Two runs and two Renfroes get Tennessee down to the final two in WCWS

Lady Vols will face Oklahoma beginning Monday

Tennessee celebrates after defeating Texas in their Women's College World Series NCAA softball game in Oklahoma City, Sunday, June 2, 2013. Tennessee won 2-1. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

Photo by Alonzo Adams

Tennessee celebrates after defeating Texas in their Women's College World Series NCAA softball game in Oklahoma City, Sunday, June 2, 2013. Tennessee won 2-1. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

Press conference after win over Texas

OKLAHOMA CITY — A senior’s home run, a freshman’s clutch walk, and not one, but two Renfroes. It was just enough.

Tennessee beat Texas 2-1 Sunday night to advance to the Women’s College World Series championship series for the second time in program history.

“It’s just very surreal,’’ said winning pitcher Ivy Renfroe. “Oh, my goodness — we’re going to play in the championship series.’’

The Lady Vols (52-10) started the NCAA softball bracket as the No. 7 seed among 64 teams. But now they’re in the final two.

Their opponent - No. 1 seed Oklahoma. The Sooners beat Washington 6-2 on Sunday night. The best-of-three series between Tennessee and Oklahoma will begin Monday at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.

“We’re not going to be the favorites,’’ Tennessee co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. “Everybody’s telling us Oklahoma is like the ‘27 Yankees. I think they’re pretty darn awesome.

“But we’re going to compete. Let’s put it that way.’’

One night after a tense 1-0 win over Washington, Tennessee found itself back in another pressure-cooker at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.

Lauren Gibson, the third batter of the game, stroked a solo home run off Texas ace Blaire Luna (31-7) in the top of the first inning.

Then the Lady Vol bats went silent as Luna proved dominating. She finished with a three-hitter, striking out 12.

But the Renfroe sisters were even better.

Ivy (22-4) pitched 4 2/3 shutout innings, allowing two hits and striking out six Longhorns.

Ellen Renfroe, the winner in Tennessee’s WCWS wins Thursday and Saturday, entered in the bottom of the fifth with Longhorns and second and third and two out. She got Brejae Washington to ground out and end the threat.

Gibson’s first-inning home run grew in stature as the innings passed.

Ironically, Gibson’s first career home run in 2010 was also off Luna.

“Blaire Luna’s had a great four years,’’ Gibson said, “I was just going for something that was in my zone.’’

Her zone, it turned out, extended to the stands beyond the left-field fence.

“That was awesome,’’ Ivy Renfroe said, “because I know how good Blaire Luna is. For us to have one already on the board ... we’ve just got to do our job and hang in there.’’

They hung in there until Gibson scored in the sixth inning on a bases-loaded walk to freshman Lexi Overstreet, pinch-hitting in her WCWS debut.

Overstreet worked a full count, then got the walk — and the 2-0 lead that proved critical.

Ellen Renfroe was tough as nails in the final 2 1/3 innings, except for one mistake.

Texas (51-10) broke up the shutout on Lindsey Stephens’ towering home run to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning.

That roused the Texas faithful in the crowd, but to no avail.

Renfroe got the final three outs, retiring the top of Texas’ lineup to end the game and start the celebration.

The Lady Vols are in the championship series for only the second time in six WCWS appearances. They also made it in 2007, losing to Arizona in the title round.

“That was so long ago I almost can’t remember it,’’ said Ralph Weekly.

“It’ll be tremendous,’’ said Texas coach Connie Clark of the Tennessee-Oklahoma finale.

“There are a lot of great athletes on both sides. That’s what you ultimately want to see, the best two match up.

“Those two clubs, with their experience and veterans they have, that makes those two the favorites.’’

It’s the finale that the Lady Vols had in mind when they started school in August.

“In my four years,’’ Ivy Renfroe said, “we’ve had some really good teams.

“For sure, I think this is our best team. Speed, power, defense, it’s all there.’’

“This,’’ said Gibson, “is what we’ve worked for all year.

“I can’t really explain the feeling.’’

Get Copyright Permissions © 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2013 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Related Stories

Comments » 62

BigOrangeSports writes:

Good game. Hoping Washington takes Oklahoma to an if needed game tonight. Go get em, Girls.

waldeen_hinson#435189 writes:

Way to go girls! Very proud of you!!
Win it all!!!

SummittsCourt writes:

Winning today to get to the Championship round is sweet! A little sweeter having UF go down today too.

voloffaith writes:

Hey Hey It's great to be a Tennessee VOL!! But ladies and gentlemen there is unfinished business........most likely Soonerettes our opponent 2maro night.You can't,don't think we will be, intimidated by a big time foe. They have it all. But then that's why they play the games. Rest well 2nyt ladies and we will see at "dawns early light" whom we have as our next adversary. Congrats and enjoy briefly and focus on the next game.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to BigOrangeSports:

Good game. Hoping Washington takes Oklahoma to an if needed game tonight. Go get em, Girls.

