Shipman of Tennessee Named 2014 Honda Sport Award Winner for Softball

Tennessee Athletics/Andrew Bruckse
Tennessee Athletics/Andrew Bruckse

Senior shortstop Madison Shipman (Valencia, Calif.) of the University of Tennessee was named the Honda Sports Award winner for Softball as announced by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) today.

The Honda Sports Award is presented annually by the CWSA to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics”. With this honor, Shipman becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2014 Honda Cup. Shipman was chosen by a vote of administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Cheridan Hawkins (Oregon), Maddie O'Brien (Florida State) and Sierra Romero (Michigan).

The Honda Cup winner will be announced during the live telecast of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards show presented by Honda at 8 pm EST, on Monday, June 30, at the USC Founders Club at Galen Center in Los Angeles, Calif.

“I am extremely honored to not only win this award but be apart of the award’s legendary list of recipients,” said Shipman. "My coaches, teammates and the University of Tennessee have all helped me become the player and person I am today. It has been an unforgettable journey for me these last four years and I couldn’t have done this without them.”

Recently, Shipman became the first Tennessee student-athlete in any sport to win the prestigious Senior CLASS Award. Shipman enjoyed a banner 2014 season in which she also earned NFCA All-American honors for the third-straight year and Capital One Academic All-America honors for the second-consecutive year. She was a top 10 finalist for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award and became just the fourth Lady Vol to be named SEC Player of the Year.

She finished the year with a team-high .417 batting average, 18 homers, 16 doubles, 54 RBIs, 56 runs, 46 walks and 13 stolen bases. She also led the team with a .833 slugging percentage and a .548 on-base percentage. Shipman tied Tennessee's single-season record with a 20-game hitting streak from Feb. 9 to March 9 and set a new school single-game record with nine defensive assists against South Carolina on March 23. One of UT's greatest power hitters, she closed her career ranked in Tennessee's top five in six different offensive categories.

“Madison is an amazing person in every respect,” said Tennessee co-head coach Ralph Weekly. "She is the type of player every coach dreams of having in their program. Her talent is obvious. What sets her apart is the way she motivates others to excel on the field and in the classroom. She is truly deserving of this tremendous honor.”

The CWSA presents the Honda Sports Award annually to top women student-athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports. Honda Sports award winners will be presented with the honor during on-campus presentations throughout the year and all Honda Sports award winners become a finalist for the prestigious 2014 Honda Cup award presented in June.

Last year's Honda Cup winner was Keilani Ricketts (Oklahoma) representing the sport of softball. Two other student-athletes from the sport of softball have gone on to win the prestigious Honda Cup, Natasha Watley (UCLA) in 2003 and Lisa Fernandez (UCLA) in 1993.

THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 37 years, recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $2.8 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.