Lady Vols swept in championship series, Oklahoma wins national title, 4-0

Sue Ogrocki/associated press photos
Tennessee’s Kat Dotson, center, wipes a tear from her eye following a loss to Oklahoma in the second game of the best-of-three Women’s College World Series championship series in Oklahoma City on Tuesday. Oklahoma won the game 4-0 and the series in two games.

Photo by Sue Ogrocki

Sue Ogrocki/associated press photos Tennessee’s Kat Dotson, center, wipes a tear from her eye following a loss to Oklahoma in the second game of the best-of-three Women’s College World Series championship series in Oklahoma City on Tuesday. Oklahoma won the game 4-0 and the series in two games.

Tennessee press conference following losing the WCWS

OKLAHOMA CITY — The game for the ages was Monday night.

The game for the title wasn’t nearly as dramatic.

No. 1 seed Oklahoma didn’t need any extra-inning magic in beating Tennessee 4-0 Tuesday night to clinch the program’s second softball national title before a capacity crowd of 8,527 at Hall of Fame Stadium.

“Oklahoma, they are an amazing team,’’ said Tennessee co-head coach Ralph Weekly.

“I spent nine years with our national team and I think the Oklahoma team would beat most of the other countries we played, even the great ones.’’

Weekly thought Oklahoma beat a pretty good team Tuesday in what proved to be the finale of the championship round of the Women’s College World Series.

Tennessee (52-12) played to the brink of a national title for the second time, matching the runner-up finish from 2007.

The high-water mark was a 3-0 lead in the top of the 11th inning Monday in the championship series opener. Oklahoma was resilient enough to rally for a 5-3 win.

“This is a great team,’’ Weekly said of the Lady Vols, “a team that can play with anybody anytime.

“Except the last night or so. Oklahoma is an unbelievable team.’’

“I still think we were in it last night and if we had another chance, I still think we’d be in it tomorrow.’’

There is no tomorrow, no Game 3. The beginning of the end came when Keilani Ricketts launched a three-run home run in the third to stake the top-seed Sooners to a 3-0 lead.

The Lady Vols still had time to fight a delaying action, but Oklahoma (57-4) was too strong.

Ricketts, the two-time national player of the year, was the pitching hero for Oklahoma on Monday. This time she just used her bat as the designated player, driving in all four Sooner runs.

Michelle Gascoigne (19-3) picked up the victory, forcing Tennessee to digest only its fourth shutout in 64 games.

Oklahoma press conference after winning the 2013 WCWS

The Lady Vols expected Ricketts to go again, but Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso felt Gascoigne — who hadn’t started in postseason play — was up to the moment.

“Keilani threw 188 pitches last night, that had something to do with it,’’ Gasso said, “but Michelle has been such a huge part of getting our team to this point.’’

Gascoigne, a lefty, stifled Tennessee’s bats with a three-hitter. She allowed early singles to Kat Dotson and Madison Shipman. Then Ricketts’ home run just made her tougher.

Once they trailed 3-0, only one Lady Vol reached base in the final five innings — Melissa Davin on a fifth-inning single.

Ivy Renfroe (22-5) made her second start of the WCWS, but never got in any kind of groove.

She walked Brianna Turang to open the third. Then, Lauren Chamberlain, who hit the 12th-inning walk-off home run Monday, singled.

A sacrifice bunt got the first out. But then Ricketts’ 15th home run sent the pro-Sooner crowd into rapture.

It also sent Ivy Renfroe to the dugout. Ellen Renfroe returned, less than 24 hours after her 180-pitch heartbreaker in Game 1.

Oklahoma added a seventh-inning run off Ellen Renfroe.

Tennessee juggled the batting order Tuesday, to no avail.

Lauren Gibson moved to leadoff and Raven Chavanne dropped to the third spot. Chavanne came into the game hitting .167 in the WCWS. She was 0-for-9 against Oklahoma in the championship series, striking out six times.

“We were making in-game adjustments,’’ Weekly said. “She just pitched a great game.’’

Ellen Renfroe, Gibson and Shipman made the Sooner-heavy all-tournament team.

It was the final game for six seniors: All-Americans Shipman, Gibson and Chavanne, plus Ivy Renfroe, Melissa Brown and Whitney Hammond.

