Durant, Mattox honored

The Lady Vol duo of freshman Kristi Durant (Placentia, Calif.) and junior Lauren Mattox (Charlotte, N.C.) were named to the 2003 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-South Region team released this week.

A first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection currently leading the league in hitting, Durant made the second unit as a catcher to join Adrianna Wilson (1999) as the lone Tennessee rookies to reap All-Region accolades. Chosen as the utility player on the second squad, Mattox enjoyed a tremendous season after arriving in Knoxville from UNC Wilmington. The tandem played a key role in helping the Orange and White to a 45-25 overall record and a fourth-place performance at the SEC Tournament.

Softball's nominee for Lady Vol Athlete of the Year, Durant set a single-season record by being named all-tournament at five different events this spring: First Tennessee Round Robin, Golden Panther Invitational, SEC Tournament, Triple Crown Invitational and the UNLV Tournament. In addition, she put together a school-record hitting streak of 20 games between March 20 and April 13. Her final average of .424 ranks as the second-best in Lady Vol history, three points shy of Bridget Jackson's figure in 1996. Durant established a new standard with a .481 on-base percentage and her 86 hits were the third-highest total behind Jackson's 94 base-hits in 1996 and Lisa Warren's mark of 98 in 1999. The freshman struck out just 11 times in 203 at bats and placed second on the Orange in total bases (101), doubles (15) and sacrifices (seven), third in both runs (33) and walks (20) and fourth in RBI (39).

With a .338 clip in her 61 outings, Mattox finished third on the Big Orange in batting average behind Durant and sophomore Amber Rhinehart (Citrus Heights, Calif.), a second-team All-SEC honoree who turned in a .340 showing. Known for her versatility, Mattox saw time as the Lady Vols' catcher, designated player, outfielder and third baseman. Her 41 runs batted in were two shy of UT's top spot occupied by junior Angela Brewer (East Ridge, Tenn.) and she also reached double-figures with 10 two-baggers. In league action, Mattox registered a .342 average and drove in a team-high 20 runs. She was chosen all-tournament at the First Tennessee Round Robin after compiling a .600 ledger at the event won by the hosts.

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