Freshman Kat Dotson
March 23, 2010
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Following an opening-game marathon on Tuesday evening at the Lee Softball Stadium, No. 17 Tennessee (23-7, 5-3 Southeastern Conference) took care of business in the doubleheader finale during regulation, downing the Kentucky Wildcats (19-12, 4-6 SEC), 7-1, behind a strong combined pitching effort from freshman Ivy Renfroe and sophomore Cat Hosfield and continued offensive pyrotechnics from freshmen Kat Dotson and Raven Chavanne.
Dotson led UT's 11-hit attack by posting a career-high 4-for-4 performance at the dish with a double and three RBIs. That improved the Savannah, Ga., native's batting average on the day against UK to a staggering .875 (7-of-8) with five RBIs. The right fielder is now leading the squad in SEC-only action with a .538 average and 11 RBIs. Chavanne lifted her season mark to a staggering .509 by going 3-for-4 in the nightcap with three runs scored and her team-best 16th stolen base of the year. Sophomore designated player Shelby Burchell knocked in a pair of tallies on a two-run base hit in the third frame, while sophomore third baseman Jessica Spigner was credited with two RBIs via a sacrifice fly and a fielder's choice.
Renfroe improved to 13-2 by picking up her second victory of the day against the `Cats. The Jackson, Tenn., product didn't allow an earned run while permitting four hits and striking out five over five innings. Hosfield struck out a pair and permitted just one hit during her two frames of relief work.
"Today's first game against Kentucky was a tough one," Lady Vol co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. "Chanda Bell pitched extremely well as did Ivy (Renfroe) and Cat (Hosfield). We were fortunate to come out on top against a tough SEC opponent. Kat Dotson was exceptional all day long, hitting .875 and posting the game-winning RBI in the 10th inning of the opener. Raven Chavanne continued her incredible production, and it was great to see the amount of offense we received out of the top three spots in our line-up. In the second game Ivy pitched very well for her five innings, while Hosfield, Chavanne and Dotson remained strong. Shelby Burchell also knocked in two big runs in the third inning of the second game to give us a big 4-0 lead."
After Renfroe got out of a first and third, one-out jam in the top of the first against the Blue & White, Tennessee managed to score in the opening inning for the 15th time in 2010 by putting up a tally via a pair of hits. Grieve opened the attack by slapping a one-out base knock over the third base bag and down the left field line. The speedster from Asheville, N.C., swiped second and quickly scored on a base hit back through the middle by Dotson as UT raced in front, 1-0.
With UT's 5-10 right hander having settled into the circle after her opening inning troubles, allowing only a one-out double by shortstop Molly Johnson in the third, the Big Orange expanded its advantage in the bottom of the third.
Chavanne kicked things off with a sharp single back up the middle. Grieve followed with a base hit through the left side, and then Dotson beat out a perfect slap hit back to the circle to load the bags with none retired. A fielder's choice off the bat of Spigner brought Chavanne across to grant the Lady Vols a two-run lead. Following a UT strikeout, Burchell stepped into the box and blooped a two-out, two-RBI single to right, clearing the base paths and improving the count to 4-0 in favor of Tennessee.
A single by sophomore shortstop Ashley Andrews, a Kentucky throwing error, a Chavanne bunt single and a stolen base set the stage for more Orange & White fireworks in the bottom of the fourth. Dotson came to the dish and promptly ripped a one-out, two-bagger over the head of UK center fielder Meagan Aull and off the wall as the lead grew to 6-0.
A pair of Kentucky two-out singles and a fielding miscue by the UT infield on a bouncer from second baseman Natalie Smith granted the `Cats their only run in the top of the fifth.
That was as close as UK would get, however, as a Spigner sac fly made it 7-1 Tennessee in the bottom of the sixth and Hosfield shut down the Wildcats over the final two innings to secure a big doubleheader sweep.
No. 17 Tennessee returns to action on Saturday, March 27, in a doubleheader against the Ole Miss Rebels at Lee Softball Stadium. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. ET, and live stats will be provided via Gametracker through utladyvols.com. Sunday's series finale at 1 p.m. ET will be broadcast live via FOX Sports South (Comcast channel 19 in Knoxville).