Tennessee shortstop Madison Shipman wasn’t wasting any time Tuesday afternoon.
All she needed was three pitches to do plenty of damage against Winthrop.
Shipman went 3-for-3 with two homers, a double, and five RBIs — all on first pitches — as the No. 6-ranked Lady Vols beat Winthrop 8-0 in five innings before 1,072 fans at Lee Stadium.
“I was just seeing the ball really well today, and I just went after it,” Shipman said.
Tennessee (22-4) was coming off a 7-1 loss to then-No. 1 Alabama on Sunday.
The Lady Vols quickly regained their confidence against Winthrop (11-12) as they head into a weekend series at No. 3 Florida.
“Mid-week games can be a little bit of a trap between big SEC series, especially with Alabama always being a big series and Florida is always a big series,” UT co-head coach Karen Weekly said. “You’re always a little concerned that your kids are looking ahead, and I was really pleased with the way they came out and took care of business against Winthrop.”
UT’s Raven Chavanne led off the first with a bunt single and Lauren Gibson followed with a two-run homer.
Shipman then ripped a home run over the left-field fence, and Winthrop starter Sutton Watson was relieved by Sara Allen.
In the second inning, Chavanne drew a one-out walk, and an out later, Shipman hit a two-run blast.
Shipman’s two-run double in the fourth off Allen made it 7-0. Cheyanne Tarango followed with an RBI single for an 8-0 lead.
“We were just coming out here ready to get after it today,” Shipman said, “and try not to look forward to this weekend and not look back at last weekend, just focus on the game today.”
UT’s coaches weren’t about to let the Lady Vols lose their focus — not after a 2-1 loss to Winthrop in February of last year at a tournament in Clearwater, Fla.
“They got a quick reminder last year when Winthrop snuck up on them and handed them a loss that we think proved to be critical at the end the season in our (NCAA) seeding (No. 7),” Weekly said.
Ivy Renfroe and Tarango combined for a three-hit shutout against Winthrop.
Also on Tuesday, Renfroe was selected the Louisville Slugger/NFCA National Player of the Week and the USA Softball National Player of the Week after posting victories over Alabama in the first two games of last weekend’s series. She is just the fifth Lady Vol to earn both honors in the same week.