April 17, 2010
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The No. 16 Tennessee Lady Vol softball team improved to an impressive 37-8 on the season by rolling past Presbyterian College, 9-1 (6 inn.), in the finale of a Saturday doubleheader at Lee Softball Stadium.
Sophomore third baseman Jessica Spigner continued her impressive offensive day at the plate by going 2-for-3 with her team-best eighth home run of the season (a three-run shot) and three RBIs. Freshman shortstop Melissa Brown blasted an RBI double as part of a 1-for-4 effort, while sophomore catcher Ashley Andrews went 1-for-2 with her third two-bagger of the campaign. The Big Orange swiped five more bases to give them 10 thefts overall during the two match-ups against the Blue Hose.
In the circle sophomore Cat Hosfield improved to 14-5 on the season by allowing just one run on three hits with seven strikeouts over five solid innings of work. Summoned in to close things out, freshman reliever Ivy Renfroe struck out the Presbyterian side during a perfect sixth frame.
After UT's 5-9 hurler rolled through the top of the first in order, Tennessee jumped to a quick 2-0 advantage on the benefit of a hit and a PC miscue. Freshman left fielder Raven Chavanne (1-for-1, two runs scored, two steals) walked to begin the inning and quickly swiped second. Junior center fielder Kelly Grieve (1-for-3, two runs scored, steal) joined her teammate on the base paths via an infield single to third. As Grieve took off for second, Chavanne raced home on the throw to grant the Lady Vols a 1-0 advantage. After senior right fielder Tiffany Huff reached via a walk, she promptly took off for second. A throwing error on Presbyterian catcher Mary-Ellen Morris on Huff's stolen base allowed Grieve to score to make it 2-0, UT.
With Hosfield cruising through two perfect innings, the Orange & White offense added to its advantage in the bottom of the second. Brown opened the frame with a double to center, advancing to third on a one-out bunt single off the bat of Chavanne. On a Grieve bouncer the Blue Hose made an error on an eventual fielder's choice, allowing Brown to plate Tennessee's third run of the game and Grieve and Chavanne to end up occupying second and third, respectively. Spigner stepped to the dish and crushed a towering three-run shot to left as the lead quickly doubled to 6-0, UT.
A one-out bloop single to left field from Presbyterian right fielder Kayla Handy in the top of the third broke a string of seven straight hitters retired by Hosfield. The Murfreesboro, Tenn., hurler uncorked a wild pitch, allowing the runner to advance into scoring position. That was as far as the PC runner would travel, however, as Hosfield struck out Rachel Hopper and induced a routine grounder from center fielder Tera Powell to leave the runner stranded.
Utilizing massive substitutions all over the field, the Lady Vols left a pair of runners on base in both the third and fourth innings.
The Blue Hose finally scratched out a run on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth. Singles from Mary Gordon and left fielder Lindsey Trombley and walk issued to Handy loaded the bases with just one retired. Hopper bounced into a potential double play but freshman second baseman Lauren Gibson had difficulty getting the ball out of her glove. The Pasadena, Md., product wisely settled for the out at second as Gordon crossed to make it 6-1. Powell stepped into the batter's box with runners at the corners and promptly became Hosfield's seventh K victim of the contest, leaving a Presbyterian duo stranded.
Following a dominant Renfroe strike out the side effort in the top of the sixth, Tennessee's offense finally brought about the run-rule in the bottom half. Spigner started the frame with a single to left and was subbed out for freshman pinch runner Leah Taylor. Huff was hit by a pitch and Webb singled to left center to pack the bags full of Lady Vols. Kajitani managed a bases loaded walk to force in Taylor and make it 7-1. A fielder's choice off the bat of Brown and a fielding miscue on the Presbyterian shortstop brought home Tennessee's final two tallies as UT prevailed by a 9-1 count.