Lady Vols split with Arkansas, take series

Knoxville, Tenn.--(UTSports) Melissa Davin and Annie Aldrete hit home runs as No. 2 Tennessee defeated Arkansas, 8-0, in six frames on Saturday to take the season series.

Tennessee (24-3, 2-1 SEC) scored two in the first inning, four in the second, one in the third and one in the six to end the game in six frames. Arkansas (20-8, 1-2) managed just two hits in the game.

UT won its SEC opener on Friday, defeating Arkansas, 9-2. Saturday featured a re-scheduled doubleheader for Games 2 and 3 as inclement weather was predicted for the Fayetteville area Saturday night into Sunday. The Razorbacks used a four-run seventh inning to edge Tennessee, 5-4, in Game 2 of the series just prior to the Lady Vols' convincing 8-0 (6) win Saturday afternoon.

Davin was 2-for-2 with the three-run blast and two runs scored. Madison Shipman was 3-for-4 with one double, one RBI and two runs. Rainey Gaffin was 2-for-3 with one RBI. Megan Geer was 1-for-2 with an RBI double, one run and two walks.

Ellen Renfroe (15-0) was dominant in the circle once again, throwing six shutouts inning with four strikeouts.

Sydney Wright (4-2) took the loss for the Razorbacks after allowing five earned runs over just one inning. Grace Moll gave up two runs over 1.2 relief frames. Kelly Young pitched the last 3.1 innings, allowing one run.

Tennessee took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Akamine drove in a run on an RBI groundout to second with the bases loaded to plate Shipman. Three batters later, Gaffin legged out a bases-loaded RBI single to second base.

In the second inning, UT's lead grew to 6-0. Davin hammered a three-run home run to center field. After Moll replaced Wright in the circle, Aldrete drilled a home run to center field on a full count.

Tennessee added another run in the top of the third inning when Shipman knocked a two-out RBI double to right field to plate Shaliyah Geathers from second.

UT's lead grew to 8-0 in the top of the sixth when Geer drilled an RBI double to the left field warning track to score Haley Tobler from first base.

Tennessee next heads to Columbia, Tenn., to play Middle Tennessee State on Tuesday, March 18, at 7 p.m. ET. The game will be played at Ridley Park.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Taylor Koenig came up with two key RBI hits for UT early on, but Arkansas scored four in the bottom of the seventh to storm back and defeat No. 2 Tennessee, 5-4, on Saturday at Bogle Park.

Tennessee (23-3, 1-1 SEC) scored one in the second and one in the fourth before adding two in the fifth. Arkansas (20-7, 1-1) scored one in the bottom of the second and four in the bottom of the seventh.
Koenig was 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Hannah Akamine was 2-for-2 with one RBI and one walk.

Rainey Gaffin (4-2) took the loss after allowing four runs and striking out over 2.1 relief frames. Erin Gabriel started and allowed one earned run over 1.2 innings. Cheyanne Tarango threw 2.1 scoreless middle relief innings.

Sydney Wright (4-1) earned the win for Arkansas after tossing 2.1 scoreless innings in relief. Kasey Fagan started in the circle and allowed one run over two innings. Grace Moll gave up three runs over 2.2 relief innings.

Tennessee struck first in the top of the second. Haley Tobler was hit by a pitch on a full count and reached second on a wild pitch. Taylor Koenig ripped an RBI single up the middle to plate Tobler and give UT a 1-0 lead.

Arkansas evened the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the second when Parker Pocklington knocked an RBI double off the wall in left field with one out, scoring Ashley Martindale.

Koenig came up big for Tennessee once again in the top of the fourth. With two outs and Tobler on first base, Koenig connected for an RBI double to right field top push the Lady Vols back in front, 2-1.

The Lady Vols bolstered their lead with two more runs in the top of the fifth. With two outs, Annie Aldrete hit an RBI double to right center to score Davin from second base. Hannah Akamine followed with an RBI single to right field to plate Aldrete and push Tennessee's lead to 4-1.

The Razorbacks would not go quietly. With one out and runners on second and third, Devon Wallace hit a three-run homer to center field. After Kasey Fagan hit a single up the middle and advanced to second on a wild pitch, Clarisa Navarro hit an RBI double down the left field line to plate Fagan for the winning run.

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