Freshman Lauren Gibson
April 20, 2010
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - The No. 17 Tennessee Lady Vol softball team (38-8) blasted three home runs, including two big flies by senior catcher Tiffany Huff, in backing a two-hit, complete-game shutout from Ivy Renfroe to rout in-state foe Tennessee Tech, 10-0 (6 inn.), in front of a season-high crowd of 607 fans on Tuesday night at the Tech Softball Field in Cookeville, Tenn.
In addition to Huff's two home run effort as part of a 2-for-3, walk, three-run, four-RBI performance, freshman second baseman Lauren Gibson blasted her fifth HR of the year while going 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Sophomore third baseman Jessica Spigner (1-for-2, three runs), sophomore shortstop Ashley Andrews (1-for-2) and rookie right fielder Kat Dotson each registered a single RBI. Freshman left fielder Raven Chavanne continued her impressive freshman campaign by going 2-for-3 with a walk, raising her season average to .510 overall.
Freshman starting pitcher Ivy Renfroe picked up her 23rd victory of the campaign, allowing just two hits and striking out a career-high 10 batters over six frames.
"These are the types of games that you have to come out really ready to play," Lady Vol co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. "Our players were ready, putting up a five-spot in the first inning to grab control of the game. Tennessee Tech can be dangerous if you allow them to stick around. Tiffany Huff and Lauren Gibson were both great at the plate tonight, and we got another good outing in the circle from Ivy Renfroe."
For the 24th time in 2010, Chavanne opened Tennessee's initial at-bat of the game by reaching successfully, this time on an infield single to short. On the bouncer Tennessee Tech shortstop Samantha Everett threw the ball into the UT dugout for an error as Chavanne rolled into scoring position. Grieve slapped a sharp ball off the edge of third baseman Melody Christian's glove to reach safely as the lead runner moved to third with still no one out. Grieve swiped her 20th bag of the year, and then Dotson delivered an RBI groundout to short as Chavanne scored to make it 1-0. An RBI single through the left side of the infield by Spigner started a lengthy parade of Lady Vol base knocks in the opening frame. Huff blasted a two-run homer to left that dropped into a packed picnic area at Tech Softball Field to improve the lead to 4-0 Tennessee. Gibson and senior designated player Nicole Kajitani came through with singles up the middle and to left field, respectively. That ended the stay in the circle for Tech starting pitcher Holly Thomas as Maddie Schmissrauter entered in relief. With Lady Vols at first and second and two retired after a UT strikeout, Andrews ripped a 2-2 pitch down the line in left, plating Gibson for a commanding 5-0 advantage.
TTU's Christian started the bottom half of the first with a high bouncer toward third that was perfectly struck for a lead-off infield single. Despite uncorking a wild pitch that allowed the runner the opportunity to advance into scoring position, Renfroe rebounded immediately to strikeout the side. The Jackson, Tenn., native punched out first baseman Chanelle Spalding swinging, center fielder Kaleigh Gates looking and catcher Callie Schmidt swinging to conclude the frame.
Big Orange defensive replacement Shelby Burchell made an immediate impact for the Orange & White in the bottom of the second by contributing a "web gem." TTU designated player Whitney Cummings lifted a blooper to shallow right. Burchell charged in from her defensive position and dove to make a great inning-opening grab. A Tennessee Tech groundout to second and Renfroe's fourth K of the contest wrapped up two frames with the Lady Vols up 5-0.
A lead-off walk issued to Kajitani and Andrews being hit by a Schmissrauter pitch placed a pair on with one out in the third and the top of the UT order coming to bat. Chavanne beat out an infield bunt single to load the bases, but a fielder's choice that cut down the lead runner at home and a pop-up to short left three Lady Vols stranded.
With one retired in the bottom of the third, Tech left fielder Jordan Leff broke a string of seven straight retired by Renfroe by drawing a free pass. Christian drove a 1-2 pitch just off the glove of a diving Andrews at short for a single, placing Golden Eagles at first and second. Spalding bounced up the third base line right into the glove of Spigner as the Santa Clarita, Calif., native corralled the sphere, pivoted and stepped on the bag to force the lead runner. Gates ripped a shot that threatened to race down the left field line, but Spigner made a great play to her right. She sprinted hard to just nip Christian at the bag and end the inning with no Golden Eagle scoreboard damage.
Spigner christened the top of the fourth by drawing a walk. That set the stage for Huff's second homer of the contest, this one a bomb to deep center, as Tennessee improved its lead to 7-0. The Saugus, Calif., product joined teammate Jessica Spigner (two homers vs. Illinois State on March 6, 2010) as the second Lady Vol to hit two HR's in a single game during the 2010 campaign.
Renfroe was dominant during the bottom of the fourth, striking out the Tech side to give her eight K's through four innings of work.
Defensive sub freshman Megan Givens started the top of the sixth with a single through the right side as UT searched for that decisive eighth tally required to bring the run-rule into play. After Spigner hit into a fielder's choice to cut down the lead runner, Huff walked to put a pair on with still just one retired. Gibson stepped to the plate and blasted a 3-1 offering down the left field line and over the wall for a three-run HR (her fifth of the year) to grant Tennessee a 10-0 advantage. Freshman pinch hitter Morgan Fowler followed with her first career double into the gap in right center. After a Webb walk, an Andrews foul-out and a single off the bat of freshman Whitney Hammond, sophomore Holly Baker bounced into a fielder's choice to third, but not before UT had brought the run-rule into play.
Needing three outs to end the match-up after six frames, Renfroe got Christian on a bouncer to third, pinch hitter Brittany Spalding on a grounder to second and Erin Cutlip on the 5-10 right hander's career-high 10th strikeout.