After opening the season with 12 consecutive victories, the Tennessee softball team suffered back-to-back defeats at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, Calif., on Friday.
The fourth-ranked Lady Vols had been scoring runs in bunches but managed only two runs and six hits in losses to Northwestern (3-2) and UCLA (2-0).
The Lady Vols (12-2) allowed two runs in the first inning in both games.
Against UCLA (9-1), Lauren Gibson and Kat Dotson each singled, Gibson in the second inning and Dotson in the fourth.
Ellen Renfroe (5-1) suffered her first loss, striking out two in two innings. Ivy Renfroe struck out four and held UCLA hitless the final four innings.
Against Northwestern (5-6), Gibson hit a solo home run and Melissa Brown had an RBI triple in the fourth to tie the game, 2-2.
However, an outfield fielding error allowed Northwestern to score an unearned run in the sixth for the game-winner.
Freshman Erin Gabriel started, but was relieved by sophomore Cheyenne Tarango, who gave up five hits and struck out seven in 4 1/3 innings.
Tennessee 5, Cal State Fullerton 0: Madison Shipman had a solo homer and scored three times to back Ivy Renfroe’s six-strikeout shutout as the Lady Vols won late Thursday night.
It was Tennessee’s seventh shutout of the season
Shipman went 2-for-3 with the solo blast and three runs scored. Kat Dotson was 2-for-3 with one RBI and one double. Rainey Gaffin went 2-for-2 at the plate with a double.
Ivy Renfroe improved (3-0) struck out six over seven innings and 71 of her 98 pitches were for strikes.
The Lady Vols will play their first home game Feb. 26 at Lee Stadium against Lipscomb.