Freshman Ivy Renfroe
Feb. 21, 2010
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - No. 22 Tennessee improved to 5-2 overall and remained the only unbeaten team at the Troy Cox Classic with a commanding 11-2 (5 inn.) victory over St. Mary's on Sunday afternoon at the New Mexico State Softball Complex in Las Cruces, N.M. UT will face the home-standing Aggies on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET for the tournament championship.
Freshman third baseman Raven Chavanne improved her weekend effort to a staggering 13-for-16 at the plate by going a perfect 4-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. The Thousand Oaks, Calif., native hit .813 during the four-game stretch with 12 runs scored, a double, two triples, a grand slam and seven RBIs. Rookie right fielder Kat Dotson posted a 2-for-3 mark with a trio of runs-batted-in to complete her weekend at .692 (9-for-13) overall with a team-best 10 RBIs. Sophomore catcher Shelby Burchell blasted her initial home run of the season, a solo shot, and knocked in two tallies while fellow sophomore Ashley Andrews hammered a two-run blast in the third inning, marking her second big fly of the early campaign. Rookie second baseman Melissa Brown also delivered a 2-for-3 performance with three runs plated against St. Mary's.
Freshman Ivy Renfroe improved to 3-0 for the year in the circle by allowing two runs on three hits with a career-high seven K's during a five-inning, complete-game effort.
Tennessee outscored its four opponents 56-14, posted 10 doubles, four triples, six home runs and hit .482 as a team.
"New Mexico State has a great softball complex, but even their administrators agreed that this was one of the worst weather weekends they've ever had here for playing softball," Lady Vol co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. "It was cold, wet and extremely windy, which presented a lot of challenges to our and every other team's defense. The weather conditions proved to be a good experience for our team in mental toughness. Raven (Chavanne) was unbelievable this weekend, hitting .813 (13-of-16) with a grand slam and seven RBIs. Tiffany (Huff) hit .750 with a homer and seven RBIs, while Kat (Dotson) posted a .692 mark and a team-high 10 RBIs."
Chavanne opened her fourth consecutive game with a lead-off single by delivering a base knock to short. After junior center fielder Kelly Grieve reached via fielder's choice to put a pair of runners on base, Dotson, Huff and senior first baseman Erinn Webb drew consecutive walks to force in the game's initial two runs. After a sharp line out to short from surprise designated player Cat Hosfield, Burchell launched a sacrifice fly to center, bringing Dotson across for a 3-0 advantage.
St. Mary's clawed right back into the match-up in the top of the second as a lead-off single was quickly cashed in on a two-run homer to left. With UT up just 3-2, Renfroe rebounded to strikeout two consecutive CSU batters and retire the side.
The Big Orange added to its lead in the bottom of the second by putting up two runs on a trio of base hits. Brown and Chavanne opened the frame with consecutive singles. With runners at the corners and one out after a fielder's choice, Grieve swiped second to place a pair of Lady Vols in scoring position. Dotson stepped into the box and laced a two-RBI single through the right side of the infield as the lead improved to 5-2.
With Renfroe in control from the circle, Tennessee continued to expand its lead in the bottom of the third. Following a Burchell walk, Andrews hammered her second home run of the weekend, this one a two-run blast. Brown followed with a two-bagger, and then Chavanne tripled her home for an RBI. Another Dotson run-scoring base knock plated Chavanne and suddenly the advantage was 9-2, Lady Vols.
Burchell christened the bottom of the fourth by driving a towering shot to left center. The ball hung up a little in the stiff breeze, landing directly on top of the outfield wall before bouncing over for a solo home run. A Grieve single and a St. Mary's throwing error permitted another score to come across representing Tennessee's 11th run as the mercy rule potentially came into play.
Down to perhaps their last chance the Gaels could get nothing going versus Renfroe in the fifth as the 5-10 righty posted a strikeout and handled a pair of ground balls back to the circle to end the game in just five frames.
No. 22 Tennessee wraps up the Troy Cox Classic on Tuesday in a title contest versus New Mexico State at 7 p.m. ET. Live stats will be available through utladyvols.com, while periodic updates will be posted at www.Twitter.com/UTLadyVols.