“To end my career on this field is amazing,’’ said Gibson. “Obviously I wanted to end it with a national championship.’’

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Comments » 67

overthetop writes:

Nice season. Maybe next year. 2nd best. End of story.

wrightskyguy writes:

Awesome season!

slee writes:

great season proud of the lady vol's softball team

stryker writes:

Great season ladies. Remember what they've said in baseball for years "there's always next year".

TrackVol1975 writes:

Sooner or later, someone is going to blame this loss on "Bama Dave." I can hardly wait to read more twisted logic.

SummittsCourt writes:

This team had a wonderful season despite the gut wrenching ending. I am proud of these Lady Vols for their hard work and dedication to playing softball at an elite level and for their class.

I look forward to next season to see if they can get back to the WCWS as their is plenty of talent on the team plus the incoming freshman class is talented as well.

Thanks Lady Vols!

AlpharettaVol writes:

Maybe one of the best coaching seasons ever for the Weekleys. This team over-achieved every step of the way. There is so much for the Lady Vols to be proud of this year. Watching on TV I felt a hurt for the players but at the same time I was proud to be a Vol!

forkball writes:

Tip your cap to Oklahoma, the best team won.

The Lady Vols are straight up class and squeezed everything out of this season they possibly could. Congratulations to the coaches and each young lady on a great year and on the way you represent the university.

My deepest sympathy to the morons who came to this forum after Monday's loss to attack kids that train relentlessly for years, literally play their hearts out leaving everything on the field, and then in the heat of battle make a mistake that prevents you from rolling your fat behind off the couch, putting on anything orange, and walking into Walmart with a smug look on your face to proclaim that you are number 1.

You have no clue.

nvavol writes:

Sounds as if Ralph did not believe that he had a team that was capable of beating the Okies. Imagine his surprise when they played so well in the Monday night game. Thought that he sold his team short and the coaching decision in the 11the inning in Monday's game to not change pitchers when he was up 3-0 is evidence of that. As a coach to not have any or very little information as to an opponent's 2nd pitcher is in excusable.

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

It's all a numbers game, right? How many teams WEREN'T in the series? Right.

Congratulations on an excellent season, ladies. You're still the best with us...and always will be.

peerlessvolfan writes:

Congratulations, Lady Vols! 2nd place isn't fun but we're still very proud of you!

vol98champ writes:

Some thoughts.
Don't think Ivy was 100% since she did something to her finger. Can you imagine the criticism of the Weeklys if they had put Ivy in the 11th and she gave up 3 runs? I have had it with the "coaches" on this board.
I am ready for electronic calls on balls and strikes in big FPS games. I can tolerate a strike an inch or two off the zone, but when a pitch is perfect like the "strikeout pitch" Ivy threw in the 3rd inning, I say it is time to get rid of these incompetents. Also, replays on close plays on the bases. I wonder how many they missed.
We almost beat one of the best teams in the world. Be proud Lady Vols.
I say IT IS GREAT TO BE A VOL.

min32926#266113 writes:

Lady Vols you had a great season. We are proud of you! GBO/VFL!

orangecountyvols writes:

Lady vols,

So very proud of each and every one of you. Along the way, you defeated some excellent teams yourself, and we ran into a really exceptional team in Oklahoma. Thank you for all your hard work and for providing all the excitement we enjoyed throughout the season, and the career of all 6 of you............the wonderful senior players.

voloffaith writes:

We have a team that is heavily slanted towards batting left handed and when it met two lefties you saw the results. Anyway I'm moving on and proud of these ladies for their accomplishments.

papavol writes:

in response to nvavol:

Sounds as if Ralph did not believe that he had a team that was capable of beating the Okies. Imagine his surprise when they played so well in the Monday night game. Thought that he sold his team short and the coaching decision in the 11the inning in Monday's game to not change pitchers when he was up 3-0 is evidence of that. As a coach to not have any or very little information as to an opponent's 2nd pitcher is in excusable.

You're clearly an idiot.

volfan2002 writes:

It was a great season very proud of the team.

Col26ca writes:

in response to papavol:

You're clearly an idiot.

