Sophomore Melissa Brown
Feb. 19, 2011
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The offensive onslaught continued for No. 3 Tennessee (7-0) on Friday night at Stephanie Lynn Craig Park in Las Vegas, Nev., as the Lady Vols banged out 15 hits and blasted three more home runs in routing Boise State, 15-1 (5 inn.)
UT has now outscored its seven opponents in 2011 by a staggering total of 88-5 overall, won all seven of its contests via the run-rule and has hit 17 homers overall.
Junior third baseman Jessica Spigner registered the game's big blow by hammering her second career grand slam as part of a 2-for-3, four-RBI performance. Sophomore outfielders Raven Chavanne and Kat Dotson each went a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate, while the latter knocked in a pair of runs. Junior first baseman Shelby Burchell (1-for-2, two RBIs) hit her third home run over Friday's two games and fourth of the season, while junior catcher Ashley Andrews made her one hit count with a three-run blast in Tennessee's eight-run fifth. Sophomore designated player Melissa Brown also contributed a pair of hits and three RBIs.
Lady Vol junior hurler Cat Hosfield allowed one run on four hits with a pair of K's over three innings of work in improving to 2-0 in 2011. Freshman right hander Ellen Renfroe struck out four Broncos over a pair of frames of relief effort.
For the season Chavanne currently boasts a .650 average, Burchell sitting at .647, Dotson's at .611 and Gibson at .526 while the Lady Vols are hitting at a .483 clip as a team.
As she has done so often during her brief career in the Orange & White, Chavanne's speed manufactured a tally in the top of the first. The Thousand Oaks, Calif., native led off the frame by beating out a bunt dropped in front of the circle. She quickly swiped second base and advanced up 60 feet to third on a perfect sacrifice from senior center fielder Kelly Grieve. Dotson came through by lifting a bloop single into short left as Chavanne scored to make it 1-0.
Boise State second baseman Holly Bourke christened the Broncos half of the first with a lead-off double just over the glove of Chavanne and off the wall in left. A sac bunt advanced the runner up within 60 feet of potentially deadlocking the count. Center fielder Tazz Weatherly lifted a fly ball to shallow right that Dotson charged and caught on the run. The Savannah, Ga., product fired a strike to the plate as Bourke wisely remained stationed at third with two retired. Hosfield concluded the inning with no scoreboard damage by catching designated player Allie Crump looking at strike three.
An incredible day and season continued for Burchell with one retired in the top of the second as the Columbia, Tenn., native blasted her third HR of the day in Las Vegas., Nev., to make it 2-0. The big fly, a line drive to center that cleared the center field wall in the blink of an eye, marked her fourth of the early season.
Consecutive singles by Chavanne, Grieve and Dotson christening the top of the third loaded the bags with none out. Freshman shortstop Madison Shipman stepped to the plate and blooped a single just over the Boise State shortstop and into short left center for an RBI to raise the count to 3-0. Forced to hold up briefly on the play, Grieve was forced out at third on a strong throw in from the center fielder Weatherly. A base knock to left by sophomore second baseman Lauren Gibson re-packed the bases for Spigner with just one out in the frame. The Santa Clarita, Calif., product battled to a 2-2 count before absolutely crushing a pitch to left for her second career grand slam and a 7-0 Tennessee lead.
Infield singles from shortstop MacKenzie White and left fielder Kellie Caplan as well as a wild pitch put Bronco runners at second and third with one down in the bottom of the third. Weatherly lifted a fly ball to right center that Grieve caught on the run. White tagged on the play and scored easily as Grieve made the decision to throw ahead of Caplan attempting to advance to third. The Big Orange managed to catch the runner in your everyday 8-5-4-5-6 rundown to end the frame, but not before Boise State had cut its deficit to 7-1.
UT absolutely blew the contest wide open in the top of the fifth, putting up eight runs while sending 13 batters to the plate. Spigner started things off with a base knock down the left field line. From there Brown knocked in a run on a single through the right side, Andrews blasted a three-run drive to center, Dotson was credited with an RBI on a hit up the middle and Burchell walked with the bases loaded to force in a tally. Up for the second time in the inning, Brown delivered a two-run base hit into center to finalize the offensive output at 15 runs.
From there Ellen Renfroe struck out a pair of batters, allowed two walks, but coerced a liner right to Gibson at second to conclude Tennessee's seventh-straight run-rule victory.
The Big Orange continues its action at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic on Saturday at 3:45 p.m. PT against UNLV before battling Southern Illinois Edwardsville at 6 p.m. PT. 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.