Tennessee Softball Trainers Regarded by Nfca

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (June 8, 2023)-after leading Tennessee Softball to a 51-win season, two SEC titles and the Women’s College World Series, the Lady Vols coaching staff has been named the ATEC/NFCA coaching staff for the Southeast region of the year.

Led by head coach Karen Weekly, Tennessee won its first SEC regular season championship since 2007 and its first SEC tournament title since 2011. the Lady Vols won both crowns in the same season for the first time in program history.

UT also got its first 50-win season, reaching the national semifinals in WCWS for the first time since 2013. The trip to WCWS was the first since 2015 and the eighth in the program’s history.

Weekly was named SEC Coach of the Year for the third time after UT led the wire-to-wire SEC path to a 19-5 conference record. Under their leadership, the Lady Vols earned a national 4th-place finish in the NCAA tournament-the highest seed in program history.

Terrifying at the plate and in the circle, assistant coach Chris Malveaux led an offense that scored 6.87 points per game – the best in the SEC and third nationally. Senior Kiki Milloy set a school record for home runs in a season at age 25 – a mark that also topped the nation.

Sophomore McKenna Gibson had a breakout season posting career-high averages (.362), OPS (1,232), runs (36), hits (59), doubles (11), home runs (15), RBIs (60), punches (.718), walks (39) and on-base percentage (.514). She also recorded several RBIs in 14 games and finished the season with a 23-game scoring streak.

Milloy and Gibson were both named NFCA All-Americans in 2023.

In the pitching circle, assistant coach Megan Rhodes Smith mentored a staff ranked among the best in the country. The team finished the season with a 1.75 ERA ranking first in the SEC and 10th in the NCAA. The Pitchers also recorded 23 shutouts, which tied Auburn for the most in the League, finishing third nationally.

The Lady Vols finished third in the conference with 3.51 and 16th nationally in strikeout ratio.

ACE Ashley Rogers led the team with a 20-1 record and was named an Nfca First Team All-American. Senior Payton Gottshall finished the year 16-2 while Karlyn Pickens was named SEC Rookie of the Year.

Volunteer assistant Kate Malveaux oversaw Giulia Koutsoyanopulos’ transition from outfielder to catcher – a position she had never played before joining the Lady Vols. She also played a crucial role in helping Tennessee’s offense flourish and spot opposing hitters.

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