March 1, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Trailing 5-1 in the second inning on Thursday night in Tennessee Classic action at the Lee Softball Stadium, the #8 Tennessee Lady Vol softball team (10-3) erupted for four runs during the bottom of the sixth and got a clutch, walk-off hit from junior designated player Kat Dotson in the seventh to complete a thrilling comeback win over the Dutch National Team, 8-7.
Dotson completed her night going 2-for-3 at the dish with a double and two RBIs, while junior second baseman Lauren Gibson was 1-for-4 with a huge two-run HR during UT's four-run sixth. Sophomore center fielder Tory Lewis (1-for-3, HR, RBI), primarily a slap-hitter, took advantage of a pitch from Dutch reliever Lindsey Meadows, driving it out of the park for a solo shot. Senior right fielder Shelby Burchell recorded a 2-for-3 effort at the dish with an RBI sacrifice fly, sophomore shortstop Madison Shipman was 2-for-3, freshman catcher Hannah Akamine was 1-for-4 with a triple and a run scored and junior Melissa Brown registered a huge lead-off single to begin Tennessee's seventh-inning rally.
In the top of the first, the Dutch mounted a two-out scoring opportunity against Tarango as first baseman Saskia Kosterink started things off with a bloop single to left center. Right fielder Areke Spel lifted a ball to left that dropped just in front of on-rushing Lady Vol sophomore Melissa Davin. Kosterink managed to score on the play, but Spel was caught in a rundown between first and second to end the threat with no further damage.
A lead-off walk issued to junior third baseman Raven Chavanne (1-for-3, two runs) paid dividends for the Big Orange in the bottom of the first. Following a perfect sacrifice bunt off the bat of Dotson and a wild pitch that moved the runner up 60 feet to third, Gibson bounced a ball to first that was misplayed for an error by Kosterink allowing Chavanne to score and tie the contest at 1-1. A base knock through the left side by Shipman kept the attack going, but a strikeout and a bouncer to short left two stranded.
The Dutch blew the contest open in the top of the second, sending nine batters to the plate while totaling four runs. The big blows came via a two-RBI triple by left fielder Nathalie Gosewehr and an RBI double from second baseman Meike Witteveen as the Netherlands nabbed a 5-1 advantage.
Tennessee got a tally back in the bottom of the second after Akamine led off the inning with a ringing triple off the top of the wall. Burchell drove a shot to the outfield that proved plenty deep enough to plate the runner from third as UT closed its deficit to 5-2.
After entering the contest in relief during the second frame, Renfroe settled the contest down for the Big Orange in the top of the third, posting consecutive strikeouts of designated player Karin Tuk and centerfielder Merel Oosterveld to conclude the frame.
The Lady Vols continued to chip away at their deficit during the bottom of the fourth. Davin started off the frame with a sharp grounder to short that was thrown low to first for an error. After a sac bunt advanced the runner into scoring position, a wild pitch from Dutch starting pitcher Dagmar Bloeming got away from catcher Anne Blaauwgeers. The ball got so far away in fact that Davin was able to score all the way from second, cutting the gap to 5-3.
Renfroe allowed a one-out walk to Dutch third baseman Virginie Anneveld in the top of the fifth but got a perfectly executed 4-6-3 double play combining second baseman Gibson, shortstop Shipman and first baseman Brown to finish off the frame.
A walk to Dotson and a Shipman base knock placed a pair of Lady Vols on in the bottom of the fifth. With two down in the frame, Brown stepped to the plate and absolutely ripped a liner but right at Dutch shortstop Yonina Sint Jago as the left stranded count for UT grew to six.
With two retired in the bottom of the sixth, a solo blast off the bat of the normally slap-hitting Lewis cut the Tennessee deficit to just a single tally at 5-4. A perfect slap single on the infield from Chavanne set the stage for a ringing double into the gap off the bat of Dotson as Chavanne raced around all the way from first to dead-lock the count at 5-5. Gibson then followed by absolutely crushing a pitch over the wall for a two-run shot as the Big Orange nabbed its first lead of the night at 7-5.
Following a one-out base knock by the Dutch National's Witteveen in the top of the seventh, Spel blasted a two-run home run to right field as the scoreboard displayed 7-7.
Brown got the Big Orange offense off to a quick start in the bottom of the seventh with a lead-off single. Following a wild pitch, Burchell laced a one-out base knock down the line, moving Brown all the way to third. With two retired the Dutch made the choice to intentionally walk Chavanne to get to Dotson. That move backfired as the Savannah, Ga., native ripped the game-winning single through the infield to secure the thrilling, 8-7 triumph.