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    SEC Softball Today: March 27

    Tennessee 1, Furman 0
    Tennessee 8, Furman 0
    Alabama 4, Auburn 2
    Alabama 5, Auburn 2
    Jackson State 7, Ole Miss 2
    Ole Miss 5, Southern Miss 3

    Brown's RBI Single Backs Ivy Renfroe's One-Hitter as No. 9 Tennessee Beats Furman, 1-0

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – A first-inning RBI single off the bat of junior first baseman Melissa Brown proved enough to back a one-hit, complete game shutout from junior pitcher Ivy Renfroe as the #9 Tennessee Lady Vol softball team (24-7) picked up a 1-0 victory in game one of a Tuesday doubleheader against Furman at Lee Softball Stadium.

    Renfroe allowed just three base runners, two via walks, and carried a no-hitter into the top of the seventh before permitting a two-out single to left by Paladin designated player Lauren Collier.

    At the plate Lady Vol junior first baseman Melissa Brown guided the way for the Big Orange offense with a 2-for-3 effort and the eventual game-winning RBI.  Junior third baseman Raven Chavanne was 1-for-3 while tallying the winning run in the first inning.

    After a quick one-two-three top of the first for Furman against Renfroe, Tennessee’s offense jumped in front on the scoreboard in the bottom half.  A lead-off bunt single and stolen base by Chavanne placed the Lady Vol speedster in scoring position with none retired.  Following a pop-up and a line-out that threatened to de-rail the frame, junior second baseman Lauren Gibson walked, joining her teammate on the base paths.  Brown stepped into the batter’s box and laced a single through the infield as Chavanne scored easily from second to make it 1-0.

    Tennessee received a lead-off walk from senior designated player Shelby Burchell in the top of the second and a frame-opening base hit from Brown to begin the fourth but couldn’t string together anything against Furman starter Hannah Bradley. 

    The Paladins finally recorded their initial base runner with one down in the top of the fifth as second baseman Emily Boyer walked against Renfroe to break a string of 13 consecutive batters retired.  She didn’t stay on the base paths for long, however, as third baseman Natalie Clemmons hit a shot back to the circle that was fielded on a hop by UT’s 6-0 right hander.  The pitcher turned and started an inning-ending 1-6-3 double play as sophomore shortstop Madison Shipman nabbed Renfroe’s throw and fired on to Brown at first.

    With Furman down to one final chance in the bottom of the seventh, center fielder Nikki Legg attempted to get the Paladins off to a quick start with a sharp liner into the hole between third and short.  Chavanne moved quickly to her left and made an incredible diving catch, keeping Legg off the base paths.  That proved a huge play in the end as first baseman Jessie Homesley walked with two down, and then designated player Lauren Collier broke-up Renfroe’s no-hit bid via a base knock blooped into left.  With two on and two down, Boyer hit a bouncer right back to the circle that UT’s hurler fielded easily before tossing on to first to conclude the UT win.

    Ellen Renfroe Tosses First No-Hitter as No. 9 Tennessee Downs Furman, 8-0

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – On Tuesday night in front of 794 fans at the Lee Softball Stadium, junior pitcher Ellen Renfroe hurled her first collegiate no-hitter and the #9 Tennessee Lady Vol softball squad (25-7) banged out 10 hits, completing a doubleheader sweep of Furman, 8-0 (6 inn.).

    Renfroe followed up her sister Ivy’s one-hit effort in the DH opener by firing the no-no, walking four and striking out eight while registering her NCAA Division I-leading 13th shutout of 2012.  The Jackson, Tenn., native has allowed just two total runs over her last 47.2 innings of work in the circle dating back to the third frame of a match-up against #3/4 Florida on March 11.

    Junior left fielder Melissa Brown led the Big Orange charge at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and a pair of RBIs.  The Valencia, Calif., product has been on fire as of late, hitting an impressive .357 over her last 13 contests with three HRs and 11 RBIs.  Senior first baseman Cat Hosfield was 2-for-3 with a double and a RBI, while junior center fielder Kat Dotson was 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored and two steals.  Junior second baseman Lauren Gibson knocked in a run via a double as part of 1-for-3, two-tally effort and freshman designated player Cheyanne Tarango was credited with a RBI on a sacrifice fly.

    “I thought Furman played really well tonight,” Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly said.  “I know our kids were tired.  We were on the road for nine days last week, so I guess we came out tonight and didn’t really answer the bell.  We managed to play well enough to win, and I guess that’s what matters at this time of year.  We challenged the team a little bit between games, and in the second game we picked up 10 hits.”

    With Tennessee leaving sophomore shortstop Madison Shipman stranded in the bottom of the first following a two-out infield single, Furman posted the first big offensive threat in the top of the second.  Third baseman Natalie Clemmons and second baseman Emily Boyer recorded consecutive walks against Renfroe, but the 6-0 right hander responded with her third strikeout of the contest, getting catcher Hannah Pace swinging.

