Missouri knocks Lady Vols out of SEC tournament, 3-0

LEXINGTON, Ky. (release) -- No. 2-seed Tennessee came up short in a pitcher's duel between Ivy Renfroe and No. 3-seed Missouri's Chelsea Thomas on Saturday in the SEC Tournament semifinals as Lady Vols fell, 3-0.

Tennessee (44-10) tallied five hits and left six runners on base. Missouri (35-10) scored two in the third and one in the sixth while Thomas kept the UT offense at bay.

The Lady Vols will now await Sunday's NCAA Selection Show at 10 p.m. to see where they will land in the NCAA Tournament bracket.

Rainey Gaffin tied her career high with two hits in the game and also stole a base. Raven Chavanne, Melissa Brown and Cheyanne Tarango had one hit each in the loss.

Renfroe (17-4) fanned eight batters while allowing three runs over seven frames. She tossed her 10th complete game of the year in the loss.

Thomas (22-4) issued nine strikeouts over seven shutout frames.

Tennessee left two on base in the second inning. With two outs, Tarango singled through the left side on a 1-0 pitch from Thomas. Gaffin followed with an infield single to short. Thomas escaped when she induced a Hannah Akamine flyout to right field.

Missouri got on the scoreboard in the third inning. After Renfroe fanned Taylor Gadbois on four pitches to start the inning, Carlie Rose and Mackenzie Sykes had back-to-back infield singles. Jenna Marston followed with a two-RBI double to left center. Renfroe got out of the inning with a pair of flyouts.

In the top of the third, Chavanne legged out a one-out single to third base. She stole second, but was left stranded in scoring position after Thomas had Lauren Gibson fly out to right and sent Kat Dotson down swinging.

The Lady Vols left two more runners stranded in the top of the fourth. Brown hit a one-out single to left center and, two batters later, Gaffin hit a single past the second baseman to give UT runners on the corners with two outs. Gaffin stole second to give Tennessee two runners in scoring position, but Thomas sent Akamine down swinging on three pitches.

Gibson reached on an error at first in the top of the fifth with two outs, but Thomas issued another two-out strikeout to keep the shutout.

Missouri pushed its lead to 3-0 in the top of the sixth when Kelsea Roth sent the first pitch she saw off the scoreboard in left field for a leadoff homer.

Missouri and Florida will play for the SEC Tournament Championship Saturday night at 8 p.m. on ESPN.

Stay tuned to UTSports.com on Sunday night for information on the Lady Vols' draw in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

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