the week with 0.00 ERA, while limiting the Spartans to a microscopic .027 batting average.

The Valencia, Calif., native started the week with a one-hit, 13-strikeout performance against Michigan State on Friday in her last regular season home game at the Wilpon Complex in Ann Arbor.  On Saturday when the series moved to East Lansing, Taylor was even more impressive.  In the regular-season finale, she helped the Wolverines win their fourth straight Big Tem title outright by tossing the eighth no-hitter of her remarkable career and the second of her final campaign with the Maize & Blue.

Taylor finished the 2011 regular-season with a 29-3 record, a 1.29 ERA, 301 strikeouts, an opponent’s batting average of .174 and a DI-leading eight saves.

The second-ranked Wolverines (51-4) now head to the NCAA Championship where they earned the 10th-overall seed and the right to host a regional.  Michigan will kick-off play in the Ann Arbor regional, which also includes No. 23 Kentucky and No. 24 Notre Dame, on Friday when they take on the champions of the Mid-America Conference, Western Michigan.

 Other Top Performances

Louisiana-Lafayette’s Christi Orgeron earned Sun Belt tournament MOP honors by batting .538 with 13 RBIs and three home runs… Jen Mineau of Fordham was nearly unhittable at last week’s Atlantic-10 tournament, allowing just six hit and no runs while fanning 27 over three games… Tennessee’s Ellen Renfroe helped the Lady Vols to the SEC Crown by going 3-0 and limiting three Top 25 opponents to a combined two earned runs… Whitney Johnson of North Dakota St. landed her second straight Summit League MVP honor last week after allowing just five hits and no runs while striking out 19 in the conference tournament. 

NFCA DI National Player of the Week

May 17 – Jordan Taylor – Michigan – Sr. – P – Valencia, Calif.
May 10 – Keilani Ricketts – Oklahoma – So. – P – San Jose, Calif.  

May 3 – Raven Chavanne – Tennessee – So. – OF – Thousand Oaks, Calif. (co)
May 3 – Jen Mineau – Fordham – Jr. – P – Schaghticoke, N.Y. (co)
Apr. 25 – Adrienne Monka – Northwestern – Jr. – 1B – Ranch Cucamonga, Calif.

Apr. 18 – Jolene Henderson – California – So. – P – Elk Grove, Calif.

Apr. 11 – Kristyn Sandberg – Georgia – Jr. – C/IF – Island Park, N.Y.

Apr. 5 – Sara Plourde – Massachusetts – Jr. – P – Bristol, Conn.

Mar. 29 – Jacqueline Grim – Loyola (IL) – Sr. – 1B – Beecher, Ill.
Mar. 22 – Blaire Luna – Texas – So. – P – Austin, Texas
Mar. 15 – Kelly Hmiel – Pittsburgh – Jr. – 3B – York, Pa.

Mar. 8 – Chelsea Thomas – Missouri – So. – P – Pleasantville, Iowa

Mar. 1 – Lori Spignola – North Carolina – Fr. – P – Atlanta, Ga.

Feb. 22 – Stephanie Brombacher – Florida – Sr. – P – Pembroke Pine, Fla.

Feb. 15 – Gabrielle Bridges – La-Lafayette – Sr. – 1B – Lafitte, La.

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