Feb. 8, 2013
ST. GEORGE, Utah - Seniors Raven Chavanne and Kat Dotson each hit grand slams and freshman Erin Gabriel won in her collegiate debut in the circle as No. 6/5 Tennessee crushed Idaho State, 14-2, in five frames on Friday in the Red Desert Classic.
"It was really neat to see Kat Dotson and Raven Chavanne hit grand-slam home runs," co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. "Both have been hitting the long ball a lot better this year, kind of reminiscent of what they did in 2010. That just brings a lot more to our offense when they're able to hit the long ball."
The Lady Vols (2-0), who were the away team in this game, never trailed and exploded late with a seven-run fourth and a five-run fifth to cruise past Idaho State (0-1).
Dotson was 2-for-3 with the grand slam, four RBIs, and one runs scored. Chavanne had the grand slam and also scored a pair of runs. Sophomore Cheyanne Tarango drilled a solo homer to center field early in the game to set the tone.
Gabriel picked up the win after tossing 3.1 innings with three strikeouts and two runs allowed. Senior Ivy Renfroe pitched 1.2 scoreless innings in relief.
ISU ace Amanda Fitzsimmons (0-1) took the loss after allowing eight earned runs in four innings of work. Bailey foster allowed five earned runs in one relief frame.
UT climbed out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Madison Shipman scored from third base on a fielding error by ISU shortstop Hailey Breakwell.
Tarango hammered a deep blast over the center field wall to open the second inning. It was UT's second home run of the season and the first for Tarango in 2013.
After a scoreless third inning, Tennessee had a busy fourth. With the bases loaded and no outs, Melissa Brown hit an RBI single to extend UT's lead to 3-0. Two batters later, with the bases loaded once again, freshman Rainey Gaffin drilled a single to right center, plating Hannah Trainer for UT's fourth run of the game. Brown scored on a wild pitch and after Chavanne was walked, Dotson stepped in for a monster grand slam to right field. The Lady Vols' lead grew to 9-0.
In the bottom of the fourth, ISU got on the board when Vicky Galasso hit a one-out, two-run homer to left field.
The Tennessee hit parade continued in the top of the fifth. With one out and the bases loaded, Gaffin game up with another RBI single, this one to left field. Chavanne was next up and she connected for a grand slam that rifled down the right field line and over the fence.
Both Dotson and Chavanne's homers were their first since 2011.