At least he did not bring up Bama Dave, Coach Fulmer or George W. to blame.

tarter_sauce writes:

I cant believe some of the people who keep harping on the Weeklys for not making a pitching change . what if he had a made a change and they still would have pounced on the new pitcher ? then you could have whinned about that , is that your angle ? there is a reason they are the coaches and you complainers merely blog about the sport. My advice to the ones who are never satisfied ,even with the outstanding season these girls had and the manner in which these ladies represented the University is to go out and get a life of your own and quit trying to live on the coat tails of these athletes .

pcshowtime writes:

great season so proud of this team. At least we do not have to listen to those bias announcers for a third game.

arkyvol writes:

having watched the sooners the last couple of years, i'd say 'amen' to what weekly said about them. frankly, it wouldn't have surprised me had o.u. run ruled the lady vols in both games. they did that to a lot of good teams this year. what I was hoping for was what I got, a lady vol team that showed up and fought like hell. i'm very proud of them.

bmgvirgo#210233 writes:

Uh, Shipman is only a Junior this year. I believe you meant to say Dotson.

tomkats3242 writes:

If you read the trash from the non Vol supporters than you need to be in their class. Tennessee showed a lot of class playing a great team and making themselves look good. I don't think anyone could find blame for what or how Tennessee played this year. The Team as a WHOLE, including coachs did great and we are PROUD of YOU. Thanks for the season and looking forward to next year. If you blame the players, coach or the umps than just go away and read your comic books. GO BIG ORANGE.

thebadsamaritan writes:

I follow UT softball because I know the Refroe family. Classy kids from a great family. They all speak highly of their teammates and coaches.

I really enjoyed watching this team play. Congrats on a great season.

therightstuff writes:

Good season, Lady Vols.

martic#220796 writes:

in response to TrackVol1975:

Sooner or later, someone is going to blame this loss on "Bama Dave." I can hardly wait to read more twisted logic.

That's gotta be the reason!!! It all boils down to the Bama conspiracy.

awayinaa writes:

It was a disappointing loss following a great season. The Weeklys did a tremendous job coaching the Lady Vols this far. Oklahoma brought devastating pitching in when they needed it, though, showing why they are number one in the nation.

HooRay_Vol writes:

Great season Ladies, we're very proud of you. Oklahoma did deserve some good news lately considering what the state has been going through. And we definitely have the better looking team. Some of those Sooner girls look like they should be palying for the football team!

huntined#565710 writes:

Well we had a great run and beat some real good teams to get in this championship games. I think maybe we lost both games with that hard loss in the first one. Just hard to come back from a game like that. Got to give O.U. their due they were the best team in the country and proved it. These ladies are first class ladies and make us VOL fans PROUD...

Slats writes:

You Ladies dun us proud! Thanks for your hard work and Go Lady Vols!!!!

massvolfan writes:

in response to forkball:

Tip your cap to Oklahoma, the best team won.

The Lady Vols are straight up class and squeezed everything out of this season they possibly could. Congratulations to the coaches and each young lady on a great year and on the way you represent the university.

My deepest sympathy to the morons who came to this forum after Monday's loss to attack kids that train relentlessly for years, literally play their hearts out leaving everything on the field, and then in the heat of battle make a mistake that prevents you from rolling your fat behind off the couch, putting on anything orange, and walking into Walmart with a smug look on your face to proclaim that you are number 1.

You have no clue.

Well said !!!

formervol1950s writes:

The Lady Vols gave their all for Tennessee.What more could they or anyone else ask ?

mloaks#222092 writes:

Thanks Lady Vols, made us proud, AND realize there is more than FB!

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat!! Unfortunately this time we were on the agony side. These ladies have nothing to hang their heads about. They played with class and character and will have great success in their future years, whether it be playing professionally or working professionally. In either case, I'm too old to see them reap the benefits of their hard work and dedication. Best of luck to our graduating seniors and we'll look forward to seeing the returning players and incoming recruits.

cheetah-vol writes:

in response to arkyvol:

having watched the sooners the last couple of years, i'd say 'amen' to what weekly said about them. frankly, it wouldn't have surprised me had o.u. run ruled the lady vols in both games. they did that to a lot of good teams this year. what I was hoping for was what I got, a lady vol team that showed up and fought like hell. i'm very proud of them.

