Burchell's Walk-Off Grand Slam Finishes Off Cal Poly, 11-2 (6 inn.)

Feb. 19, 2011

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By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Tennessee junior first baseman Shelby Burchell's second home run of the contest, a walk-off grand slam, finished off UT's sixth-consecutive run-rule victory as the No. 3 Lady Vols (6-0) rolled past Cal Poly, 11-2 (6 inn.), on a windy and brisk Friday night at Stephanie Lynn Craig Park in Las Vegas, Nev.

Burchell led the Big Orange attack with a 2-for-3, two-HR, five-RBI effort. The occurrence marked her second career two-homer game while the grand slam was also the second of her time clad in the Orange & White. Senior center fielder Kelly Grieve posted a perfect 3-for-3 performance at the plate with a triple, a HR and four RBIs, just missing out on hitting for the cycle by a double. Sophomore second baseman Lauren Gibson (3-for-4) added three of Tennessee's 13 total hits and scored twice during the rout.

In a relief role UT freshman right hander Ellen Renfroe improved to 3-0 by allowing one run on two hits and striking out five over three innings of work. Sophomore starter Ivy Renfroe permitted a single tally on one hit with three K's in three frames.

After Ivy Renfroe got two quick outs in the top of the first, including one via strikeout, Cal Poly right fielder Nicole Lund stepped to the dish and drove a shot to deep right. Sophomore right fielder Kat Dotson got on her horse, racing back to the wall to make a leaping, over-the-shoulder grab to end the inning.

Tennessee's Dotson followed her great play in the field by starting a two-out rally in the bottom of the first by being struck by a pitch. The Savannah, Ga., native quickly swiped second to reach scoring position. That set the stage for freshman shortstop Madison Shipman, who laced an RBI two-bagger just inside the chalk down the left field line as Dotson scored easily to make it 1-0 Lady Vols.

Cal Poly answered back immediately in the top of the second as Mustang star designated player Anna Cahn led off the frame by blasting an Ivy Renfroe offering deep over the wall in right to deadlock the score at 1-1.

Burchell continued her incredible early-season production by un-tying the count with one down in the bottom of the second. The Columbia, Tenn., product hammered an offering from Cal Poly starter Rebecca Patton just over the wall in left to grant Tennessee a 2-1 advantage. With two retired in the inning a double off the bat of junior catcher Ashley Andrews got another scoring outburst started. Sophomore left fielder Raven Chavanne followed by drawing a four-pitch walk, putting two aboard for Grieve. The Asheville, N.C., native crushed a pitch to right that rattled off the wall and away from Mustang right fielder Lund. The speed on the base paths meant that both Andrews and Chavanne scored easily while Grieve cruised into third with a routine triple. With Shipman standing at the plate, Patton tossed a pitch in the dirt that got away from her catcher Stephanie Correia, bouncing several feet to her left. Grieve attempted to score from third but was tagged out by a recovering Correia to end the frame.

Leading off the top of the fourth against newly-inserted Lady Vol reliever Ellen Renfroe, the clean-up hitting Cahn blasted her second homer of the contest, driving an offering the other way to left to cut Cal Poly's deficit to 4-2.

Tennessee answered the Mustangs back immediately once again with a two-out rally during the bottom of the fourth. Chavanne started it by chopping a high bouncer towards short, managing to beat out the infield single. Grieve made it a perfect 3-for-3 at the dish by blasting a pitch deep to left center for a two-run HR, improving the UT lead to 6-2.

An outstanding running grab by UT second baseman Gibson on a sharp liner from Cal Poly's Ashley Romano turned into a stellar, inning-ending double play in the top of the fifth. The Pasadena, Md., native quickly pivoted and doubled off a Mustang runner at first to conclude the frame.

The advantage continued to grow for the Big Orange in the bottom of the fifth. With one out Gibson singled sharply past third baseman Shea Williams into left field. Junior third baseman Jessica Spigner came to the plate and lashed a shot just over the outstretched glove of leaping second baseman Romano that was hit so hard it quickly rolled to the base of the wall in right center. Burchell battled over a nine-pitch at-bat before walking to load the bases for O'Connor. The rookie designated player from Galeton, Colo., lifted a blooper just over short that dropped in left center for an RBI single as Gibson crossed to make it 7-2.

Ellen Renfroe worked quickly through Cal Poly's half of the sixth, striking out a pair of Mustangs and even retiring the dangerous Cahn on a routine bouncer to first.

Needing just a double to finish off what would have been the second known cycle in Lady Vol history, Grieve got virtually nothing to hit in drawing a five-pitch free pass from reliever Trista Thomas to open the bottom of the sixth. That's when things got bizarre as Shipman blasted a homer just over the wall in right. The first base ump ruled that Grieve left her bag early, however, negating the big fly and erasing the senior centerfielder from the basepaths. Shipman put aside the disappointment to draw a walk and was soon joined via the third single of the contest by Gibson. A free pass issued to Spigner loaded the bases with Burchell due up, and she wouldn't disappoint with the bags packed, crushing a ball to center to end the contest via a walk-off. The walk-off home run was the second for Burchell this season after she performed the feat in an 8-0 (5 inn.) victory over Boston College last weekend.





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