Feb. 25, 2011
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - UT sophomore right fielder Kat Dotson just missed hitting for the cycle, going 3-for-4 with a double, triple and four RBIs and sophomore second baseman Lauren Gibson was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs as No. 8 Tennessee (11-2) rolled past San Diego State, 11-3 (6 inn.), on a chilly Thursday night at the Cathedral City Classic in Cathedral City, Calif.
The run-rule was the 10th in 13 games for the Big Orange in 2011, and the victory marked win No. 699 of Co-Head Coach Karen Weekly's career.
"Karen and I were really proud of the way our team came out tonight against a very good San Diego State squad that qualified for NCAA Regionals last season," Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly said. "I thought we hit well, ran the bases well and played solid defense. These were two solid wins today for our team (UCSB and SDSU). Now we'll get some rest and prepare for a tough Friday against BYU and Loyola Marymount."
Big Orange freshman shortstop Madison Shipman recorded a pair of hits in three at-bats with a double and two RBIs, junior first baseman Shelby Burchell tallied her 18th RBI of the season as part of a 1-for-3 effort, junior third baseman Jessica Spigner contributed her team-best fifth two-bagger of 2011 while going 1-for-4 at the dish with an RBI and sophomore left fielder Raven Chavanne posted a 3-for-4 effort to improve her season average to .513 overall.
UT sophomore Ivy Renfroe was credited with her fifth victory of the season by tossing 2.1 innings of two-hit relief, allowing one run, walking one and striking out one. Freshman Ellen Renfroe started the contest, permitting two tallies on four hits with a walk and a K over 3.2 frames of work.
For the 10th time in 2011, Tennessee managed to score during its opening at-bat as UT put up a pair of runs on three hits during the initial frame. After Chavanne christened the contest with an infield single to second base, senior center fielder Kelly Grieve hit into a fielder's choice that cut down the lead runner. The Asheville, N.C., speedster took off and swiped second to reach scoring position. That proved a big play as Dotson battled SDSU's Bailey Micetich over nine pitches and laced a two-bagger just inside the left field line, allowing Grieve to roll home for a 1-0 lead. With two retired Gibson stepped to the dish and ripped a shot just past short for an RBI double as the advantage grew to a pair of runs.
The first hit of the contest off Ellen Renfroe came via a double into the right center field gap by shortstop Jen Wisneski with two outs in the top of the second. With third baseman Ashley Rose at the plate, a swinging strike in the dirt bounced away for a wild pitch as the runner advanced 60 feet. She stayed right there, however, as Rose bounced out routinely to Spigner at third following a 10-pitch battle.
The Tennessee speed game got the offense off and running in the bottom of the third as Grieve and Dotson beat out back-to-back infield singles to open the frame. Burchell blasted a shot back through the middle that plated a run for a 3-0 lead. Following a failed pick-off move to second that saw catcher Kristin May's throw travel wildly into center, both runners moved up into scoring position. Gibson lifted a sacrifice fly to left and then Shipman doubled in a tally on a blast to left center as the advantage expanded to 5-0.
San Diego State began chipping away at its deficit in the top of the fourth as designated player Justeen Maeva started the inning with a single up the middle. With one out Kristin May hammered a shot into right center that dropped between outfielders for a run-scoring triple. Following a SDSU groundout and a walk issued to Rose, Ellen Renfroe was replaced by her sister Ivy in the circle. The new hurler permitted an infield single that plated a tally, but on the play eventually gained control of the slow roller, turned quickly and gunned down a runner at third base to conclude the San Diego State frame with no further damage.
While new hurler Kamerin May was keeping the Lady Vol offense in check, SDSU kept chipping away on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth. The Aztecs picked up a run on the benefit of a one-out walk, a stolen base and a RBI single down the left field line from Maeva to make it 5-3.
With the game getting a little too close for comfort for those clad in Orange & White, Tennessee exploded for six runs in the bottom of the sixth to bring the run-rule into play. Andrews started the outburst with a one-out single on the infield. Chavanne followed with a base knock back to the circle, and both runners advanced 60 feet on the play via a throwing miscue to first base. Grieve was struck by a May offering to pack the bags. That set the stage for a three-run triple by Dotson that dropped just inside the chalk down the right field line to raise the count to 8-3, UT. An RBI single by Gibson, a sacrifice fly off the bat of Shipman and Spigner's walk-off, RBI double to left center finished off the Aztecs by an 11-3 total.
The Lady Vols return to action on Friday at 1 p.m. PT against BYU in the Cathedral City Classic at Big League Dreams Sports Park in Cathedral City, Calif. Live stats will be available for the contest 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.