That would be sweet to get a day off to rest the Renfro's arms.

Pitching! Pitching! Pitching!

PureOrange writes:

Way to go LADY VOLS! Great win. Ivy and Ellen were fantastic, and the HR by Gibson to start us off was unbelievable. To all the Ladies, you have made us very proud.

Now go on with your business and take down Oklahoma.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Hey Hey It's great to be a Tennessee VOL!! But ladies and gentlemen there is unfinished business........most likely Soonerettes our opponent 2maro night.You can't,don't think we will be, intimidated by a big time foe. They have it all. But then that's why they play the games. Rest well 2nyt ladies and we will see at "dawns early light" whom we have as our next adversary. Congrats and enjoy briefly and focus on the next game.

I can't fathom Washington beating OU tonight, let alone twice so it looks like it will be OU vs UT for all the marbles.

I do believe this version of the Lady Vols will not be intimidated by anyone. OU does have the extra motivation of losing in last years championship to bama in a game that should have been postponed.

Go Lady Vols!

vol98champ writes:

I wonder if anyone makes umpires look at pitch location after games. If not, they should. I'm trying to remember if they showed a correct call all night. I also wonder where this guy thinks knees are located.
Nevertheless, I am a very happy camper tonight. Come on Huskies. Make me happier.

volaholic45 writes:

in response to vol98champ:

I wonder if anyone makes umpires look at pitch location after games. If not, they should. I'm trying to remember if they showed a correct call all night. I also wonder where this guy thinks knees are located.
Nevertheless, I am a very happy camper tonight. Come on Huskies. Make me happier.

Also called some very wide strikes, one of which really helped the LVs. Missed a foul ball on which was treated as a wild pitch and allowed a runner to advance to third, and missed a hit batsmen.

Good call by the coaches on pitch hitting for the catcher. Her previous at bats were pitiful - she seemed absolutely resigned to striking out.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to vol98champ:

I wonder if anyone makes umpires look at pitch location after games. If not, they should. I'm trying to remember if they showed a correct call all night. I also wonder where this guy thinks knees are located.
Nevertheless, I am a very happy camper tonight. Come on Huskies. Make me happier.

That's been the case in every game I have watched so far. The umps seem to not know what a strike zone is.

oldster writes:

in response to vol98champ:

I wonder if anyone makes umpires look at pitch location after games. If not, they should. I'm trying to remember if they showed a correct call all night. I also wonder where this guy thinks knees are located.
Nevertheless, I am a very happy camper tonight. Come on Huskies. Make me happier.

I am glad someone else mentioned this. I was castigated after the first game for discussing the officiating. The home plate umpire had the worst possible trait, inconsistency. His strike zone was constantly changing. If I were coaching in a tournament wherein he was in the umpiring rotation, I would see if there were any way I could use a black ball or otherwise convince the tournament directors to not place him behind the plate in any of our future games. I also think that the first base umpire missed a call or two, but those are too infrequent to establish a pattern of incompetency.

WaltGoVoIs writes:

An awesome effort, ladies.

Walt

UT '81

abnerPeabody writes:

my goodness Lum,them girls have a real chance to win this thing.

UTKin1992 writes:

Simply a dominating performance in the WCWS. Our Lady Vols have tore through the field unscathed without a single loss. Pitching is everything and a strong offense doesn't hurt...and we got both!

Bring home the NC girls!

dbc5361 writes:

Women play baseball with a fatter ball?

Brentwoodvol writes:

in response to oldster:

I am glad someone else mentioned this. I was castigated after the first game for discussing the officiating. The home plate umpire had the worst possible trait, inconsistency. His strike zone was constantly changing. If I were coaching in a tournament wherein he was in the umpiring rotation, I would see if there were any way I could use a black ball or otherwise convince the tournament directors to not place him behind the plate in any of our future games. I also think that the first base umpire missed a call or two, but those are too infrequent to establish a pattern of incompetency.

His changing SZ is what drives me crazy also. I don't mind one being little out, but dang don't change it every other inning. Pitchers sure handled that better than I would have!! Great job ladies!!!! Finish what you started, and bring home the trophy!!!!

VOLsince68 writes:

Way to go Lady VOLS!!!

Awesome job so far. Keep it up!!!

Zenith writes:

"We’re not going to be the favorites," Tennessee co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. “Everybody’s telling us Oklahoma is like the ‘27 Yankees. I think they’re pretty darn awesome."

Yes, they are good but I think that this game with the Huskies tonight shows that they are not invincible. They do have some weaknesses.

suggest_removal_4_all_troll_posts writes:

Great win -- super excited! Yesterday, I was one of the few here in Washington cheering for the Lady Vols - following up with a huge win over the fake UT is incredible! Bring it home!

