Freshman Lauren Gibson
March 13, 2010
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Behind a stellar complete-game pitching effort from sophomore Cat Hosfield, massive three-run homers from both junior center fielder Kelly Grieve and freshman pinch hitter Lauren Gibson and another perfect night at the plate by freshman left fielder Raven Chavanne, the No. 19 Lady Vol softball squad improved to 17-5 overall and 2-0 in the Tennessee Invitational with a 9-0 (5 inn.) triumph over Campbell on a chilly Saturday night at Lee Softball Stadium.
Hosfield allowed just two hits over five solid innings of work to improve to 9-4 overall, while walking one and striking out three Camel batters. The Murfreesboro, Tenn., native faced just three batters over the five-inning minimum.
Chavanne was 3-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored and a stolen base to raise her season average to a staggering .558. Grieve delivered a 2-for-3 effort with her second HR of the year, three runs scored and a trio of RBIs. Gibson made her one pinch hit appearance count with a three-run, walk-off blast in the bottom of the fifth. Sophomore third baseman Jessica Spigner (1-for-2) knocked in a pair of runs on a base knock, and senior catcher Tiffany Huff went 1-for-2 with an RBI.
"We were very pleased with the complete team effort shown by our squad in both games today," Lady Vol co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. "Cat Hosfield pitched brilliantly and our offense was on fire. Kelly Grieve and Lauren Gibson are really strong left-handed hitters, and it was good to get the long ball tonight from both of them. Raven Chavanne hit .857 today over the two games and is one of the toughest outs I've ever coached at any level of softball."
A lead-off single by right fielder Sarah Forgacs and a pair of fielder's choice plays, including one that failed to record an out, put a pair of Campbell runners on base with just one down in the top of the first inning. Hosfield managed to strikeout left fielder Lauren Stephan and then got catcher Taylor McGee to bounce out harmlessly to short to leave a pair of Camels stranded.
The Tennessee speed game got the Lady Vol offense started in the bottom of the first as Chavanne and Grieve opened things up with consecutive infield singles. For Chavanne the lead-off hit marked the 13th time in just 22 games this season that she had reached base successfully to open UT's initial at-bat. A wild pitch from Campbell starter Brittany Arnn advanced the runners into scoring position at second and third with still no one retired. After a groundout from freshman right fielder Kat Dotson, Spigner ripped a two-RBI single through the left side to give the Big Orange a quick 2-0 lead and mark the 11th time in 2010 that UT had struck pay dirt during the opening frame.
Meanwhile Hosfield was dealing from the circle, having retired eight consecutive Camel hitters through the top of the third inning and tallied three strikeouts.
A lead-off single from Chavanne, her second of the contest, a fielder's choice that retired the lead runner and a stolen base by Grieve set another UT rally in motion in the bottom of the third. With two down Spigner walked to station Lady Vol runners at first and second. Huff stepped in and ripped a shot off the left knee of Arnn in the circle and through the hole on the right side of the infield for an RBI single to plate Grieve and improve the advantage to 3-0.
Hosfield's defense stepped up behind her in the top of the fourth to clear the base paths. With one out Stephan ripped a liner to the wall in left and chugged around first trying to stretch the play into a double. Chavanne hustled back to corral the ball, turned and fired a strike to freshman Melissa Brown covering second base to nail the runner and kill any potential Campbell threat. The Orange & White managed to add to their lead with two outs in the bottom of the fourth. Consecutive infield singles by sophomore shortstop Ashley Andrews and Chavanne set the stage for a Grieve power display. The Asheville, N.C., native set aside the slap-hitting game and blasted a three-run shot to deep center field, her second big fly of the year, to improve the count to 6-0.
The contest came to an abrupt end in the bottom of the fifth. Following a walk by Huff and a base hit through the left side from sophomore designated player Shelby Burchell, Gibson absolutely crushed a three-run bomb to deep right. The walk-off homer brought the run-rule into play and sent Tennessee home with a convincing 9-0 (5 inn.) triumph.
No. 19 UT wraps up the Tennessee Invitational at Lee Softball Stadium against Liberty on Sun., March 14th at 3:30 p.m. and Campbell at 5:30 p.m. ET. Check out Tennessee Invitational Tournament Central through utladyvols.com at http://www.utladyvols.com/sports/w-softbl/spec-rel/tennw-invite.html for Gametracker live stats of every game.