I agree. We weren't supposed to be there. Made it into the championship game as the #7 playing against the unquestionable #1. A lot of teams may think they should've been there. They weren't and we were. It was fun to watch them give it their all for the TN VOLS!

richvol writes:

Great job this year Ladies. You will be proud of what you accomplished twenty years from now.

marnel1958 writes:

In watching both Post-Game Pressers, I find it notable that Ralph gave praise to OU first thing, and spoke highly of their coaches, players, & program. The OU coach, nor players, never mentioned UT in any way . . . just spoke of themselves and what they accomplished. Make of that what you will.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

The way this team ended the regular season I would never have guessed they could reach the NCS. Great run and kudos to all the players/coaches on a job well done..We'll Be Back!!

tensie2004 writes:

Regardless of what anyone says, when we lost that heartbreaker in 12 innings monday night, it did take the wind out of or sails. Oklahoma was to talented and powerful of a team for us to let that one get away from us monday night. Still I am proud of our Lady Vols and they are truly the second best softball program in America in my opiniion. As the t.v. announcers said many times, "Tennessee has more collective world Series victory that any other team that has never won a world series.

martic#220796 writes:

in response to pcshowtime:

great season so proud of this team. At least we do not have to listen to those bias announcers for a third game.

Amen to that. I thought they were awful!!!

huntined#565710 writes:

Thanks to all these seniors that chose to play at TENN. We were proud to see you wear the ORANGE and thank you for not only playing great ball but also for the way you conducted yourself on and off the field.

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

in response to marnel1958:

In watching both Post-Game Pressers, I find it notable that Ralph gave praise to OU first thing, and spoke highly of their coaches, players, & program. The OU coach, nor players, never mentioned UT in any way . . . just spoke of themselves and what they accomplished. Make of that what you will.

What I make of it in regards of acting with class and dignityis that it just shows the difference between the two teams and coaching staff. Also, kudos to you for being able to stomach their post game presser. I couldn't sleep for three hours after the Monday game so I definitely didn't want to watch them gloat over themselves.

ctwins writes:

Best part of watching womens collegiate sports is the sportsmanship and respect shown between
players/teams. None of the trash talking, look at me attitudes often seen by the men.

ModelMaker writes:

I think these kids are first class all the way. They fought their hearts out and they came up short. The best thing the coaches can do is find out why they came up short and get it corrected so that they can win an NC the next time they get here. If it was me I would want honest opinions from everyone that I thought highly of. Congratulations Lady Vol's on a great season.

utvolfan1955 writes:

in response to vts1965:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

since you could rip the ball why don't you apply for the job? I gotta give you credit Toddy you are hilarious

utvolfan1955 writes:

in response to vts1965:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

where did you play your college ball?

utvolfan1955 writes:

in response to TrackVol1975:

Sooner or later, someone is going to blame this loss on "Bama Dave." I can hardly wait to read more twisted logic.

or "gator" Cheek

MetroplexMojo writes:

in response to utvolfan1955:

since you could rip the ball why don't you apply for the job? I gotta give you credit Toddy you are hilarious

The only ripping Toddy does is after 3 Taco Bell Bean Burritos or ripping people off who need some rabbit ears.

I do agree. Sometimes he does have his hilarious moments.

kazoo writes:

I am sad for this outstanding team and great group of seniors. This was easily UT's best softball team ever--that is saying something. It was CERTAINLY worthy of being national champion. They showed that throughout the season and the tournament.

Unfortunately, for the second time, we could not get over the last hump. We blew it in 2007, when we were one hit away from the title, and then this year we ran into a great Oklahoma team, one of the best ever--but of course our chances were ruined by the epic collapse on Monday night, one of the most bitter defeats in UT history. It's tough. We should have /at least/ one national championship. It may take a while before we have a team this good--we had about six players of All SEC/All America quality, but the Weeklys have built a tremendous program and should be congratulated for that. The coaches have done a great job--UT softball is the BEST PROGRAM at UT, men or women. I'm still a bit stunned by the loss on Monday, but proud of these outstanding women and outstanding players. This was a stellar team.

voldoll73 writes:

in response to stryker:

Great season ladies. Remember what they've said in baseball for years "there's always next year".

Your implication is clear to me. Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems clear that you are implying that the LV's like the men's baseball team will never win a championship. It will always be "wait 'til next year. If you tell me I am mis-interpreting you I will apologize to you publically on here.

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