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    SEC Softball Game Report - 3/12

    tuesday softball RESULTS
    Auburn 6,  Tennessee State 1
    Arkansas 9,  Stephen F. Austin 2
    Auburn 8,  Kennesaw State 3
    Tennessee 8,  Winthrop 0
    Mississippi State 7,  Jacksonville State 2
    Ole Miss 10,  Belmont 2


    SHIPMAN HOMERS TWICE AS TENNESSEE CRUSHES WINTHROP, 8-0

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. --Madison Shipman blasted a pair of home runs and drove in five runs, Lauren Gibson hit a two-run shot and Ivy Renfroe tossed four shutout frames to lead No. 6/7 Tennessee to an 8-0, five-inning win over Winthrop on Tuesday at Lee Stadium.

    The Lady Vols (22-4) controlled the game from the start thanks to back-to-back homers by Gibson and Shipman in the first inning. Renfroe, the freshly-named Louisville Slugger NFCA National Player of the Week and USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week, had great command in the circle, keeping the Hawks (11-12) in check.

    Shipman saw three pitches in the game and went produced a solo home run, a two-run home run and a two-run double to finish a perfect 3-for-3 with a career-high-tying five RBIs. Gibson went 2-for-3 with a two run homer and two runs scored. Raven Chavanne reached base three times with a single, two walks and three runs scored. Chavanne also stole two bases. Cheyanne Tarango went 2-for-3 with one RBI.

    Renfroe (9-1) struck out four over four shutout frames. Tarango pitched a scoreless fifth and recorded two strikeouts.

    Sutton Watson (8-7) took the loss for Winthrop after giving up the two-run homer to Gibson and the solo blast to Shipman in the next at-bat. Watson did not record an out. Sara Allen allowed five runs over 3.1 innings of relief. Dallas King tossed a scoreless two-thirds of an inning in the loss.

    Chavanne opened the bottom of the first with a leadoff single to the pitcher and stole second base. Gibson brought her in and gave UT a 2-0 lead when she drilled a 2-1 pitch from Watson over the wall in left field. The team wasn't even finished congratulating Gibson by the time Shipman took a big swing at the first pitch she saw to send it over the wall and just right of the foul pole for a solo jack.

    In the bottom of the second, Tennessee added two more runs. Chavanne drew an seven-pitch walk with one out and stole second base. Two batters later, Shipman pounded another first pitch to left for a two-run homer, her fifth on the year.

    Tennessee plated three more runs in the bottom of the fourth to put the game out of reach. With one out, Shipman knocked a two-RBI double to right center to plate Chavanne and Gibson. Tarango followed with an RBI single up the middle to push the Lady Vols' lead to 8-0.
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    Arkansas defeats Stephen F. Austin

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas softball team defeated the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks, 9-2, on Tuesday at Bogle Park

    Arkansas (19-7) was paced at the plate by Chloe Oprzedek, she went 1-2 with a homerun, two walks, two RBI and a run scored. Also going yard was Jayme Gee as she blasted a solo-shot in the second. Gee also notched a sacrifice fly in the game. Overall head coach Mike Larabee was happy with the way the team hit.

    “We were able to overcome the slow start,” Larabee said. “Chloe getting the homerun and then Jayme getting the ball up in that jetstream was awesome. We swung the bats well.”

    The Ladyjacks started the game by jumping on the board first. Alexis Callan singled home Cadie Weaver with one out to give SFA a 1-0 lead and put runners on the corners for Charlotte Singleton. Starter Hope McLemore worked out of the inning, however, and got Singleton to line out to the shortstop, Clarisa Navarro. She then threw the ball to first for a double-play.

    Arkansas answered in the bottom half of the inning as Wallace led off the game, improving her NCAA-leading .691 on base percentage as she was hit by a pitch. She scored two batters later when Oprzedek belted a two-run homer over the centerfield wall.

    SFA struck again in the second as Casey Gamez led off the inning, she reached on an error and then Jade Alensa notched her first hit of the year, a single to leftfield. The Ladyjacks scored after two passed balls to even the game at two apiece. This ended McLemore’s day in the circle as she gave way to Chelsea Cohen with one out and a runner on third. The senior captain came in and struck out Brittany Lee for out number two and then got Kaneisha Gray to groundout to end the inning.

    Jayme Gee hit her fourth homerun of the season to start the bottom of the second. The bomb over the centerfield wall gave Arkansas a 3-2 lead.

    The scoring continued in the third when Jennifer Rambo singled home Nicole Schroeder. Schroeder walked for the 16th time this year and then scored to give Arkansas a two run lead.

