Feb. 16, 2013
The Lady Vols improved to 9-0 for the first time since 2007 when the team started 23-0. UT's 9-0 mark is the fourth-best start in program history, behind the Lady Vols 24-0 start in 2006, the 23-0 start in 2007 and the 16-0 start to 2005.
Gibson and Tarango hit back-to-back homers in the third inning to give UT a 3-1 lead in the third and some momentum against a Coastal Carolina (2-7) team that played hard from start to finish.
Ivy Renfroe tossed 2.2 innings of relief, allowing two runs and striking out five. She also recorded the first hit in the first at-bat of her career, a single on a full count down the left field line in the second inning.
Chanticleers starter Ashley Bagwell (1-2) took the loss after allowing four runs (three earned) over 3.1 frames. Morgan Mastriania allowed six runs over the final 2.2 frames.
Tarango went 2-for-3 at the plate with a homer and four RBIs and tossed 4.1 frames, allowing just one earned run to improve to 2-0. Gibson went 2-for-2 with a solo homer to right, two RBIs, one run and one walk. Kat Dotson scored three runs and had a pair of walks.
Coastal Carolina struck first, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. With one out and runners on the corners, Jazmin Daigle singled through the left side off a 1-1 pitch from Tarango to drive in one run.
Tennessee knotted the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fame at first. With two outs and the bases loaded, Tarango hit a sacrifice fly to left field and Dotson scored sliding into home plate.
Ivy Renfroe relieved Tarango in the circle at the start of the second.
Gibson led off the bottom of the third with a rocketed shot over the high end of the wall in right field on a 2-0 pitch from Bagwell. Tarango followed with homer over the wall in left center, giving Tennessee a 3-1 lead.
In the top of the fourth, Coastal Carolina evened the game at 3-3. Sara Rasley hit a one-out single through the left side to plate Brooke Donovan. Two batters later, Kiana Quolas knocked an RBI single up the middle on a 2-2 pitch to up the middle for an RBI single to tie the game.
The Lady Vols added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs and runners on second and third, Gibson ripped a single up the middle to plate Kat Dotson. Madison Shipman scored from third base in the next at-bat when Lauren Gibson stole second base.
Ahead 5-3, UT sealed the win with a five-run fifth. Whitney Hammond drew a bases-loaded walk with no outs to drive in pinch runner Hannah Trainer. With two outs, Hammond and Tory Lewis scored on a fielding error at second base. Tarango, who had re-entered the circle in the fourth inning, singled through the left side for a two-RBI hit to round out UT's scoring.
UT continues play in the USF 4 Team Tournament on Sunday, facing the winner of tonight's semifinal between No. 12/12 USF and NC State. The game time will be either at 10:30 a.m. or 12:45 p.m. depending on the travel plans for the teams.
The Lady Vols are just 10 days away from opening their 2013 home schedule at Lee Stadium against Lipscomb on Feb. 26. The home opener will feature free reserved bleacher backs for kids 12 and under based on availability. Single-game tickets go on sale on Monday at 8 a.m. and can be purchased through UTTix.com or through the ticket office at 865-656-1200.