Feb. 22, 2013
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - Lauren Gibson hit a solo home run and Melissa Brown hit an RBI triple to lead a fourth-inning rally, but a sixth-inning score by Northwestern handed No. 4/4 Tennessee its first loss of the season, 3-2, on Friday at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
The Lady Vols (12-1) overcame an early two-run deficit midway through the game when seniors Gibson and Brown came up with some big hits to ignite the UT offense. Northwestern (5-6) climbed out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on Marisa Bast's two-run home run to left.
Gibson was 1-for-2 with one walk and the solo blast. Brown finished 1-for-2 with the RBI triple and a walk. Raven Chavanne tallied two hits in the game.
Cheyanne Tarango (2-1) took the loss, despite pitching an outstanding 4.1 frames in relief of starter Erin Gabriel. Tarango kept the Wildcats at bay in time for UT to even the game at 2-2 in the fourth. She finished with seven strikeouts and one unearned run allowed. Gabriel pitched one inning with one strikeout and two earned runs allowed. Ivy Renfroe tossed a scoreless two-thirds of an inning at the end.
Northwestern's Amy Letourneau (3-3) contained Tennessee's potent lineup, striking out six with two earned runs, four hits and three walks given up.
In the bottom of the first with one out and a runner on first, Bast took a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left field to give Northwestern early momentum with a 2-0 advantage.
Letourneau sent UT batters down 1-2-3 in both the second and the third innings before the Lady Vols got their offense clicking in the fourth.
With one out in the top of the fourth, Gibson took a big swing at a 2-1 pitch and sent it sailing over the fence in center field for a solo home run, getting Tennessee on the scoreboard. Three batters later and with two outs, Brown drilled the first pitch she saw to deep right field, scoring pinch runner Hannah Trainer before racing around the bases for a sliding triple.
Northwestern took the lead one last time in the bottom of the sixth when with one out Andrea DiPrima singled to center field and Fran Strub scored an unearned run from second base on a fielding error in the outfield.