    Three more runs came across the plate in the fourth as Claire Clark, Wallace and Navarro started the inning with back-to-back-to-back singles. Wallace scored the second run of the inning when Schroeder reached on a fielder’s choice. Two batters later, Rambo was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Schroder scored the third run of the frame.

    Cohen used the 7-2 lead to cruise through the Ladyjack lineup. She retired 14 of the 16 batters she faced through the sixth inning. Her six strikeouts in 4.2 innings pitched gave her 87 on the season.

    Schroeder started the bottom of the sixth with a double to straightaway centerfield. Amanda Summerford followed the double with an infield single. Sierra Bronkey then walked to bring up pinch-hitting Ashley Martindale for her first at bat of the season. She worked a 3-2 count and eventually walked to bring in Schroder. This put Gee at the plate with an 8-2 lead and the bases still loaded. Gee drilled a ball to the centerfield warning track that was good enough to score Summerford from third. Clark followed the sac-fly by advancing both runners a base. Wallace approached the plate with runners on second and third but was walked on four pitches. Navarro then hit a line drive off of the pitcher that dribbled to Callan at first. This ended the inning and gave the Hogs a 9-2 lead into the seventh inning.

    Freshman, Kelly Young came in to work the seventh inning and retired the side quickly. She struck out Alensa to start the inning. Brittany Lee then grounded out and after Gray singled, Young ended the game with a strikeout. This gave Arkansas its 19th win heading into SEC play.
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    Henderson’s No-Hitter, Joiner’s Bombs Lead to 18-0 UK Win

    LEXINGTON, Ky. – True freshman pitcher Katie Henderson threw the ninth no-hitter in school history, striking out four batters with only one walk, while sophomore catcher Griffin Joiner went 4-for-4 with two home runs and a career-high six runs-batted in, as the No. 17/17 University of Kentucky softball team took down No. 24 North Carolina 18-0 on Tuesday at the UK Softball Complex.

    Kentucky (19-4, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) broke countless school records in the game, but none bigger than Henderson’s no-hit performance. The native of Chattanooga, Tenn., allowed a two-out walk in the first inning and the leadoff batter for UNC in the second inning reached on an error before Henderson retired the next 12 batters she faced to clinch the no-hitter. All four of Henderson’s strikeouts came consecutively, striking out the side in the third inning and the leadoff batter in the top of the fourth inning. Henderson was also efficient, throwing only 58 pitches.

    “It feels good,” Henderson said after the game. “I am not even for sure what to say right now. I was able to get my inside pitch going as well as my fastball, screw ball and changeup. I was a lot more relaxed [after UK jumped out to a 12-0 lead after the first inning] and just threw my game and didn’t have to worry about it.”

    Henderson is now only the fifth player in school history to throw a no-hitter, joining current teammate Lauren Cumbess, along with Chanda Bell (2009-12), Rachel Riley (2009-12) and Amber Matousek (2007-10). It is the first no-hitter for a UK pitcher since Bell threw her fifth and final no-hitter in last season’s home finale against LSU. All nine no-hitters have come in the tenure of sixth-year head coach Rachel Lawson.

    The start in the circle was the second of the season for Henderson, who is now 2-0 with a 0.00 earned-run average. The rookie hurler has thrown 10 innings on the year, striking out 12 batters and only allowing one hit. Her previous start was a five-inning win against Howard in the Coke Zero Spartan Classic, where she took a no-hitter into the final inning before giving up a single with two outs.

    “She has been getting a lot better and taking advantage of the time she has had in the bullpen and she came out ready today,” Joiner said about her battery mate. “She showed us how much better she has got. That was an impressive start for her, especially being the first time to start on our home field.”

    Believe it or not, the Wildcats might have been more impressive at the plate in the game than Henderson was in the circle. After posting strong offensive showings in the final two games of the Ole Miss series, Kentucky broke out of its shell even more Tuesday, recording 18 runs on 17 hits, including four homers and a double.

    The 18 runs and four homers tie the most runs scored in a game in school history, while UK’s 18 RBI sets the school record for most in a game. Entering Tuesday, Kentucky had scored 12 or more runs in a game 27 times in school history with the Wildcats reaching that mark in the first inning alone Tuesday. Kentucky’s 18-run margin of victory was also the largest in school annals.  

    Joiner was the leader of the pack Tuesday, posting a 4-for-4 night with career highs in home runs with two, runs scored with four and RBI with six. Joiner’s two homers in a single game marks only the 19th time in school history a player has accomplished that feat and the first since Samantha DeMartine had two roundtrippers against South Carolina on April 23, 2011.

