KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 15, 2011) - The third-ranked Lady Vols scored five runs in the first and they never looked back from there, as Tennessee went on defeat the Bucs, 18-0, in five innings Tuesday night at Lee Stadium.
Tennessee - who improved to 5-0 on the year - is now 15-1 all-time in home openers, while the Blue and Gold dropped their 2011 season opener.
Senior right-hander Jessica Duncan (Ooltewah, Tenn.) suffered the loss after allowing nine runs (seven earned) on three hits in an inning of work, while Ivy Renfroe improved to 2-0 after tossing three scoreless innings of one-hit ball. Overall, three Tennessee pitchers combined on a one-hit shutout.
Freshman Jackie Baird (Ooltewah, Tenn.) was the lone Buccaneer to post a hit after going 1-for-2 with a single to left, while freshman Katie Wolff (LaGrange, Texas) tossed one shutout inning in relief.
After sending the Bucs down in order to start the game, the Lady Vols scored five runs on two hits to grab an early 5-0 lead in the bottom half of the first inning. Kat Dotson drove in the first three runs by sending a 2-1 pitch out of the park in right-center, while designated player Melissa Brown capped off the scoring after plating a pair of runs with a two-out double.
Baird recorded the Bucs' first hit of the season by belting a one-out liner to left in the second, but she was left stranded after Renfroe fanned Whitley Hensley (Erwin, Tenn.) and induced Amy Campbell (Chattanooga, Tenn.) into an inning-ending grounder. Unfortunately, things got worse for the Bucs in the bottom of the second as Tennessee chased Duncan from the circle after the first four Lady Vol hitters reached base - extending their lead to 5-0. From there, Shelby Morris (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) entered in relief and Tennessee led 16-0 courtesy of Kelly Grieve's two-out grand slam and Melissa Davin's three-run homer.
Tennessee added two more runs in the third when Morgan Fowler blasted the Lady Vols' fourth home run of the game, but Wolff kept the Orange off the board in the fourth.
Overall, nine of Tennessee's runs were unearned due to costly fielding error by Ducan in the second.
The Bucs return back to action Friday afternoon when ETSU takes on Towson in the opening game of the Cougar Classic in Charleston, S.C. First pitch is set for noon at the Patriots Point Athletics Complex.
For more information on Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.