    A lead-off walk by Furman left fielder Ambree Muller in the top of the third was quickly wiped off via a runner left early call.  Back-to-back strikeouts of right fielder Sarah Eidt and center fielder Nikki Legg marked the fourth and fifth K’s of the contest for Renfroe.

    Dotson got the Lady Vol offense untracked in the bottom of the third via a one-out base knock through the infield.  With two down in the frame and the Lady Vol runner in scoring position after a stolen base, Gibson blasted a two-bagger into the gap, plating Dotson for a 1-0 advantage.  Brown followed immediately after with a RBI single off the Lee Stadium wall, improving the UT lead to a pair of tallies.

    The lead expanded to 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth as Hosfield started the frame with a double into the gap.  A passed ball on Furman catcher Hannah Pace moved the runner within 60 feet of pay dirt where she was cashed in via a sacrifice fly off the bat of Tarango. The Big Orange threatened to extend the lead with two outs after junior third baseman Raven Chavanne singled up the middle and swiped second. After a five-pitch walk that put Dotson on first, Shipman grounded to third baseman Natalie Clemmons, who stepped on the bag for the force.

    The Paladins christened the fifth with a walk, Furman’s fourth of the game, but Clemmons would get no farther. Pinch hitter Alexis Galinski sent a grounder to Chavanne, who threw it to second for the force. Renfroe would account for the final two outs of the frame, striking out Hope Smith and catching a comebacker off the bat of pinch hitter Alex Bimonte.

    UT saw two more runs come across home plate in the bottom of the fifth, pushing the advantage out to five. Gibson walked to begin the inning and recorded her eighth steal of the season to advance to second. The Pasadena, Md., native scored after Brown hit a laser into the outfield for a double. Following a fly out from Burchell, Hosfield singled through the infield to plate Brown. Junior Whitney Hammond beat out a grounder on the infield to reach first and give the Lady Vols two on with just one out. A grounder to third cleared Hosfield off the base paths with the inning concluding on a fly out to left fielder Ambree Muller.

    Two grounders to Shipman and Renfroe’s eighth strikeout of the game quickly closed the door on any chance of a Furman rally, bringing Tennessee up for what would be its last at-bats of the contest.

    Dotson’s second hit to begin the bottom of the sixth inning and a stolen base quickly granted UT a RBI opportunity.  A four-pitch walk to Shipman and a groundout by Gibson to short placed Lady Vols on second and third. The Paladins allowed Brown to reach base after Clemmons throw from third sailed over the head of first baseman Jessie Homesley. Both Dotson and Shipman scored on the miscue, while Brown advanced to second, bringing Tennessee within a run of ending the game early. Furman recorded the second out as a result of a groundout to short. Hosfield reached base for the third time after a two-out walk, as she and Brown moved up a base following a wild pitch from Lakyn Shull. Hammond walked to pack the bases, leaving it up to senior catcher Ashley Andrews. The final run wouldn’t come off a hit or a walk, but instead a passed ball, as catcher Hope Smith allowed a Shull pitch to sneak by and Brown to score.

    Tennessee resumes conference play this weekend with a three game series against Kentucky. Friday’s contest begins at 6 p.m. ET.

    Alabama's Traina Stymies Auburn in Doubleheader Sweep


    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama sophomore All-American Jackie Traina threw every pitch of both games to help lead the No. 2 ranked Crimson Tide (32-1, 9-1 SEC) to a doubleheader sweep over rival Auburn (24-11, 3-7 SEC), Tuesday night at Jane B. Moore Field. Alabama downed No. 24 Auburn, 4-2, in game one and capped off the twin-bill with a 5-2 victory in the night cap. The Tide has now downed Auburn in 17 straight games after the pair of victories.

    Traina allowed just one hit in the first game and then followed that up, scattering four hits in the night cap. She threw 240 pitches in all, striking out a total of 18 on the night.

    Sophomore Kaila Hunt batted .500 on the day with two home runs and a double while senior Cassie Reilly-Boccia also batted .500, hit a home run and walked four times.

    Game One

    Traina nearly recorded her second career no-hitter before a seventh inning, two-out home run by Hilary Mavromat broke up the gem. Traina finished the game allowing two runs – one earned, on one hit, striking out nine and retiring 15 straight batters.

    Alabama continued its trend of getting on its opponents early as Reilly-Boccia belted a two-run home run over the wall in right-center to give the Tide a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The home run was the seventh on the season for the senior.

    After Auburn scored an unearned run in the bottom of the second, senior Amanda Locke hit a prodigious solo home run into the trees in left field to move the lead to 3-1. Pinch-hitter Ryan Iamurri later singled up the middle in the inning to score Hunt and give the Tide a 4-1 advantage.