    The native of Hopkinsville, Ky., became only the fourth player in school history to earn six or more RBI in a game and the first since Riley had six against Austin Peay in 2011. Joiner’s four runs scored ties the school record for most runs scored in a game, becoming the first player since 2008 to earn that honor. For the season, Joiner is hitting .361 (22-for-61) leading the team in doubles with seven, home runs with six and RBI with 24.

    “It is always good to have a midweek game because you can find yourself and get some momentum into the weekend,” Joiner said about her night at the plate. “I think that our entire team did that tonight and hopefully we can keep it rolling this weekend.”

    Every starter recorded a hit for the Wildcats in the game while Joiner, Cumbess and freshmen Maisie Steed and Nikki Sagermann recorded multi-hit games. Cumbess blasted her third homer of the season in a 2-for-2 night with three runs scored and a RBI, while Steed went a season-best 3-for-4 with three runs scored. Sagermann was 2-for-3 with two RBI, while freshman Christian Stokes was 1-for-3 with a grand slam in the first inning.

    Stokes, who was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week on Monday, has now hit safely in four consecutive games, becoming the first player since Megan Yocke in 2011 to hit a grand slam for UK.

    Freshman infielder Ansley Smith entered the game in the third inning and collected her first collegiate hit with an RBI, while senior Kara Dill was 1-for-1 with a run scored and senior Alice O’Brien was 1-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Junior Ginny Carroll had a hit and two RBI, while freshman outfielder Sylver Samuel was 1-for-2 with a run scored.

    The win over the top-25 ranked Tar Heels was Kentucky’s sixth of the season against a team currently ranked or receiving votes in either the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 or USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Top 25. The Wildcats started the season with a win over current No. 4/5 Cal, while it also has wins over No. 16/18 Stanford, No. 16/18 Washington, No. 23 Oregon State and USC Upstate, who is receiving votes in one poll.

    UK has now defeated 35 ranked teams during Lawson’s tenure, including 20 top-10 teams and 12 top-five teams.

    Before the game Tuesday, the Wildcats fell two spots in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 to No. 17, while holding its No. 17 ranking in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25. The high ranking comes after UK has earned a 19-4 record on the season, tying the best 23-game start in program history. The 2011 team also had a 19-4 mark after its first 23 games.  

    The Wildcats started the scoring with 12 runs on 10 hits in the opening frame – believed to be the most runs ever scored in a single inning in school history. After Steed struck out to start the game, Dill singled to the pitcher, advancing to second on a throwing error before coming home to score on the single up the middle by Joiner, who advanced to second on the late throw home. Cumbess then put runners on second and third with a single while O’Brien singled to leftfield to score Joiner and advance Cumbess to second. Sagermann kept the hitting parade alive with a single to right-centefield, loading the bases for Carroll, who would walk to score a run. Junior Emily Gaines then pinch hit for Samuel, getting hit by a pitch to bring home another run before Samuel reentered the game to run for Gaines. That set the stage for Stokes, who crushed a 3-2 pitch over the wall in centerfield, clearing the bases for her second homer of the season.

    The Stokes homer rolled the lineup over with just one out with Steed getting another rally started with a double to left-centerfield. Dill then laid down a sacrifice bunt, advancing Steed to third before Joiner singled to leftfield, scoring Steed. After Cumbess walked, UNC made its second pitching change of the inning, bringing in Sara Buchholz, who got O’Brien to strike out swinging but reached first safely on a pass ball, loading the bases. Sagermann then singled for the second time in the inning, bringing home the 10th and 11th runs. Carroll ended the scoring with a RBI single to score O’Brien, giving UK the 12-0 lead.

    UK got three more runs in the bottom of the second inning on back-to-back homers by Joiner – a two-run shot after Steed earned a one-out single – and Cumbess, a solo homer. The back-to-back homers made it 15-0 UK.

    The final three runs of the game came in the fourth inning when Steed singled to start the frame before stealing second base. Smith then singled to leftfield to bring home Steed before Joiner hit her second bomb of the game to give Kentucky an 18-0 win.

    Henderson made quick work of the Tar Heels in the top of the fifth inning, getting a groundout to short, fly out to rightfield and a grounder to third to clinch the no-hitter.
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    Auburn Picks Up Win Over Tennessee State In Nashville

    Nashville, Tenn. – Marcy Harper set a career high with 10 strikeouts to lead the Auburn softball team to a 6-1 win over Tennessee State Tuesday afternoon.

