April 8, 2010
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - On a day where No. 17 Tennessee's offensive made a lot of noise, freshman pitcher Ivy Renfroe made herself the story as the Jackson, Tenn., native fired her first career no-hitter, guiding the Lady Vols (31-7) past Western Carolina, 11-0 (5 inn.), to sweep Wednesday's eventful doubleheader at Lee Softball Stadium.
The 5-10 right hander, who improved to 18-2 on the season, was thoroughly dominant from the circle, striking out seven Catamount hitters and walking just one while facing only a single batter over the five-inning minimum.
The Big Orange banged out nine more hits with the big efforts coming in a 3-for-3, three-run, double, triple and three-RBI effort from freshman second baseman Lauren Gibson and a 2-for-2, two-tally, two-RBI performance by sophomore third baseman Jessica Spigner. Freshman left fielder Raven Chavanne posted a triple and two RBIs, while junior center fielder Kelly Grieve recorded a triple as part of her 2-for-3 evening at the dish. Sophomore designated player Shelby Burchell (1-for-2), freshman sub Whitney Hammond and sophomore shortstop Ashley Andrews were each credited with an RBI. Rookie pinch hitter Morgan Fowler made some personal history by recording her first collegiate hit and RBI on a single up the middle during the fourth inning.
"The mark of a good team is playing well in games in which you are favored," Lady Vol co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. "We're proud of the way our team came out and took care of business in both games of the doubleheader. Ivy Renfroe and Cat Hosfield both had tremendous outings from the circle while our offense posted 25 total hits. Lauren Gibson had five RBIs to lead the team and is emerging as a very big part of our offensive line-up."
Little did anyone know at the time but a two-out walk issued to WCU third baseman Haley Pace in the top of the first inning would prove to be the lone mark on an otherwise near-perfect effort by Renfroe.
With its hurler in firm control, the Tennessee offense put up four quick runs on four hits and an error in the bottom half. Grieve got things started with a single through the left side and advanced to second on a Western Carolina throwing miscue. Freshman right fielder Kat Dotson walked, with both runners advancing a base on a groundout by senior catcher Tiffany Huff. Spigner stepped into the box and ripped a two-run single through the left side off WCU hurler Amber Steinhardt for a 2-0 advantage. Gibson followed immediately with an RBI triple and then Burchell singled back through the middle to plate another as UT nabbed a four-run advantage.
After a quiet second inning for both teams a Huff walk opening the third got a five-run Big Orange assault started. Spigner singled and Gibson ripped a two-RBI base knock through the right side to bring across two more tallies and end Steinhardt's stay in the circle as Chere Monday entered in relief. Following a Catamount fielding error, senior first baseman Erinn Webb walked, Andrews delivered a sacrifice fly to right and then Chavanne tripled to right center as the lead expanded to a commanding 9-0.
A walk, a fielder's choice and a Gibson double in the fourth placed runners at second and third with one down. Hammond and Fowler cashed the runs in on a fielder's choice and a single, respectively, as Tennessee's lead became 11-0.
With one final chance to avoid both being no-hit and having the game end via the run-rule, Western Carolina went down in order as first baseman Missy Wills grounded out to third and then Monday and right fielder Katie King each struck out swinging versus Renfroe to conclude the dominant performance.
No. 17 Tennessee now steps back into league action, heading to "the Plains" of Auburn to face the Tigers in a three-game series over April 10-11. Action both days begins at 2 p.m. ET with Sunday's contest slated to be shown live on FOX Sport South with Dave Neal and Cheri Kempf on the call.