Titan writes:

in response to dbc5361:

Women play baseball with a fatter ball?

Yep - and you check out the articles about it.

utvolfan1955 writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

where you been little zz. You haven't been around since that thumping the Lady Vols gave the Lady Gators

usafvol writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You're such a douche nozzle..

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

There's one in every crowd.

I can't imagine getting satisfaction by always trying to run down someone else. You'd have my sympathy if you weren't so pathetic.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

I batted a little over 300 in high school. I don't think I could hit a Renfroe pitch. Yes I'm a man. Baseball!!
Renfroe control. Amazing actually.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You couldn't be a more pathetic loser if you tried!!!

OU may win in 2 games, but the gators aren't playing those two games!! HA!

BTW, the Nebraska player was safe at third. Too bad the officials were so bad in that game and you still took 15 innings to manage to somehow win thanks to bad officiating (also, the play at second where the 2B was a foot off the bag!)

How's it feel to be one hit by a team UT defeated to play in the Championship series?

volfan#207874 writes:

You ROCK, Lady Vols...Now you are cooking with peanut oil, and that's a fact Jack. Just love the shade of orange that prevailed in last night's game. Fantastic effort by all, especially the Renfro ladies. Now it is back to business, as usual. Show those lady Oakies what a Tennessee Tornado can do on the diamond. Love the effort by all involved! GBO

volfan#207874 writes:

Can someone please tell me what Ivy Renfro is saying, to herself, before each pitch? These tired old 82 year old ears have difficulty in hearing certain sounds and could not discern what the announcer said in regards to Ivy's habit of talking into her glove before each pitch. Thanks in advance. "Ain't hit grate to bee a Tennessee Vol!? GBO

TNORANGEDOGDAD writes:

Congrats to Lady Vols. Job well done. Pitching has been great,now let's get those bats thumping in some runs.

usafvol writes:

in response to vts1965:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hard to believe you're not coaching instead of the other guy! Have you ever actually played?

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to usafvol:

Hard to believe you're not coaching instead of the other guy! Have you ever actually played?

USAF

The little kid has problems. He knows so little and shows it. All you have to do is see one of his many new screen names and a quick check will tell you what he says is the broken record thing. Anything to get attention is his purpose.

Ralph and Karen, plus all the coaches of the other teams, thankfully don't have to adhere to the whims of a little juvenile like this.

Go Lady Vols. The rest of us are with you

gohawks1 writes:

in response to volfan#207874:

Can someone please tell me what Ivy Renfro is saying, to herself, before each pitch? These tired old 82 year old ears have difficulty in hearing certain sounds and could not discern what the announcer said in regards to Ivy's habit of talking into her glove before each pitch. Thanks in advance. "Ain't hit grate to bee a Tennessee Vol!? GBO

The commentator said it was something to help her maintain focus, indicating that it was not always the same thing. I believe Ivy commented after the game that it was a scripture verse.

MetroplexMojo writes:

in response to dbc5361:

Women play baseball with a fatter ball?

You do know that a 70mph softball thrown from the edge of the circle gets to the plate faster than a 105mph baseball?

dcap8424 writes:

in response to MetroplexMojo:

You do know that a 70mph softball thrown from the edge of the circle gets to the plate faster than a 105mph baseball?

I think you mean the reaction time is the equivalent to a baseball thrown 105 mph. Certainly a 105mph fastball (Aroldis Chapman) still gets to the plate faster than 70mph. lol

MetroplexMojo writes:

in response to dcap8424:

I think you mean the reaction time is the equivalent to a baseball thrown 105 mph. Certainly a 105mph fastball (Aroldis Chapman) still gets to the plate faster than 70mph. lol

You are correct - I should have worded that better. A 70mph softball thrown from 39 feet (43 feet from center of mound less 1/2 of 8 foot radius) gets to the plate in .38 seconds. A 105 mph baseball thrown from 60.5 feet gets to the plate in .392 seconds.

rbwtn writes:

Great Game we're stoked for the Lady Vols. Can't wait to switch tween Miami and TN. tonight.

usafvol writes:

in response to vts1965:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yea right; I think you're full of s**t..

PureOrange writes:

This team has not only made Tennessee Vol fans proud with their winning all three games to get into the championship round, but throughout the year they have made us proud because of their class and character.

Even the Alabama coaches and players talked about our coaches and players winning with class after they had ousted Bama in the Super Regional.

We see a real team effort. Everyone seems to really care about their teammates and they are focused on being a team.

I love winning, and I really love winning with class. The parents and families of these girls should be very proud. Our Lady Vols act like we all want our daughters and granddaughters to be.

