Lady Vol comeback worthy of Series bid
Posted: Monday, May 27, 2013 7:00 pm
KNOXVILLE — Tennessee and Alabama put on a quite a show in a nationally-televised matchup on Saturday as the Lady Vols rallied from a three-run deficit to punch their sixth ticket the Women’s College World Series with a 5-3 triumph over the Crimson Tide in front of a sold-out crowd.
“First of all, I’m extremely happy and extremely proud to coach the Tennessee Lady Vols,” Tennessee co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. “For the seniors, to go to the World Series three out of four years they were here is a fantastic achievement. I’m just really proud of our kids. It’s all about them. Coaches, they don’t play. They don’t throw balls. They don’t hit balls. They don’t run. They just coach.”
Saturday’s attendance was a sold-out 1,650 with many additional fans watching from the top of Regal Soccer Stadium.
The Lady Vols (49-10) combined for three sacrifice flies in a gritty game where five different players stepped up with key RBI knocks.
Melissa Brown went 3-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored. Tory Lewis went 2-for-2 with one walk and one run.
Ivy Renfroe (21-4) earned the win after striking out four over four frames and allowed three runs. Cheyanne Tarango, pitching in a game for the first time since April 20 at Ole Miss, tossed a scoreless fifth in relief. Ellen Renfroe rang up three strikeouts over two scoreless relief frames to earn the save.
Jackie Traina (19-8) tossed 51⁄3 innings with four runs allowed and one strikeout. Leslie Jury threw 12⁄3 relief frames with one earned run allowed.
The game didn’t start out very cleanly as both teams combined for four errors.
Alabama, which was the designated home team, jumped ahead, 2-0, in the bottom of the first.
In the bottom of the second, Alabama struck again for a 3-0 lead.
Tennessee came to life in the top of the third.
Madison Shipman came up big with a sacrifice fly to center field that plated Lewis.
In the top of the fourth, Tennessee knotted the game at 3-3.
Rainey Gaffin stepped up with a sac flyto bring UT to within 3-2, and Chavanne followed with an RBI single to center field to even the game.
The Lady Vols pulled ahead in the fifth and never looked back for the Series-clinching win.
Shipman hit a leadoff double to left field. Two batters later, Kat Dotson scored Shipman from third base with a sac fly to center field.
Tarango replaced Ivy Renfroe in the bottom of the fifth after Braud drew a leadoff walk. Tarango issued a five-pitch walk to McCleney, but with two runners on, the sophomore hurler was fantastic. Using a variety of pitches, Tarango induced a flyout to center, an infield fly to first and a lineup to short to escape unscathed.
Jury replaced Traina in the top of the sixth with one on and one out. Lewis used her speed to leg out a single back to the pitcher. Jury left two UT runners stranded with a strikeout and a lineout to short to end the inning.
UT added one more run to give it a two-run advantage in the top of the seventh. With one out, Tarango drew a walk on eight pitches. Whitney Hammond pinch ran for Tarango and stole second base in her final game in Lee Stadium. Fellow senior Brown followed with an RBI double up the middle to plate Hammond and push Tennessee’s lead to 5-3.
Published in The Messenger 5.27.13