Feb. 23, 2014
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. -- In a thrilling come-from-behind effort, the No. 2/3 Lady Vols notched their fourth win in four games at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic and 13th win overall, topping Fresno State, 5-4, on Sunday.
Tennessee (13-0) and Fresno State (10-5) each scored one run in the first before the Bulldogs added two in the second and another in the third to take an early lead. UT surged back, adding one run each in the third, fourth and fifth innings to tie the game. With the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the seventh, the Lady Vols won the game when Hannah Akamine reached on an error at third base and Cheyanne Tarango scored from third base.
Madison Shipman led the way offensively for UT, going 2-for-2 with a pair of solo homers, three RBIs and two runs scored. Taylor Koenig added an RBI and hit 2-for-3 overall. Tarango, Tobler, and Burroughs each scored one run.
Tarango started the game in the circle, pitching 1.2 innings and allowing three runs on four hits. She was replaced by Erin Gabriel in the second, who pitched 1.2 innings and allowed one run on two hits before UT made another pitching change in the fourth, bringing Rainey Gaffin in to the circle. She got the Lady Vols out of a jam in the fourth and struck out one batter. Ellen Renfroe (7-0) pitched the final three innings, shutting down the Bulldogs.
Fresno State's Taylor Langdon started the game and allowed two runs on two hits. Hannah Harris pitched two relief frames and gave up two runs on three hits. Kiley Shae Aldridge (0-1) finished the game for the Bulldogs and allowed one unearned run on three hits.
Fresno State struck first to start the game. Brenna Moss got aboard on a single, advancing bases on a groundout by Brooke Ortiz and a pitch in the dirt from Tarango. Vonnie Martin then singled to left, scoring Moss from third to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 advantage in the first.
Shipman answered for the Big Orange with a solo home run in the bottom of the first to knot the game 1-1.
Fresno State continued its hot start, adding two additional runs in the second. Moss hit an RBI triple deep to left center to score Whitney Smith. Ortiz added a single scoring Moss from third and giving Fresno State a 3-1 lead.
The Bulldogs pushed the lead to 4-1 after a solo home run from Martin in the top of the third.
Again, Shipman responded for UT in the bottom of the inning with another solo blast to draw UT within 4-2.
Gaffin came in to pitch for UT in the top of the fourth. The Bulldogs threatened again after three straight walks to load the bases with one out, but Gaffin would get the Lady Vols out of the jam after tagging Moss out at the plate and striking out Martin to end the inning unscathed.
Tennessee clawed back to within 4-3 in the bottom of the fourth. After Taylor Koenig walked and Gaffin got on base with a single, Geer walked to load the bases. Shipman drew another walk on the following at-bat, scoring Jennifer Burroughs (pinch runner) from third.
Tennessee rallied in the bottom of the seventh to take the game from Fresno State. Tarango led off the seventh with a single, advancing on a wild pitch. Tobler and Koenig both singled to load the bases when Akamine reached on an error by the third baseman, scoring Tarango from third to put UT ahead, 5-4.
Next up, the Lady Vols will play Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday night at 9:00 p.m. ET. UT will face Fresno State again this coming weekend when the teams square off on March 1 in the San Diego Classic.