The Lady Vols softball team defeated Southern Utah 18-3 in their season opener in St. George, Utah on Thursday night.
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ST. GEORGE, Utah - Junior Madison Shipman drove in five runs, senior Ivy Renfroe tossed three hitless innings and five different Lady Vols had three-hit games as the No. 6/5 Tennessee softball team opened the 2013 season with an 18-3, five-inning win over Southern Utah on Thursday in the Red Desert Classic. The win marked the 800th in UT softball history.
The Lady Vols (1-0) totaled 22 hits in the win and the 18 runs are UT's most ever in a season opener. Shipman was 3-for-5 with five RBIs and two stolen bases. Senior Raven Chavanne was 3-for-3 with a double, two RBIs, two runs and a stolen base. Sophomore DP/pitcher Cheyanne Tarango went 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI and three runs.
Sophomore catcher Hannah Akamine was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored. Senior Whitney Hammond was a perfect 3-for-3 with one RBI and two runs.
Senior Melissa Brown went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer in the second.
In the circle, Ivy Renfroe (1-0) earned UT's 800 program win after tossing three hitless, scoreless innings with five strikeouts. Tarango pitched two innings in relief and allowed three runs.
Ariel Zimmerman (0-1) started the game for Southern Utah and allowed nine runs in 2.1 innings of work with four strikeouts. Danielle Axe allowed three runs in 1.2 innings of work. Ashley Ostler allowed six runs in one inning in the circle.
Tennessee scored in every inning, starting with Shipman's RBI single through the right side with one out to plate Chavanne from second base.
After Tarango was hit by a pitch to lead off the second inning, Hannah Trainer entered to pinch run. Brown stepped in the box and blasted a two-run shot over the right field wall to extend UT's lead to 3-0.
With runners on the corners and no outs in the third inning, Tarango ripped an RBI single through the left side to plate Melissa Davin. Two batters later, Akamine drove a single through the right side to plate Gibson. After a single to the pitcher by Hammond to load the bases, Chavanne hammered a double to left center, plating two runs. A Kat Dotson RBI groundout to the circle and an RBI single down the left field line by Shipman grew the Lady Vols lead to 9-0.
In the fourth inning, UT scored three more runs. Hammond hit an RBI single to short and Shipman ripped a two-RBI single to center field.
Southern Utah got on the scoreboard after the pitching change. With two on and no outs, Kadi Henderson hammered a pitch over the wall in left for a three-run homer to bring the Thunderbirds to within 12-3.
With lineup substitutions in the fourth, Tennessee saw its younger stars shine in a six-run fifth. Akamine, who had moved to third base, hit an RBI single to right field with the bases loaded. Freshman Rainey Gaffin followed with an RBI single to left field. Tarango scored on a passed ball with the bases juiced. Rookie Haley Tobler knocked a two-RBI single to right and advanced o the throw. Shipman rounded out the scoring effort with an RBI groundout to first.
Tennessee will be back in action on Friday with two games in the Red Desert Classic at the Canyons Complex in St. George, Utah. UT will face Idaho State at 1 p.m. ET and Utah State at 3:30 p.m. ET.