    Auburn improved to 19-7 overall and will next take on Middle Tennessee on Wednesday at 2 p.m. Tennessee State dropped to 8-15 with the loss.

    “Marcy did a really good job in the circle for us today,” Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. “She never really let them get a good swing at anything and she didn’t allow any walks. This was a good outing for her today, but it’s one we have to build on.”
        
    Harper improved to 9-2 with the complete-game victory. Harper allowed one run, earned, on four hits, no walks and 10 strikeouts on 101 pitches.
        
    Shea Morris (6-8) took the loss in a complete-game effort. Morris allowed six runs, one earned, on five hits with five walks and nine strikeouts.  

    The Tigers broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth inning. Branndi Melero led off and reached when shortstop Jayna Hanawahine dropped her short pop up. Melero was able to take second on the play as the ball rolled into foul territory. On a 3-2 pitch, Emily Carosone laced a single up the middle to plate Melero and give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.

    Tennessee State threatened in the bottom half of the fourth when Audrey Sensing tripled to right with two outs. But Harper was able to end the scoring threat when she fanned Ashley Haynes on a called third strike.

    Auburn increased its lead in the top of the fifth. The Tigers put the leadoff batter on when Kelsey Bogaards slapped a single through the right side. Bogaards stole second to move into scoring position and was able to take third on a passed ball. With one out, Tiffany Howard hit a sacrifice fly to left that easily scored Bogaards to push the Auburn lead to 2-0.

    After putting two on in the bottom of the first, Tennessee State threatened only once as Harper found a groove. After the first inning, Harper retired eight straight before a two-out triple in the fourth inning broke the string. Harper retired the following batter to start a string of seven straight batters retired to keep TSU scoreless after six innings.

    The Tigers added some insurance in the top of the seventh inning. Estell walked to open the inning and stole second. Howard followed with a walk. Melero then laced a double to left that scored Estell to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead. Emily Carosone followed with a line drive that Hanawahine dropped at short for an error. The ball rolled into shallow center on the play, allowing Howard and Melero to score for a 5-0 Auburn lead.

    Caitlin Schultze made it a 6-0 game with a single through the left side that plated Carosone for Auburn’s fourth and final run of the inning.
    Tennessee State broke up the shutout bid with consecutive hits to open the bottom of the seventh. Tedra Alford led off with a single to center and was followed by Sensing who doubled down the left field line, scoring Alford to make it a 6-1 game. That would be all TSU would score, however, as Harper retired the next three batters to end the game, including the final batter on her 10th strikeout.
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    Becker’s 11 Strikeouts Help State Cruise To 7-2 Win At Jacksonville State

    JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – Mississippi State senior left-hander Stephanie Becker showed why she leads the Southeastern Conference in strikeouts per seven innings, fanning 11 batters in a 7-2 victory at Jacksonville State Tuesday night. The Bulldogs improved to 17-6 and won their 10th-consecutive non-conference game, while the host Gamecocks dropped to 13-10 on the year.

    “I was pleased with the way our offense came out and tallied double-digit hits,” Head Coach Vann Stuedeman said. “We need to continue this momentum as we head east to Charleston (S.C.) and maintain our focus on this spring break road trip.”

    Becker earned her 10th starting assignment on the year at University Field, moving to 5-1 on her senior campaign with masterful performance inside the circle. The lefty struck out 11, walked two and surrendered only two base hits. Jacksonville State starter Hilary Phillips, who entered the game 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA, took her first loss of the season with four runs allowed on six hits and four walks in 1.2 innings of work.

    Just like Sunday vs. No. 12 LSU, both leadoff hitter Jessica Offutt and two-hole hitter Heidi Shape recorded multiple hits. Offutt set the table with two base knocks and a run scored, while Shape went 2-for-3 with two runs and a walk. Junior Sam Lenahan also had multiple barrels, finishing

    2-for-3 at the dish with a double, RBI and a walk.

    State wasted no time scoring in the top of the first, which started when Offutt slapped an infield base hit. After stealing second on the first pitch to Shape, Offutt moved to third on a perfect bunt single which died right in front of the JSU catcher. The two runners advanced one base each on an error by the Gamecocks’ third baseman, allowing junior Logan Foulks to take first and load the bases. On a full count, Lenahan roped a single up the middle to score Offutt. Following the first out of the game, Shape sprinted home on a passed ball by Phillips, sliding safely under the tag to make it 2-0 in favor of the Maroon and White.

