Freshman Kat Dotson
April 8, 2010
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - On a rainy Wednesday afternoon at the Lee Softball Stadium, the No. 17 Tennessee Lady Vol softball team picked up its 30th victory of the season by rolling past Western Carolina in the opener of a non-conference doubleheader, 14-0 (5 inn.).
Senior first baseman Erinn Webb (1-for-2, three RBIs) blasted a three-run home run, her fifth HR of 2010, while freshman right fielder Kat Dotson (2-for-2, two runs, RBI) recorded her second big fly of the campaign on a solo shot to right center. Senior catcher Tiffany Huff doubled while going 2-for-3 with two tallies and an RBI, sophomore shortstop Ashley Andrews (1-for-3, three RBIs) tripled in three runs during the opening frame and junior center fielder Kelly Grieve tallied two singles in three at-bats. Freshmen subs Megan Givens, Whitney Hammond, Melissa Brown and Leah Taylor also got involved in UT's 16-hit offensive assault as each tallied a hit, with Givens and Taylor credited for single RBIs. Rookie left fielder Raven Chavanne (1-for-3) knocked in a run on an infield hit, while sophomore third baseman Jessica Spigner (1-for-1) and designated player Shelby Burchell (1-for-1) each scored twice.
In the circle sophomore pitcher Cat Hosfield picked up her 12th win of the season by allowing just two hits and striking out four over three innings of work. Freshman Andi Williamson walked three and K'ed a pair in two frames of no-hit relief.
It was an inauspicious start for the Lady Vols in the top of the first. An infield error on a bouncer off the bat of WCU lead-off hitter/center fielder Jordan Fulton and a stolen base quickly placed a Western Carolina runner on second. Fortunately Hosfield settled in from the circle to force a groundout and then strikeout both shortstop Robyn Burnette and first baseman Colby Liles.
Back-to-back one-out singles from Grieve and Dotson and a pair of stolen bases put Lady Vol runners at second and third with one out in the bottom of the first. Huff stepped up and dropped a perfect bunt single up the first base line as Grieve scored from third to make it 1-0, Tennessee. With that the skies opened up and rain started to fall, forcing a 27-minute delay at approximately 4:50 p.m. ET. Once play resumed Spigner walked as a wild pitch on ball four by Catamount hurler Katie King also allowed Dotson the opportunity to score for a 2-0 advantage. With runners at the corners Gibson blasted an RBI single back through the middle, expanding the lead to 3-0, UT. Burchell walked and then following a Lady Vol strikeout, Andrews hammered her bases-clearing triple to right center to push the advantage to a half dozen runs. Chavanne and Grieve registered consecutive infield singles, but the former was caught trying to reach third on a throw from first baseman Liles to end the inning with no further damage.
King registered Western Carolina's initial hit of the match-up with two outs in the top of the second as she laced a shot back through the middle of the infield. Catcher Danielle Reese followed with a bouncer just past diving second baseman Gibson and into right center as WCU boasted runners at first and second. The threat amounted to nothing as Hosfield concluded the inning by striking out left fielder Kristen Gay.
The Big Orange offense got right back to work during the bottom of the second. Dotson began the inning by driving a towering home run to right center, her second big fly of the season. Huff followed with a double down the right field line and Spigner with an infield single to deep short as UT posted runners at the corners with still none out. Gibson stepped in and drove a sacrifice fly to mid left as the lead continued to grow at 9-0. Burchell delivered a bloop single to right, and then Webb crushed her fifth homer of the year, a three-run shot to right, to make it 12-0.
A fielding error at first base on a slow roller from Grieve to open the bottom of the third got the UT offense off and running again. With the Asheville, N.C., native standing at third following the WCU miscue, Givens doubled down the right field line, plating the runner for a 13-0 lead. After a Spigner walk put runners at the corners, Taylor singled to deep short to score Givens and finalize the UT scoring damage at 14 tallies.
New Lady Vol pitcher Williamson entered the circle in relief to start the top of the fourth. The Harts, W.Va., native issued a pair of walks, but got out of the frame via a strikeout and a pair of groundouts.
After UT left a runner stranded at first base in the fourth following a lead-off single by Hammond, Williamson forced a liner to short by Gay and struck out Fulton for two quick outs. The 5-8 right hander walked Burnette but got third baseman Haley Pace to fly out to center to end the abbreviated contest via the run-rule.