KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (March 3, 2012) – Tennessee scored three runs in the third and ended the game by plating four more in the sixth, as the eighth-ranked Lady Vols defeated the ETSU softball team, 8-0, on Saturday night at Lee Softball Stadium.
Tennessee's junior right-hander Ivy Renfroe tossed a one-hit shutout, while striking out seven en route to improving to 3-3 on the year. Meanwhile, sophomore righty Katie Wolff (LaGrange, Texas) saw her three-game winning streak come to an end (3-3) after being charged with five runs (two earned) on nine hits in 5.1 innings of work.
Sophomore outfielder Nicole Fox (Peachtree City, Ga.) recorded the Bucs’ lone hit with a single in the third, while fellow sophomore Casey Horner (Whitesburg, Tenn.) reached base twice.
With the loss, ETSU dropped to 4-11 on the year, while Tennessee has blanked five of its six opponents during its six-game winning streak to improve to 12-3.
Wolff kept Tennessee’s explosive offense in check for the first two innings, but after Raven Chavanne reached on a leadoff error to start the third, the Lady Vols executed some small-ball to manufacture their first run. Chavanne used her speed to steal second and advanced to third on a Kat Dotson ground out. With one out and Chavanne on third, UT called for the squeeze play to make it a 1-0 contest. The prolonged inning came back to haunt the Blue and Gold as two-out RBI doubles by Melissa Brown and Shelby Burchell made it a three-run game.
The Bucs put runners on in three of the first four innings as Horner was hit by a pitch in the first, while Fox broke up the no-hit bid with her single in the third. Again, Horner reached in the fourth after striking out, as Hannah Akamine couldn’t handle the ball behind the plate, giving Horner the opportunity to advance on the passed ball.
However, despite having runners in scoring position in the third and fourth innings, the Bucs couldn’t strike for any runs off Renfroe, and Tennessee made the Blue and Gold pay.
The Lady Vols threatened in the fourth as Tennessee had bases loaded with two outs, but Wolff got clean-up hitter, Madison Shipman, to fly out to right to end the inning.
After Tennessee failed to produce in the fourth, the Lady Vols received some clutch two-out hitting in the fifth and sixth innings to end the game.
Tennessee scored its fourth run of the game when Akamine’s two-out single in the fifth went right under Wolff’s glove and straight into center to bring home Burchell from second.
Once again, the Lady Vols’ offense woke up with two outs in the sixth to end the game early. Brown doubled home a pair of runs, while she scored on Holly Baker’s triple to right. Whitney Hammond ended the game when her single down the line in left plated Baker for the eighth run of the contest.
Senior Shelby Morris (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) came in to pitch with one out in the sixth, but she was greeted rudely as the right-hander allowed three runs on three hits in a third of an inning.
Tennessee was led by Burchell’s three doubles, while Brown went 2-for-4 with two doubles, three RBI, and two runs scored.
The Bucs look to bounce back on Tuesday afternoon when ETSU heads over to Liberty. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 2 p.m.
For more information on Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.