April 3, 2010
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Chalk up a Southeastern Conference Eastern Division series sweep as No. 16 Tennessee (29-7, 10-3 SEC) finished off its three-game set at Beckham Field on Saturday in Columbia, S.C., with a commanding 8-0 (5 inn.) triumph over South Carolina.
Senior catcher Tiffany Huff guided the Big Orange's 11-hit offensive attack by going a perfect 2-for-2 with a pair of walks and three RBIs. Freshman left fielder Raven Chavanne posted a 2-for-3 effort with two stolen bases and two runs scored, while sophomore third baseman Jessica Spigner (1-for-2) walked, was hit by a pitch with the bags packed and knocked in two RBIs. Rookie second baseman Lauren Gibson (1-for-3) and freshman right fielder Kat Dotson (1-for-4, stolen base, run) each posted an RBI. Tennessee swiped five bases in the contest and 12 overall during the weekend series.
By tossing her sixth complete-game of 2010, this one a three-hit shutout, freshman right hander Ivy Renfroe improved to 17-2 overall and an impressive 8-1 counting just league contests. The Jackson, Tenn., native walked two and struck out six while tossing just 85 pitches during her five frames of work.
"We are very proud of the effort our team displayed in this series," Lady Vol co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. "South Carolina presented a tough challenge in every game, and our players rose to that challenge. Melissa Brown had a great game in the finale with a single, double and two runs scored. Tiffany Huff was exceptional with two hits, two walks and three RBIs. We were really pleased with our pitching and the hard work they have done to improve. We're not where we want to be, but we are getting better all the time."
The Big Orange wasted zero time getting the offense untracked in the finale, ringing up three runs on five hits in the opening inning.
As she has done so often this season, Chavanne opened the top of the first with an infield single. Junior center fielder Kelly Grieve beat out a bunt hit out in front of the plate, placing a pair aboard with no one out. After a double steal and a line out to center by Dotson, Huff drilled a two-RBI single to right for a quick 2-0 lead. Spigner followed immediately with a single up the middle to score another tally as the Lady Vols made it 3-0.
After Renfroe rolled through South Carolina one-two-three in the first, UT added to its advantage in the second. Brown opened the inning with a double down the right field line. Chavanne walked and then the duo each swiped a base with one out to place two runners in scoring position with one retired. Dotson hit into a fielder's choice that plated a run, Chavanne ended up stealing home and then Gibson laced beat out an infield single to second base as the lead expanded to a commanding 6-0.
Brown singled to christen the third, advanced to second on a wild pitch by Gamecock reliever Ashley Chastain and was joined on the base paths by Chavanne on a throwing error by the pitcher. With two retired in the frame, Huff drew a walk to pack the bags for Spigner. The Santa Clarita, Calif., native was struck by a pitch, forcing in UT's seventh run of the match-up.
The Garnet & Black finally got something going in the bottom of the third as right fielder Lauren Lackey opened the inning with a two-bagger down the left field line. Center fielder Adele Voigt walked and both runners advanced 60 feet into scoring position on a sac bunt. Renfroe responded to the threat, however, by inducing a foul pop-up to the catcher by third baseman Hannah Milks and getting April Borchardt to fly out to center as S.C. left a pair stranded.
South Carolina also left a pair on the base paths in the fourth inning as UT's 5-10 hurler got out of a first and second jam by striking out Lackey.
Dotson helped manufacture Tennessee's final tally with two outs in the top of the fifth. The Savannah, Ga., native singled to deep short, swiped second and eventually scored on Huff's single to left as the Lady Vols got the eighth run necessary to bring the run rule potentially into play.
Despite allowing a lead-off single to Voigt in the bottom of the fifth, Renfroe rolled through Briana Hamilton, Milks and Borchardt in order to wrap up the series sweep for the Orange & White.