Freshman Madison Shipman
April 17, 2011
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
BATON ROUGE, La. - With a 7-2 victory over #19 LSU (26-15, 8-9 Southeastern Conference) on Sunday afternoon at Tiger Park in Baton Rouge, La., #6 Tennessee (38-6, 15-4 SEC) finished off an impressive sweep of the Bayou Bengals and improved its winning streak to 10 straight games.
UT freshman pitcher Ellen Renfroe struck out 12 and allowed just one earned run on five hits in improving to 21-2 on the season and 8-1 in league contests. A fifth inning tally by LSU broke a streak of 33.2 consecutive scoreless innings for Lady Vol pitching.
At the plate Big Orange freshman shortstop Madison Shipman led the 10-hit charge by going 2-for-4 with a stolen base and a pair of RBIs. Junior catcher Ashley Andrews knocked in a pair as part of a 1-for-3 effort, while junior left fielder Shelby Burchell was 2-for-4 with a double and sophomore second baseman Lauren Gibson was 1-for-2 with two runs scored.
Tennessee's offense managed a two-out scoring threat in the top of the first, but failed to crack the scoreboard. A Kat Dotson walk against LSU starter Brittany Mack and a Shelby Burchell base knock through the infield stationed Lady Vol runners at the corners. Unfortunately a K left the duo stranded on the base paths as Mack struck out the side.
Renfroe continued the pitcher's duel in the bottom of the first by also striking out the side with K's of LSU right fielder Tiffany Shaw, shortstop Juliana Santos and first baseman Anissa Young.
The left-on-base count for the Big Orange reached four during the top of the third as a pair of one-out singles from Raven Chavanne and Kelly Grieve went for naught as a K and a bouncer to short left the duo stranded.
The Big Orange finally got on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth. Gibson opened the frame by ripping Mack's first offering through the infield for a single. Junior designated player Jessica Spigner walked and freshman first baseman Melissa Davin sacrificed the duo up 60 feet into scoring position. With two down in the inning following a pick off at third, Shipman chopped a ball just over the LSU infield that proved enough to plate freshman pinch runner Tory Lewis from second base for a 1-0 Tennessee advantage.
LSU right fielder Tiffany Shaw became the first Tiger to reach base in the contest by battling Renfroe for a lead-off walk to open the bottom of the fourth. After a LSU stolen base, Santos stepped in and ripped a shot through the right side of the infield to place runners at the corners with still no one retired. With one out following a K of Young, left fielder Ashley Langoni dropped a squeeze bunt out in the front of the plate that Andrews raced out quickly to corral. As UT's catcher gained possession of the sphere, Shaw collided with her in the baseline and was originally ruled safe at home. A lengthy conference between the umpires resulted in a change of call with Shaw being ruled out. Catcher Lauren Houston became Renfroe's ninth strikeout victim to end LSU's once promising frame.
A throwing error on a bouncer by third baseman Tammy Wray to start the bottom of the fifth opened the door for the Bayou Bengals to dead-lock the score at 1-1. A passed ball and a sacrifice bunt allowed pinch runner Alex Boulet to advance to third with just one out in the frame. On a high chopper back to the circle by second baseman Cassie Trosclair, a miscommunication resulted in no Lady Vol covering first as she reached via single and Boulet scored to tie the game at 1-1. The next two batters for LSU were ruled out for going out of the front of the batter's box to end the frame.
More fireworks erupted in the top of the sixth as Gibson was hit in the facemask by the first pitch of the frame. An argument over the batter's boxes resulted in a delay as the grounds crew was summoned out to re-chalk the lines. After the lengthy pause in action, Spigner drove a single to the outfield, placing a pair aboard with still no one retired. Davin bounced a ball wide of Trosclair at second that she was forced to dive to corral. She attempted a throw from a prone position and threw it wide of Young at first for an error as Gibson scored to give UT a 2-1 advantage. An RBI single by Shipman and an RBI groundout off the bat of Grieve added two more as the lead expanded to 4-1.
Santos christened the bottom of the sixth with a double to right center and was joined on a hit by pitch by Houston with two down in the frame. As a potential tying run, Wray laced numerous foul balls before rolling out to Chavanne at third as she turned and stepped on the bag for a big inning-ending force out.
A lead-off double by Burchell in the top of the seventh led to another score to grant Tennessee a 5-1 advantage. Following a Gibson walk, a bouncer to first by Davin was booted by Young as Burchell raced around all the way from second to boost UT's advantage to four tallies. With two down in the inning, Andrews laced a two-RBI single to the outfield grass as Gibson and Davin scored to make it 7-1.
Russell drove a single into the gap in left center beginning the Tigers' final chance in the bottom of the seventh. Trosclair hit into a fielder's choice to short as Shipman made the smart play to second to nail the lead runner. A walk and then Renfroe's 11th K got UT within an out of victory, but it wasn't over yet. Santos drove an RBI single to right to plate a run to cut the deficit to 7-2 and then Young was hit by a pitch to load the bases full of Tigers. Langoni swung and missed at strike three to become Renfroe's 12th strikeout victim and end the Tennessee sweep.