Renfroes dominant performance earns USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week honors
A 3-0 week in the circle in a series sweep of then-No. 4 Florida earned Tennessee Senior Pitcher Ellen Renfore (Jackson, Tenn.) USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week honors for Week Eight the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today. The stand-out pitcher threw 16 complete innings and struck out 20 Florida batters while allowing just four runs on nine hits. With the wins, Tennessee improved to 31-3 on the season, 8-1 in Southeastern Conference (SEC) play and held onto their No. 2 spot in this week’s ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll.
“It is an honor to be recognized among so many great athletes as the USA Softball Player of the Week”, said Renfroe. “I give all the credit to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who gives me the strength, talent and confidence to play each day. I also must give credit to my team and coaches who support me and give their best for Tennessee every day!”
Renfroe’s unbeaten week included a pair of complete games and two shutout innings of relief that also earned her a win. The Tennessee native posted a 0.88 ERA against the then-No. 4 team in the nation.
Renfroe fanned seven and allowed just two earned runs in Tennessee's 9-2 win over the Gators in the series opener on March 28. Game two on March 30 was suspended so that a televised game three could start on time, during which Renfroe struck out 11 batters and allowed no earned runs in a seven-inning win. When game two resumed later Sunday afternoon the senior threw two scoreless relief frames with two strikeouts and the Lady Vols came back to get a 7-6 win. Renfroe's 11 strikeouts versus Florida in game three marked her fifth game with 10 or more strikeouts this season. With the wins, Renfroe helped her team sweep the Gators for the first time since 2004.
“Karen (Weekly) and I are extremely proud of Ellen and happy for this award,” said Tennessee Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly. “Ellen is one of the hardest-working and most-dedicated players we have ever coached. Ellen is a gamer and brings her best to every competition.”
Renfroe is 5-0 against ranked opponents this year with a stellar 0.70 ERA, 36 strikeouts over 30 innings, only three earned runs allowed and a .151 batting average for opposing hitters. On the season, Renfroe leads the conference in wins (21-0) and ERA (1.29) and she is tied for the lead with 162 strikeouts
This is the second USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week honors for Renfroe. She last took earned the award in Week 14 of the 2011 season. Ellen is the fourth Tennessee player to earn USA Softball Collegiate Player of The Week multiple times in her career, joining Monica Abbott (4), Tonya Callahan (2) and Raven Chavanne (2) who was the last Lady Vol to receive the honor coming in Week 7 of last season.
USA Softball National Collegiate Players of the Week
Week 1 (Feb. 6-9): Kylee Lahners - Washington - Junior - Infielder– Laguna Hills, Calif.
Week 2 (Feb. 10 -16): Aimee Creger - Tulsa - Senior - Pitcher– Yukon, Okla.
Week 3 (Feb. 17-23): Ally Carda – UCLA – Junior – Pitcher – Elk Grove, Calif.
Week 4 (Feb. 24 – March 2): Cheridan Hawkins – Oregon – Sophomore – Anderson, Calif.
Week 5 (March 3-9): Dallas Escobedo - Arizona State - Senior - Pitcher– Glendale, Ariz.
Week 6 (March 10-16): Alex Hugo – Georgia – Sophomore – Infielder – Olathe, Kan.
Week 7 (March 17-23): Jaclyn Traina – Alabama – Senior – Pitcher – Naples, Fla.
Week 8 (March 24 – 30: Ellen Renfroe – Tennessee – Senior – Pitcher – Jackson, Tenn.
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 165,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2.5 million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of the only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles including the last seven consecutive as well as claimed six World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com.
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