    Game Two

    After both teams were locked in a pitcher’s duel, Alabama broke through with three runs in the fourth inning. Freshman Danae Hays started the scoring with an RBI single up the middle that scored Hunt and then junior Courtney Conley scored on a throwing error. Junior Kayla Braud capped off the scoring in the frame with a double to left-center that scored junior Keima Davis all the way from first.

    Hunt increased the lead to 4-0 when she smacked her team-leading  11th home run, this time a solo shot over the wall in right.

    The sophomore struck again as she belted another solo shot, this time over the wall in left-center to give the Tide its final 5-2 lead.

    Traina allowed two runs on four hits and struck out nine to improve to 19-0 on the season. Alabama banged out eight hits and was led by the three hits from Hunt.

    Alabama will continue SEC play on the road as it heads to Starkville for a three-game weekend series against Mississippi State. The two teams will begin the series on Friday, March 30, with first pitch slated for 7 p.m.

    Jayjohn Pitches Rebels Past Southern Miss

    RIDGELAND, Miss. – Junior Erinn Jayjohn scattered six hits and allowed just one earned run in seven innings of  work to earn her first career complete-game victory, as Ole Miss downed instate foe Southern Miss 5-3 on Tuesday at Freedom Ridge Park.

    The Justin, Texas native needed just 109 pitches to shut down the Golden Eagle bats, as she struck out four and walked just one in career-best seven innings pitched.

    The Rebels grabbed a 1-0 in the bottom of the first after RT Cantillo was hit by a pitch with two down and nobody on, stole second and then scored on an infield single from first baseman Londen Ladner.

    Jayjohn aided her own cause with a double to the wall in left to lead off the Rebel half of the second and moved to third on a Marina Parra sacrifice bunt. Right fielder Amanda Hutcheson then poked a single through the left side of the infield to plate Jayjohn and put Ole Miss up 2-0. Hutcheson then stole second and third and later scored on a booted ground ball from leadoff hitter Corrine Doornberg. Brittany Broome and Cantillo both reached on an infield singles to load the bases for Ladner, but she flew out to right to end the frame.

    Southern Miss loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth on a hit by pitch, a single to center and a swinging bunt single from second baseman Carissa Turang. Britney Dinelt flew out to short center for the first out of the frame, but the Golden Eagle third baseman Channell Thurman had an RBI groundout to short that plated the first run for USM. However, Jayjohn settled in and  got pinch hitter Caylie Harman to strike out swinging on three pitches to strand both runners in scoring position and preserve the 3-1 Rebel lead.

    Ladner doubled down the right field line with one out in the bottom of the fifth and was pinch ran for by Dallas Hardin, who moved to third after Allison Brown reached on an infield single to shortstop. Jayjohn then drilled a sac fly to the wall in left that scored Hardin. Parra capped the frame with an RBI double to right center that scored Brown and put the Rebels up 5-1 after five.

    Southern Miss scored two unearned runs in the top of the seventh, aided by two Ole Miss errors, but Jayjohn got first baseman Taylor Brown to ground out with the bases loaded to end the game.

    Ole Miss will return home this weekend as the Rebels welcome No. 24 Auburn to Oxford for a three-game SEC series beginning on Friday.

    Game One

    The Ole Miss bats couldn’t come alive in game one at Freedom Ridge Park, as the Rebels managed just three hits and fell 7-2 to Jackson State in Ridgeland.

    The Tigers grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first after leadoff batter Wendi Reed walked, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch by Ole Miss starter Kendall Bruning and scored on RBI single to right by third baseman Sabeana Romero. Jackson State added two more runs in the second on a pair of RBI singles up the middle from designated player Tahlisa Blosser and Reed to go up 3-0 and Romero knocked another run on an RBI through the right side of the infield in the third that put Jackson State up 4-0.

    Ole Miss designated player Erinn Jayjohn reached on a booted grounder to start the top of the fifth inning and was pinch ran for by Jayla Hubbard, who stole second. After Cali Oerbeck and Amanda Hutcheson both lined out to short for the first two outs, catcher Marina Parra rolled a grounder to third baseman Sabeana Romero, whose errant throw pulled first baseman Felicia Wilson off the bag and allowed Hubbard to score from second for the Rebels’ first run. Leadoff batter Corrine Doornberg then laid down a bunt single, Bruning was hit by a pitch to load the bases and center fielder RT Cantillo earned a full-count walk to bring Parra home and cut the Tiger lead to 4-2.

    Tiger center fielder Tayler Nave blooped a bases-loaded triple down the line in right in the bottom of the sixth that plated all three JSU runners and extended the lead to 7-2.

    Bruning took the loss after giving up seven runs, six earned, on nine hits in six innings. She struck out eight and walked four in the complete-game effort.