    The Bulldogs plated two more in the second thanks to a two-out rally, doubling their lead to four runs. With two gone, Shape singled up the middle on a 2-0 count and entered scoring position on a Foulks single between second base and shortstop. With a pair on the base paths, Lenahan worked a full count for the second-straight at-bat and then walked. The bases were juiced for senior Jessica Cooley, who drove in the third run of the game on a base on balls. Redshirt junior Erin Nesbit followed it up with a bases-loaded walk of her own to end the scoring in the second.

    Freshman Loryn Nichols added one more run for the visitors in the top of the fifth. The California native went opposite way on the 10th pitch of her at-bat and immediately stole second for her eighth stolen base of the season. Offutt put her on the hot corner with a groundout to third, before Nichols tapped the dish on a passed ball thrown to Shape.

    Jacksonville State plated its only two runs in the bottom of the fifth frame thanks to a Bulldog error and a wild pitch.

    Stuedeman’s squad tacked on two more runs in the top of the sixth courtesy of a trio of doubles by Lenahan, Nesbit and sophomore Briana Bell.
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    Brown Leads Rebels to 10-2 Win at Belmont

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Sophomore third baseman Allison Brown went 4-5 with three doubles and three RBI and the Ole Miss softball team (18-11) defeated Belmont 10-2 on Tuesday afternoon at E.S. Rose Park in Nashville, Tenn.

    The Rebels scored 10 runs on 15 hits, including five doubles and a home run. In the circle, junior pitcher Shelby Jo Fenter picked up her sixth victory of the season, going 4.0 innings while allowing three hits and two runs and striking out five. Freshman Madi Osias came on in relief and picked up her second save of the season, throwing 3.0 innings, allowing two hits and striking out two.

    “I thought it was a great game for us to get back on track and for our kids to get their balance back, see the ball well and drive it to all fields,” Ole Miss softball head coach Windy Thees said.

    Brown, who entered the game with a team- and SEC-high 10 doubles, hit three more Tuesday against the Bruins (7-9), accumulating seven total bases on four hits. Brown’s 13 doubles this season surpass her season total from last year.

    “She told me today, ‘Coach, I’m done with my slump,’ ” said Thees about Brown. “I like it when they say that before the game. She came up swinging, seeing the ball really well and looking like her old self. I’m excited for the rest of the season that Allison has. She’s a leader for us and has a beautiful swing.”

    Junior center fielder RT Cantillo went 3-5 with one home run, two RBI and two runs scored. Senior left fielder Brittany Broome, who batted second in the lineup behind Cantillo, went 2-3 with three runs scored. Combined, the top of the Ole Miss lineup – Cantillo, Broome and Brown – went 9-13 with six runs and five RBI.

    Ole Miss got on the board in the top of the first with an RBI double to the left field wall from Brown that scored Cantillo from second base. Cantillo had reached base on a bloop single to center field, and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Broome.

    Brown added to the Ole Miss lead again in the top of the third with her second RBI double of the game, scoring Broome from second base. With runners on first and second and one out away, freshman right fielder Bri Payne hit a gorgeous RBI double down the left field line to score Brown from second. Natalie Martinez then gave Ole Miss a 4-0 lead with a sharp hit single to left field that scored Londen Ladner from third. Payne then scored on a fielder’s choice by Haley Culley to shallow center field.

    Belmont got two runs back in the bottom of the third with a solo home run by a Kat Hollingsworth and an infield single that scored Kirbie Ferrell from third base.

    Ole Miss scored one run in the top of the fifth on a single by Culley that scored Melina Preciado from third. Preciado was pinch running for Lauren Lindsey, who led off the fifth with a beautiful, hard hit double down the left field line. It was Lindsey’s fourth double of the year.

    The Rebels extended their lead to 7-2 in the top of the sixth with a fielder’s choice by Ladner that scored Broome from third base. Broome had led off the inning with a bunt single to the pitcher. Brown then hit her third triple of the game deep to right field that advanced Broome to third base.

    Cantillo put the game truly away with a two-run home run to right-center, giving Ole Miss a 9-2 lead. Later in the inning, with Broome on second, Brown capped off her stellar day with an RBI single up the middle.

    Ole Miss will now head west to face Tennessee-Martin on Wednesday. The Rebels defeated the Skyhawks 9-8 in eight innings at the Red & Blue Classic on Feb. 23. Ole Miss came back from a five-run deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning in that game, thanks in part to a grand slam from junior first baseman Ladner.

    “They’re a great squad,” Thees said. “They’ve been to regionals in four of the last six years. They’re always good, they’re always tough. They have pitching, they have defense and they have hitting. We’re going to have to definitely bring it all together and take this hitting into Martin on Wednesday.”
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