OXFORD, Miss. --Lauren Gibson hit a homer and drove in four, Raven Chavanne went 4-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs and No. 2 Tennessee poured on nine runs in the fifth to bury Ole Miss, 12-4, in five innings.
Tennessee (40-6, 13-3 SEC) scored two in the first, one in the third and nine in the fifth to win its 17th consecutive game. Ole Miss (22-27, 2-17 SEC) scored three in the first and one in the fourth.
Gibson belted a two-run shot in the first and finished 3-for-4 at the plate with two doubles and four RBIs. Chavanne was a perfect at the plate, going 4-for-4 with one double, one homer, three RBIs and four runs scored. She also recorded one stolen base. Melissa Davin was 2-for-3 with one double and two RBIs and one run. Melissa Brown was 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run.
Ivy Renfroe (16-3) earned the win after striking out three and allowing four runs over five innings.
Carly Hummel took the loss after allowing nine runs (seven earned) over 4.2 frames. Erinn Jayjohn allowed three earned runs over one third of an inning of relief.
Tennessee jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Raven Chavanne opened the game with a single through the left side. Two batters later, Lauren Gibson sent a 2-2 pitch from Carly Hummel over the wall in right field for a two-run shot. The homer was Gibson's 12 on the season, giving her 39 for her career and sole possession of second place on UT's all-time list behind only Tonya Callahan (51).
Ole Miss answered in a big way with three runs in the bottom of the first. With two outs, Allison Brown and Londen Ladner hit back-to-back singles. Madi Osias followed with a three-run homer to center field to give the Rebels a 3-2 lead.
In the top of the third, Gibson game through with a big one-out RBI double to right center, plating Chavanne to even the game at 3-3.
Ole Miss climbed back in front, 4-3, in the bottom of the fourth, when Osias sent a one-out, 2-1 pitch over the wall in left center.
Tennessee's nine-run fifth was the difference in the game. Chavanne led things off with a double to left center. Three batters later, Cheyanne Tarango was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Davin stepped up and sent a 2-2 pitch screaming to left center for a two-RBI double with Tarango scoring a third run on a fielding error on the relay to short. UT pulled ahead, 6-4. Brown followed with an RBI single to center and Hannah Akamine clubbed an RBI double to right center, both on full counts. Rainey Gaffin was hit by a pitch in the next at-bat and Tory Lewis re-entered to pinch run. Chavanne then slammed a three-run jack to right field to push UT's lead to 11-4. After a Kat Dotson triple to right center, Gibson knocked an RBI double to left center to round out UT's scoring. All nine Tennessee runs were scored with two outs.
Tennessee and Ole Miss will square off for the second game of the series on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET. The game will feature a free live video broadcast on OleMissSports.com and a free live audio on UTSports.com with Brian Rice on the call.
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