Tennessee softball head coach Karen Weekly announces signing of transfer student-athletes

Tennessee Softball

Tennessee softball head coach Karen Weekly has announced the signing of transfer student-athlete Mackenzie Donihoo and Giulia Koutsoyanopulos to the Lady Vol program. Both players will arrive on Rocky Top with two years of eligibility remaining, beginning with the 2023 spring season.

Donihoo spent the past three seasons at the University of Oklahoma and was a key contributor to OU’s national title run during the 2021 Women’s College World Series. The Mustang, Oklahoma, native has played in 115 career games with 73 starts, hitting .317 with 64 runs scored, 11 doubles, 10 home runs and 65 RBIs since 2020.

“I love the passion and grit Mackenzie brings to the game,” Weekly said. “She has proven herself on the biggest stage in softball. She’s versatile and can play on both the dirt and grass. We’re excited she’s a Lady Vol.”

The 5-3 rising senior who goes by “Lou” shined for the Sooners at the 2021 WCWS, batting an OU-best .476 (10-for-21) with a tournament-high 10 RBIs. She opened the World Series with a two-run blast against Georgia before tying a tournament record with two homers against the UCLA Bruins to send Oklahoma to the WCWS semifinals. Her heroics continued in the championship series against Florida State, knocking in a run in Game 2 against the Seminoles before a scoring a run and making a famous leaping grab in the outfield in the decisive Game 3 to help OU clinch the championship.

Donihoo had a standout season in 2021, hitting .438 with 43 runs scored, 45 RBIs, seven doubles and nine homers—all career-best totals. She touted a 1.289 OPS and was perfect on the base paths, stealing seven times in seven attempts.

Rated as a top-50 player for the Class of 2019 by FloSoftball, Donihoo prepped at Mustang High School. An all-state selection in her senior year, she earned four all-region and three all-district honors during her high school career while leading Mustang to three straight regional championships and the 2017 6A State Championship. She also played travel ball with the Demarini Aces in Kansas City for three years under coach Ryan Taylor.

A member of Italy’s national team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Koutsoyanopulos comes to Knoxville after two seasons with the Arizona Wildcats. She has appeared in 102 games, including 27 starts as a sophomore in the outfield, and owns a .280 career average with 21 hits and 35 runs scored.

“Giulia has an intensity and competitive fire that bring the term ‘old school’ to mind,” Weekly said. “She just loves to play softball. Her drive to compete and get better is off the charts. I look forward to coaching her.”

Koutsoyanopulos saw action in 53 games this past spring, hitting .290 on the year with one double, one triple and one home run. She scored 23 runs for the Wildcats and logged five multi-hit outings, including a three-hit performance vs. UNLV on March 12 where she smashed her first career home run over center field.

The Mission Viejo, California, native played in 49 games with one start as a true freshman in 2021, mostly seeing action as a pinch runner and as a reserve at first base. She knocked three singles in 13 at-bats, scored 12 runs and ranked second on the team with five stolen bases.

Koutsoyanopulos was rated a top-50 prospect by Extra Inning Softball and was a four-time all-conference performer for Capistrano Valley High School, where she was named Student-Athlete of the Year after hitting .542 as a senior with a 1.633 OPS and four home runs. She played travel ball for OC Batbusters alongside All-SEC Lady Vol infielder Zaida Puni, winning four championship events and earning a pair of PGF runner-up finishes.

Donihoo and Koutsoyanopulos join 2022 MAC Pitcher of the Year Payton Gottshall as Tennessee’s transfer additions for the 2022-23 recruiting class. The Lady Vols will bring in 10 true freshmen next year as well, making up a class that was rated No. 7 in the country by Extra Inning Softball.

(Thanks to Tennessee Athletics)

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