NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C (release) – Kat Dotson hit two home runs and No. 7/9 Tennessee enjoyed strong pitching performances from Cheyanne Tarango and Ellen Renfroe in a pair of wins over UNC-Wilmington and Valparaiso on Saturday in the Buccaneer Invitational.
UT took a 9-0 win over UNCW in five frames and then defeated Valparaiso, 5-0.
GAME 2: No. 7/9 Tennessee 5, Valparaiso 0
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C -Kat Dotson hit a three-run homer and Ellen Renfroe fanned six over seven shutout frames as the No. 7/9 Tennessee softball team defeated Valparaiso, 5-0, on Saturday in the Buccaneer Invitational.
The Lady Vols (18-3) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning and scored four more in the sixth to defeat the Crusaders. Tennessee earned its 17th win away from home. UT has played 20 of its first 21 games of 2013 away from home as it prepares for its SEC opening series next week against defending national champion No. 1/2 Alabama.
Dotson's three-run homer was her third on the year and helped give Tennessee command of the game late. Raven Chavanne went 2-for-2 with two runs and two stolen bases. Chavanne now has 16 stolen bases on the year and 118 for her career - two shy of tying Lindsay Schutzler's program mark of 120.
Ellen Renfroe (6-1) tossed a three-hit shutout, striking out six batters. She now has four complete game and three shutouts on the year.
In the first inning, UT pulled ahead 1-0 when Lauren Gibson plated Chavanne from third base on a sac bunt to the pitcher.
The Lady Vols' lead expanded to 5-0 with a four-run sixth. With pinch runner Hanna Trainer on third base and one out, Tory Lewis ripped an RBI single up the middle to push UT's lead to 2-0. After Chavanne drew a walk on five pitches, Dotson absolutely crushed a 3-1 pitch for a two-run homer to straightaway center.
Tennessee tallied eight hits in the game to Valparaiso's three.
UT will conclude its play in the Buccaneer Invitational on Sunday, facing host Charleston Southern at 3 p.m.
The Lady Vols return to Lee Stadium on next week to open SEC play with a three-game series against defending national champion Alabama from March 8-10.
GAME 1: No. 7/9 Tennessee 9, UNC-Wilmington 0 (5)
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C - Madison Shipman and Kat Dotson hit home runs and Cheyanne Tarango tossed a five-strikeout one-hitter as No. 7/9 Tennessee took a 9-0 win over UNC-Wilmington on Saturday in the Buccaneer Invitational.
The Lady Vols (17-3) scored four runs in the first inning and never let up as Tarango held UNC-Wilmington in check.
Shipman had a two-run homer and two runs scored and Dotson had a two-run homer. Melissa Davin went 2-for-2 with a double and two RBIs.
Tarango (3-1) three five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit. She also scored a run and had an RBI on the day.
Casey Rowland took the loss after allowing nine earned runs over four innings.
The Lady Vols jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first. With the bases loaded, Tarango batted in Raven Chavanne on a fielder's choice to the shortstop as Chavanne slid into home plate safely. Melissa Brown drew a bases-loaded walk to plate Lauren Gibson and Davin followed with a two-RBI single up the middle.
In the bottom of the second, with two outs and Gibson on second base, Shipman hammered a 2-2 pitch to left center for her second home run of the season.
Tennessee's lead grew to 7-0 in the bottom of the third when Lexi Overstreet connected for an RBI single to right field, plating Davin, who opened the inning with a leadoff double to right center. Three batters later, Dotson ripped a 1-0 pitch over the wall in right field for a two-run homer, pushing UT's lead to 9-0.