March 27, 2012
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- A first-inning RBI single off the bat of junior first baseman Melissa Brown proved enough to back a one-hit, complete game shutout from junior pitcher Ivy Renfroe as the #9 Tennessee Lady Vol softball team (24-7) picked up a 1-0 victory in game one of a Tuesday doubleheader against Furman at Lee Softball Stadium.
Renfroe allowed just three base runners, two via walks, and carried a no-hitter into the top of the seventh before permitting a two-out single to left by Paladin designated player Lauren Collier.
At the plate Lady Vol junior first baseman Melissa Brown guided the way for the Big Orange offense with a 2-for-3 effort and the eventual game-winning RBI. Junior third baseman Raven Chavanne was 1-for-3 while tallying the winning run in the first inning.
After a quick one-two-three top of the first for Furman against Renfroe, Tennessee's offense jumped in front on the scoreboard in the bottom half. A lead-off bunt single and stolen base by Chavanne placed the Lady Vol speedster in scoring position with none retired. Following a pop-up and a line-out that threatened to de-rail the frame, junior second baseman Lauren Gibson walked, joining her teammate on the base paths. Brown stepped into the batter's box and laced a single through the infield as Chavanne scored easily from second to make it 1-0.
Tennessee received a lead-off walk from senior designated player Shelby Burchell in the top of the second and a frame-opening base hit from Brown to begin the fourth but couldn't string together anything against Furman starter Hannah Bradley.
The Paladins finally recorded their initial base runner with one down in the top of the fifth as second baseman Emily Boyer walked against Renfroe to break a string of 13 consecutive batters retired. She didn't stay on the base paths for long, however, as third baseman Natalie Clemmons hit a shot back to the circle that was fielded on a hop by UT's 6-0 right hander. The pitcher turned and started an inning-ending 1-6-3 double play as sophomore shortstop Madison Shipman nabbed Renfroe's throw and fired on to Brown at first.
With Furman down to one final chance in the bottom of the seventh, center fielder Nikki Legg attempted to get the Paladins off to a quick start with a sharp liner into the hole between third and short. Chavanne moved quickly to her left and made an incredible diving catch, keeping Legg off the base paths. That proved a huge play in the end as first baseman Jessie Homesley walked with two down, and then designated player Lauren Collier broke-up Renfroe's no-hit bid via a base knock blooped into left. With two on and two down, Boyer hit a bouncer right back to the circle that UT's hurler fielded easily before tossing on to first to conclude the UT win.