No. 1 Lady Vols crush Oakland, 14-3

STATESBORO, Ga. (School release) --Taylor Koenig and Madison Shipman combined for seven RBIs and Lexi Overstreet hit a home run as No. 1 Tennessee finished its season-opening weekend with a 14-3 victory over Oakland on Sunday in the Eagle Round Robin.

Tennessee (4-0) took the lead with one run in the third inning before exploding to four in the fourth, three in the sixth and sixth in the seventh put the game out of reach. Oakland (1-4) scored all three of its runs in the sixth.

Koenig was outstanding in just the fourth collegiate game of her career, going 3-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Shipman enjoyed her best game of 2014, going 2-for-3 with three RBIs, one run and on walk. Overstreet hit a solo blast to start the fourth and finished with two RBIs. Melissa Davin had a two-run double and sophomore Haley Tobler had two hits and two runs in her offensive season debut. Freshman Shaliyah Geathers was 2-for-2 off the bench with one RBI and one run scored.

Junior Cheyanne Tarango picked up her first win of the year, going 5.1 innings with three strikeouts and two earned runs allowed. Erin Gabriel pitched 1.2 scoreless relief frames and totaled three strikeouts.

Erin Kownacki took the loss for Oakland after allowing 14 earned runs over 6.2 frames. Kayla Hensel got the last out of the top of the sixth.

UT jumped on the scoreboard in the third inning. Tobler led off the inning with a single down the right field line and Shipman drove her in with an RBI single up the middle.

The Lady Vols' lead grew to 5-0 in the fourth inning. Overstreet hit a leadoff home run to center field, marking her second blast of the season. With two outs, Rainey Gaffin drew a walk to load the bases and Megan Geer drew a walk in the next at bat to score Jennifer Burroughs. Shipman followed with a two-RBI single up the middle.

In the top of the sixth, Lexi Overstreet hit a bases-loaded sac fly to center field to plate Megan Geer. Two batters later, Koenig knocked a two-RBI single to left, pushing Tennessee's lead to 8-0.

Oakland answered in the bottom of the sixth when Sarah Hartley hit a three-run homer with one out to bring the Golden Grizzlies to within 8-3. Gabriel relieved Tarango in the circle and got the final two outs of the inning.

Tennessee exploded to six runs in the seventh. Davin hit a one-out two-run double to left field to plate Shaliyah Geathers and Tobler. Tarango had an RBI double two batters later and Koenig followed with a two-RBI single to right center. Geathers rounded out UT's scoring with an RBI single to right field to plate Koenig.

Geer was the team's top hitter this weekend, hitting .600 (6-for-10) with two doubles, three RBIs, four runs, five walks and three stolen bases. Overstreet was UT's top run producers, blasting a pair of homers and driving in a team-high eight runs. Tarango, Koenig and Geathers each hit .500.

Ellen Renfroe (2-0) picked up a pair of wins in starts against Northern Colorado and Georgia Southern. She threw 12 scoreless innings with 15 strikeouts and just three hits allowed.

UT will next head to Tampa, Fla., to play in the USF Tournament. Tennessee will play Pittsburgh and Binghamton on Friday, Feb. 14.


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