A walk-off triple by Rainey Gaffin to deep right center field in the bottom of the 11th inning brought Cheyanne Tarango around to score from first base and gave the Tennessee softball team a 1-0 victory over NC State to stay perfect in NCAA Tournament play Saturday.
The 11-inning game matched the longest game in Tennessee history and marked the seventh time the Lady Vols have played into the 11th inning. It was just the second time UT has reached the 11-inning mark in the NCAA Tournament, the only other time coming against No. 1 Michigan on June 5, 2005 in the Women's College World Series.
Ellen Renfroe kept the Lady Vols (46-10) in the game over the course of the 3 hour and 23 minute contest. She compiled 13 strikeouts against the Wolfpack (34-19-1) on the day, on off of her season high (14), including six in inning ending, clutch situations.
Renfroe picked up her sixth shutout of the year in her longest outing of the season pitching all 11 innings for the Lady Vols.
Gaffin's lone hit on the day was the game changer while Tarango laced her lone hit down the rightfield line to start off the 11th inning.
The Lady Vols stay in the winner's bracket of the Knoxville Regional and will return to action on Sunday afternoon to face the winner of Saturday's late game at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
Single day tickets will be available at the stadium box office when gates open an hour before game one (12:30 p.m.).
Tennessee's first scoring opportunity of the day came in the 10th inning when Melissa Brown started things off with a hard hit up the middle and was replaced on the basepaths by Whitney Hammond.
Hannah Akamine put runners on first and second with a bloop hit to shallow left center. The duo moved up a base on a perfect sacrifice bunt by Tory Lewis but two pop ups to second base ended the threat.
The Lady Vols continued the offense into the 11th inning where they came away with their second victory of the weekend.
The University of Tennessee