March 14, 2010
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - On a rainy Sunday afternoon at Lee Softball Stadium in Tennessee Invitational action, the No. 19 Lady Vol softball team (18-5) utilized a nine-strikeout performance from freshman pitcher Ivy Renfroe and three RBIs each from freshman right fielder Kat Dotson and sophomore third baseman Jessica Spigner to roll past Liberty (10-6), 10-0 (5 inn.).
Renfroe was outstanding over four no-hit frames of relief, tying her career-high with nine K's and improving to 9-1 on the season. Sophomore Cat Hosfield started the contest, permitting two hits in a single inning of work while walking one and striking out one.
Dotson was perfect in going 2-for-2 at the plate and hammered her first collegiate home run to go along with three RBIs and two runs scored. Spigner posted a 1-for-2 effort with three RBIs, while senior catcher Tiffany Huff was 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Senior first baseman Erinn Webb also blasted her second home run of the campaign and knocked in two tallies while going 1-for-3 at the dish.
After a quick top of the first where Hosfield worked around a lead-off walk and ended the frame with a strikeout of Liberty shortstop Kelly Strickland, Tennessee junior center fielder Kelly Grieve (2-for-2, three runs) got a UT scoring chance started with a one-out single to center in the bottom half. Dotson stepped into the box, and on a 1-2 count, blasted her first collegiate home run to deep right for a quick 2-0 lead. The occurrence marked the 12th time this season that the Lady Vols struck pay dirt during the initial inning.
A base hit on a sharp bouncer off the bat of third baseman J'Nae Jefferson and an Amber DePasquale bunt single put two Liberty runners on base with none out in the top of the second. That ended Hosfield's time in the circle as Renfroe entered and immediately imposed her will, striking out first baseman Kaylee West, catcher Keely McMillon and second baseman Cassie Hendrix in order to leave the LU duo stranded.
The Lady Vol lead reached three runs leading off the bottom of the second as Webb drove a Tiffani Smith offering to deep right for her second HR of the campaign. A walk by sophomore shortstop Ashley Andrews, an infield single off the bat of Chavanne and a wild pitch placed runners at second and third with still no one out. Grieve drew a walk to pack the bags and Dotson then coerced a free pass to force in a tally to make it 4-0, Tennessee. After blasting what would have been a sure grand slam just foul, Spigner ripped a two-RBI single to left. On the very next pitch from Smith, Huff knocked in a pair of runs on a base knock to left as UT nabbed an 8-0 advantage and ended the stay in the circle for Liberty's starter as Katie Warrington entered in relief. Following a botched Lady Flame fielder's choice and a groundout to second, Webb delivered an RBI via a bouncer to second as Huff crossed the dish with the Big Orange's ninth run. The frame finally came to a conclusion on an Andrews fly out to right, but in all, 11 Lady Vols came to the plate in scoring seven runs on the benefit of four hits and three walks in the inning.
Renfroe continued her mastery of the Lady Flames in the top of the third, improving her consecutive strikeout count to five with K's of left fielder Danielle Howard and right fielder Jenny Law. A bouncer to third by Liberty designated player Ashley Bensinger made it six in a row retired by UT's 5-10 right-handed pitcher.
The hit parade continued for UT with one out in the third as consecutive singles from Grieve and Dotson set the stage for a Spigner sacrifice fly to right center as the Tennessee lead expanded to 10-0.
From there it was all Renfroe as the freshman hurler struck out the last four Liberty batters of the contest to up her count to a career-high tying nine K's as Tennessee prevailed, 10-0 (5 inn.).
No. 19 UT wraps up the Tennessee Invitational at Lee Softball Stadium against Campbell on Sun., March 14th, at approximately 6 p.m. 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.