Feb. 15, 2011
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - In front of 711 Orange-clad fans on a chilly Tuesday evening in Knoxville, Tenn., the No. 3 Tennessee Lady Vol softball team (5-0) got contributions from virtually its entire squad as all 19 available players saw action in equaling the Lee Softball Stadium single-game scoring record during an 18-0 (5 inn.) rout of in-state foe ETSU.
Kelly Grieve discusses the victory over ETSU and her first career grand slam
The Big Orange originally established the scoring mark with an 18-0 (5 inn.) triumph over Bowling Green on Feb. 27, 2009, during the Tennessee Classic.
UT has now won its last 68 contests against in-state opponents, dating back to a March 22, 2000, loss to MTSU, nearly two full seasons before Co-Head Coaches Ralph and Karen Weekly arrived to helm the program. The Lady Vols have also won their last 11 home openers, including all 10 under the guidance of the Weeklys.
Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly talks about Tennessee's 18-0 win over ETSU
Tennessee has outscored its first five opponents by a combined score of 62-2 and run-ruled each of them in just five innings of work.
"We challenged our team to come out and play tonight's game one pitch at a time," Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly said. "Our kids came out fired up and kept the pedal to the metal early on, allowing us the valuable opportunity to get all 19 of our available players in the game."
The Orange & White blasted four home runs during the match-up, while senior center fielder Kelly Grieve delivered the big blow with her first career grand slam as part of a 2-for-2, three-run, four-RBI effort. Sophomore right fielder Kat Dotson (1-for-2, three runs, three RBIs) set the early tone by hammering a first-inning, three-run HR to give her a squad-high 12 RBIs in 2011. Freshman third baseman Melissa Davin (2-for-2, three RBIs) and sophomore pinch hitter Morgan Fowler (1-for-1, two RBI) each contributed their first career big flies, while junior first baseman Shelby Burchell continued her early-season tear at the plate with a 1-for-2, two-RBI performance, setting her season batting average at a team-best .667 (8-for-12). Sophomore shortstop Melissa Brown also lined a ringing two-bagger off the top of the wall to knock in a pair of tallies during UT's five-run first.
All three pitchers received time in the circle for the Lady Vols as starting sophomore Ivy Renfroe improved to 2-0 by tossing three innings of one-hit ball with seven strikeouts. Freshman Ellen Renfroe (1.0 IP, 1 K) and junior Cat Hosfield each worked a perfect inning of relief in closing out the victory.
For the fifth consecutive contest, Tennessee wasted no time in jumping on the opposition as the Lady Vols put five runs up versus ETSU in the first on just two hits. Sophomore left fielder Raven Chavanne managed a walk in her initial at-bat, stretching the reigning Southeastern Conference Player of the Week's streak of consecutive plate appearances having reached via a hit or free pass to a staggering 10. Grieve followed with a walk to set the stage for Dotson's power show as the Savannah, Ga., native crushed a 2-1 pitch from ETSU hurler Jessica Duncan to right. Walks issued to junior third baseman Jessica Spigner and freshman pinch hitter Chelsea O'Connor were cashed in on a line-drive double off the very top of the wall in right center by Brown as UT nabbed a 5-0 advantage.
Ivy Renfroe was in firm control from the circle, striking out three consecutive Buc hitters over the first and second frames before allowing the only hit by ETSU in the contest as third baseman Jackie Baird singled with one retired in the second. The 6-0 right hander didn't let it bother her, however, striking out first baseman Whitley Hensley before coercing an inning-ending groundout to second by shortstop Amy Campbell. Renfroe would later strikeout the side during the top of the third, giving her seven K's for the contest.
Before the bottom of the second inning was over, Tennessee had blown the contest completely wide open as 14 Lady Vols visited the plate and UT totaled an amazing 11 runs. The carnage began simply enough on a sharp single up the middle by Grieve and just spiraled out of control for ETSU from there. Spigner walked with the bags packed to record an RBI, Burchell knocked in a pair on a single up the middle and then junior catcher Ashley Andrews knocked in a tally on a base knock through the right side to make it 9-0. Grieve soon stepped to the dish with the bases juiced and launched a towering grand slam to right, improving the lead to 13-0. With young players getting the majority of the opportunities for Tennessee at that point, Davin took major advantage by crushing a pitch from ETSU reliever Shelby Morris completely over the scoreboard in left center to make it 16-0, Big Orange.
Following an O'Connor single up the middle leading off the bottom of the fourth, the pinch-hitting Fowler made her own personal history by launching her first career home run to left as the scoring was finalized at 18-0.
Ellen Renfroe and Hosfield worked quickly through the Buc line-up in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, to wrap up Tennessee's fifth-consecutive run-rule victory.
Next up for the Lady Vols is a marathon, 11-day/11-game road trip through Las Vegas, Nev., for the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic and Cathedral City, Calif., for the prestigious Cathedral City Classic. Live stats will be available for all contests through Gametracker and periodical updates will be posted on Twitter. Check both http://twitter.com/LadyVol_Sftball and http://twitter.com/UTLadyVols for more information on Tennessee Lady Vol softball.