April 6, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. - The eighth-ranked Tennessee swept a Southeastern Conference double header with second-ranked Georgia, 5-1 and 9-4, on Wednesday evening at Jack Turner Softball Stadium in front of a season-high crowd of 1,627.
Tennessee improved to 31-6 overall and 9-4 in SEC play with the two wins while Georgia dropped to 32-6 overall and 8-5 in league action. The Lady Volunteers victory in the opening game snapped the Bulldogs 37-game home winning streak that started with victory over Arkansas on April 3, 2010.
Tennessee sisters Ivy Renfroe and Ellen Renfroe each earned a win in the double header. In game one, Ivy (10-3) worked 5.2 innings allowing just one run on nine hits before giving way to Ellen, who earned her first-career save with 1.1 hitless innings. Ellen (18-2) then returned to start game two and went the distance surrendering four runs on eight hits to notch the win. Georgia freshman Morgan Montemayor (16-3) and sophomore Alison Owen (11-2) were on the losing of the pitcher's circle. Montemayor went four innings allowing two runs on four hits in game one while Owen worked 2.1 innings in game two giving up six runs, five earned, on five hits.
In game one, the two teams exchanged runs in the first inning. Tennessee scored on a single from Kat Dotson, and Georgia scored on a leadoff home run from senior Taylor Schlopy. It was the 10th home run of the year for Schlopy, and it marked the third time this season she has hit a leadoff home run in the first.
The Lady Vols then picked up their second run in the fourth before getting three more in the sixth. In the fourth, Jessica Spigner led off with a double to center, and after pinch runner Whitney Hammond moved up to third on a wild pitch, Lauren Gibson provided an RBI double to left center. In the sixth, Gibson hit a solo home run to left, and Melissa Davin added a two-run homer, also to left.
In game two, every Georgia scoring inning was countered by a Tennessee scoring inning, and the Lady Vols also picked up insurance runs in the seventh.
In the first, the Bulldogs got off to a 2-0 lead courtesy of a home run from senior Brianna Hesson. It was the 11th home run of the season for Hesson, who extended her career-best hitting streak to 11 games. She went 2-for-4 in game one.
Tennessee quickly answered in the second getting two runs to tie the game. With runners at second and third, Davin notched an RBI single up the middle off of a diving Ashley Pauly's glove. Ashley Andrews followed with a sacrifice fly.
Junior Kristyn Sandberg gave Georgia the back in the bottom of the second with a solo home run to left, her fifth long ball of the season. The advantage would be short one for the Bulldogs as the Lady Vols answered with four runs in the top of the third to go up 6-3. Gibson plated the first run with an RBI single to left, and Shelby Burchell highlighted the inning with a three-run home run to left center. Georgia junior Erin Arevalo entered in relief to get the Bulldogs out of that frame, and she went on to pitch a total 4.1 innings for senior Katie Murphy recorded an out in the seventh.
In the bottom of the fifth, senior Alisa Goler reached on a fielder's choice, moved to second on a walk to junior Ashley Razey and scored on a single to right center from senior Megan Wiggins. Razey was thrown out at the plate ending the rally and bringing Tennessee to bat again in the top of the sixth, where they once again countered the Bulldogs' scoring inning with one of their own to make it 7-4. After loading the bases with no outs, the Lady Vol run crossed the plate when Gibson hit into a double play.
Tennessee then added two insurance runs in the seventh. Davin belted a one-out triple to right and scored on a double from Andrews, who took third on a Georgia error on the play. Two batters later, Kelly Grieve singled in Andrews for the game's final run.
Wednesday's attendance of 1,627 was the third-largest home crowd in Georgia history.
Up next, Georgia plays host to 18th-ranked Kentucky (25-7, 11-3 SEC) for a three-game series starting Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Game two of this year's series with UK will air on ESPNU on Saturday at 2 p.m. with Cara Capuano and Michele Smith providing the commentary.
Saturday's nationally televised contest will also be Georgia's second-annual Strike Out Cancer event. The Bulldogs will wear pink jerseys, and a silent auction for the jerseys will begin when the gates open at Noon. Starting bids are $150.00 and the person with the winning bid must be present and pay on game day (April 9) by cash or check. The silent auction will close at the end of the 3rd inning and winners will be announced in the 4th.
Kentucky will participate in the Strike Out Cancer event by wearing pink belts, socks and helmets, and the first 500 fans will receive pink Georgia softball t-shirts. Additionally, the first 250 youth softball players will receive pink glitter head bands.
Last year, Georgia's inaugural Strike Out Cancer event raised over $6,500 for the Athens Regional Breast Health Center, who will again be the beneficiary of this year's donations.
Game three-of the UK series on Sunday will have a 1:30 p.m. first pitch and will conclude the 10-game home stand for the Bulldogs.