We want a National Championship because these girls deserve it, but they have already represented Tennessee extremely well.

Go Lady Vols!

VolQB writes:

Go Vols!!! Times are changing on the Hill for Vols. Excllent leadership and fcus by Renfroes. I respect umps that have complete focus. Everybody can miss a call but this guy last night was lost. Reminded me of a 5-yr old attention span.

Could the announcers get any worse? No depth.

ModelMaker writes:

Congratulations to the Lady Vol's on getting to the Championship round. This is something you can take with you the rest of your live's. I think they have a great chance against Oklahoma if our pitching holds up and Raven Chavanne can get on base throughout the game and they can create some havoc behind her. Win or lose I think the Lady Vol's are the best.

Olddogsrule writes:

in response to MetroplexMojo:

You are correct - I should have worded that better. A 70mph softball thrown from 39 feet (43 feet from center of mound less 1/2 of 8 foot radius) gets to the plate in .38 seconds. A 105 mph baseball thrown from 60.5 feet gets to the plate in .392 seconds.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE LADY VOLS FOR WINNING THEIR WAY INTO THE WCWS CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES!!!!!!!!!

GO YOU LADY VOLS !!!!

While Mojo and dcap bring up good points, it should also be pointed out that very, very few MLB pitchers achieve anything close to Chapman's 105 mph. The average MLB fastball speed is about 85 mph so the time to plate is near half a second (0.50 sec). So, next time you watch the Pirates play the Brewers, or New York play at Boston, know that those batters, on average, have close to a tenth of a second more to react to the average pro fastball than the ladies do to Ivy's fastball. Upshot is that collegate ladies softball is often as fast, and in several situations, a faster game in reaction time than MLB.

As far as 'slap hitting'? ... Whatever works, coach. Mix it up, dish it out, and GO YOU LADY VOLS!!!

SMOKEY RULES!

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to dbc5361:

Women play baseball with a fatter ball?

Another idiot who doesn't know the differences between softball and baseball. Sure their are similarities, but the games themselves are different.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to PureOrange:

This team has not only made Tennessee Vol fans proud with their winning all three games to get into the championship round, but throughout the year they have made us proud because of their class and character.

Even the Alabama coaches and players talked about our coaches and players winning with class after they had ousted Bama in the Super Regional.

We see a real team effort. Everyone seems to really care about their teammates and they are focused on being a team.

I love winning, and I really love winning with class. The parents and families of these girls should be very proud. Our Lady Vols act like we all want our daughters and granddaughters to be.

We want a National Championship because these girls deserve it, but they have already represented Tennessee extremely well.

Go Lady Vols!

Well said!

tovolny writes:

The theme of the team is FOCUS.
This team has a will to win,
and keeps that will to the end.
It's a great accomplishment to be in the final two...now we can focus on who who who will be the final ONE.
When the LadyVols return to the banks of the river ole Tennessee, I hope we we can say: "hey, we're the ONE because we just WON."
When and if the trophy is in a case on the hill,everyone will know the LadyVols have focus and will.

But win or lose, I love this team.
They are proud to wear the orange,
and they make me proud to be a Volunteer.
So come on everybody send out a cheer.
The first LadyVol softballers to reach the dream.
Come on back with the trophy in a sack.
The tells I will tell, truth or yarns.
Come on back, we are the BIG ORANGE!

GerryOP writes:

in response to vts1965:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Do you have proof of that or are you just making it up ... like you do most of your claims?

volboy81 writes:

Great win, Lady Vols. Lets take down some Sooners tonight and tomorrow night and bring this Championship back to Knoxville!

cdtnladyvols931#663910 writes:

in response to vol98champ:

I wonder if anyone makes umpires look at pitch location after games. If not, they should. I'm trying to remember if they showed a correct call all night. I also wonder where this guy thinks knees are located.
Nevertheless, I am a very happy camper tonight. Come on Huskies. Make me happier.

I have thought the same thing and some of the plays at first base, some of the runners beat out the throws!!!! I also think they need to put official reviews in softball like they have in B-Ball because some of the umpires blow calls. Go Lady Vols!!!

volfan2002 writes:

Great win two more wins to go.

GerryOP writes:

Great news, UT playing for a championship! Something that we will see more and more of in all sports over the next few years.

volman2008 writes:

AKAMINE,TARANGO.SHIPMAN,IF THEY EVER SWING AT A STRIKE,THEY WOULD BE DANGEROUS.AKAMINE IS LAZY.

JSmith525 writes:

in response to usafvol:

Yea right; I think you're full of s**t..

He is full of $*#T. All he does if slap his bat and flap his gums. This is like the 23rd screen name he has had in the last month. Because KNS keeps can'n him. Best to just ignore his sorry arse.......

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features