The University of Tennessee softball team received some disappointing news on Monday afternoon when it was determined that freshman first baseman Amber Rhinehart tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee during the Lady Vols' contest against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Sunday afternoon. Tests conducted by the UT Medical Staff confirmed the injury Wednesday, sidelining Rhinehart for the remainder of the spring.
Obviously we're sad about Amber's injury, said sixth-year head coach Jim Beitia. It's tough losing her at this point in the season because she was starting to adjust to Division I pitching and making steady contact at the plate.
I am convinced that she will work hard during the rehabilitation process to become a regular contributor upon her return to the lineup.
Rhinehart started five games for UT and had registered a .071 batting average (1-for-14) in the early going of the campaign. Her injury occurred in a collision on the base-paths with TAMU-CC second baseman Amber Ott in the third inning of UT's 7-2 romp over the Islanders.
CATCHINGS EARNS AWARD
University of Tennessee Lady Vol senior All-American Tamika Catchings was honored in Las Vegas on Monday at the Ninth Annual ESPY Awards held at the MGM Grand Hotel.
Catchings, the 2000 consensus Player of the Year, kept the ESPY for the Women's College Basketball Player of the Year in the Lady Vol family. She earns her first ESPY on the heels of former UT great Chamique Holdsclaw who secured the honor in 1997, 1998 and 1999.
The 6-foot-1 forward from Duncanville, Texas, was injured a month ago in the Lady Vols' win over Mississippi State. Catchings suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee and underwent surgery Feb. 5 to repair the ligament.