KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (release) -- On a blustery and cold Sunday afternoon in Tennessee Classic action at the Lee Softball Stadium, junior pitcher Ivy Renfroe tossed her fourth career no-hitter as the #8 Tennessee Lady Vol softball team (13-3) rolled past Murray State, 8-0 (5 inn.).
The Jackson, Tenn., native struck out seven and walked just one over her five innings of effort in improving to 4-3 overall. The 6-0 right-hander has now gone 15 consecutive frames without allowing a run, dating back to UT’s loss to Winthrop on Feb. 24, in Clearwater, Fla.
At the plate senior right fielder Shelby Burchell continued her torrid weekend hitting pace, putting up a perfect 2-for-2 effort with a walk and a pair of RBIs to improve her Tennessee Classic average to a staggering .857 (6-for-7). Junior third baseman Raven Chavanne posted a 2-for-3 effort with a run scored, sophomore shortstop Madison Shipman was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and her 17th RBI of the season and junior first baseman Melissa Brown was 1-for-3 with a pair of runs and a RBI. Freshman catcher Hannah Akamine (0-for-1) and sophomore left fielder Melissa Davin (0-for-2) were each credited with an RBI in the run-rule triumph.
Following a one-two-three inning for the Racers in the top of the first, a pair of walks issued to junior designated player Kat Dotson and junior second baseman Lauren Gibson as well as a single through the infield by Shipman packed the bags and set in motion a big first frame for the Lady Vols. A RBI fielder’s choice to second off the bat of Brown brought home UT’s initial tally. After a walk issued to Burchell re-loaded the bases, one of Murray State starter Chelsey Sullivan’s five first-inning illegal pitches forced in a tally for a 2-0 Tennessee lead. Akamine stepped into the batter’s box and was immediately struck by Sullivan’s first pitch as Shipman trotted home to make it 3-0. With sophomore center fielder Tory Lewis at the plate, the final illegal offering of the opening inning scored Brown as UT’s advantage expanded to four tallies.
The Tennessee lead continued to grow during the bottom of the second as the Big Orange put up four more scores to make it a commanding 8-0. Consecutive walks by Chavanne and Dotson were followed by a RBI single from Shipman as UT registered its fifth run on the scoreboard. A two-RBI base knock off the bat of Burchell and a RBI groundout from Davin finalized the Lady Vol scoring at 8-0 before the Big Orange began substituting freely.
After retiring the first eight Racer batters she faced, Renfroe finally allowed her only Murray State base runner of the match-up with two outs in the top of the third as second baseman Christian Cox drew a walk. Following a passed ball that moved the MSU occupant into scoring position, left fielder Megan Glosser chopped a tough bouncer to short that Shipman moved quickly to her left to corral before firing an inning-ending strike to first.
The Lady Vols had opportunities to add to their lead during the third and fourth frames, but left a total of five runners stranded, including a trio on a bases loaded situation in the fourth.
It didn’t really matter, however, as Renfroe was holding the Racer offense at bay. She retired the last seven she faced over the final three innings and recorded a pair of K’s during the fourth to complete her dominant, no-hit performance.
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