OVERLAND PARK, Kan. –May 2, 2014– Tennessee senior Madison Shipman was named one of 10 finalists for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate softball on Wednesday.
The prestigious award recognizes student-athletes who excel both on and off the field. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
The other nine finalists for this year’s award are Dallas Escobedo (Arizona State), Kaila Hunt (Alabama), Kaitlin Inglesby (Washington), Katie Keller (Louisville), Destinee Martinez (Oklahoma), Sara Nevins (USF), Hannah Rogers (Florida), Alysha Rudnik (Georgia Tech) and Nicole Sappingfield (Michigan).
Finalists were chosen by national media from the list of 30 candidates announced in February. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website through May 12. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winner. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2014 NCAA Women’s College World Series® in Oklahoma City May 29 through June 4. For more information on all the finalists, visitseniorCLASSaward.com.
Shipman is an anthropology major and owns a 3.49 GPA. She has been an outstanding student and a staple among Tennessee’s brightest student-athletes from the moment she stepped on campus. In 2013, she garnered Capital One Academic All-American honors for the first time in her career, earning a spot on the second team. Shipman is a four-time Dean’s List honoree and has been an all-conference academic selection every year, earning SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll accolades in 2012 and 2013 and a spot on the 2011 SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll.
Shipman has been a steadfast leader on the team the past few seasons, unafraid of holding herself and teammates accountable for their play. As the team’s starting shortstop the last three seasons, she has been the anchor of the infield, serving as a vocal leader in games and in practice. Off the field, Shipman carries the same responsibilities as a team leader, leading both vocally and by example to ensure that she and her teammates carry themselves to a high Tennessee standard. In off-field team activities and community service work, Shipman helps with communication and coordination among her teammates to accomplish tasks and serve others. She is always respectful and positive in her interactions with the media and fans and she enjoys working with young softball players who aspire to play at the next level.
Shipman has been active in community service over the years. Over the last two years, she has been committed to spending quality time and with Averi Ramsey, a young cancer patient that the Tennessee softball team adopted as a teammate in 2013. Shipman also has worked various events that allow her to work interact with members of the community, whether it involves softball or handing out candy at Halloween or distributing season tickets door-to-door.
Over the last few years, Shipman has emerged as one of the top all-around players in the country. Shipman is enjoying her finest season to date, hitting .413 with eight homers, nine doubles 26 RBIs, 32 runs, eight stolen bases, a .731 slugging percentage and a .520 on-base percentage. She currently ranks in UT’s top 10 in career home runs, doubles, RBIs, stolen bases, total bases and slugging percentage. She has been UT’s anchor of the infield, starting at shortstop every year. Shipman enjoyed a strong 2011 freshman season in which she hit .292 with five homers, eight doubles and 27 RBIs and earned Freshman All-SEC honors. She followed that with a breakout sophomore year in 2012, batting .311 with 10 homers, 11 doubles, 63 RBIs, 41 runs and 21 stolen bases to earn Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-American second-team honors and First Team All-SEC accolades. Her 2013 junior season was even more impressive. In 2013, Shipman hit .367 with 11 homers, 20 doubles, 63 RBIs, 52 runs and 16 stolen bases and earned NFCA All-American first-team honors and First Team All-SEC honors. She was very strong for the Lady Vols in the NCAA Regionals, Super Regionals and WCWS, batting .343 with two homers, three doubles, nine RBIs and seven runs. Shipman’s signature moment of 2013 (and perhaps of her career) was in Game 1 of the Championship Series against Oklahoma when she clubbed a three-homer off Keilani Ricketts in the 11th inning to give UT a 3-0 lead.
About USSSA Florida Pride:
The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002.
The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), headquartered in Osceola County, Florida, USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA News!