LEXINGTON, Ky. -Ellen Renfroe fired a two-hit shutout, Kat Dotson hit a three-run homer and Lauren Gibson had two RBIs as No. 6/5 Tennessee defeated No. 21/20 Kentucky, 6-0, on Friday at UK Softball Complex.
Tennessee (29-6) enjoyed two big innings of offense, scoring three in the third and three in the seventh while Renfroe shut down the Wildcats (24-9) from start to finish. UT improved to 8-4 against ranked teams with the win.
Dotson bashed the three-run homer in the seventh and scored two runs. Gibson drove in two runs in the third. Melissa Davin had a strong day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with one run scored. Raven Chavanne scored two runs.
Renfroe (9-1) struck out four and allowed just two hits in the seven-inning shutout. The win marked her sixth complete game and her fourth shutout of the year.
After both teams traded scoreless first and second innings, Tennessee put three runs up in the top of the third. Davin led off the inning with a single to left. Raven Chavanne and Kat Dotson drew two-out walks to load the bases before Gibson ripped a single to right field to plate two runs and give UT the 2-0 lead. Dotson stole home in the next at-bat as Gibson escaped a rundown between first and second.
UT left the bases loaded in the top of the fifth when Nunley induced an infield fly and a fielder's choice at second to escape and leave The Lady Vols' lead at 3-0.
Chavanne had a pair of great stops to get the first two outs of the bottom of the fifth. The senior third baseman made a great dive and throw from her knees to get Nikki Sagermann out. Then she made a great stab near the line and a throw across the diamond to get Krystal Smith out.
Tennessee's lead grew to 6-0 with one big swing of the bat in the seventh. Rainey Gaffin drew a pinch-hit walk to lead off the inning and Chavanne reached on a throwing error by the pitcher. Dotson sent a 2-0 pitch just over the left field wall to the right of the foul pole.
The Lady Vols will next host Western Carolina on Monday at 6 p.m. at Lee Stadium. Kids 12 and under get in free and receive a complimentary reserved bleacher back ticket, based on availability. UT will host Tennessee State on Tuesday at 7 pm. For Tuesday's game, all reserved bleacher back seats are just $1 and kids 12 and under get in free and received a complimentary reserved bleacher back ticket, based on availability.