Lady Vols rout Longwood, face N.C. State next

Ivy Renfroe allows 2 hits; N.C. State next

KNOXVILLE, TN - The team celebrates a home run at home plate during the NCAA softball tournament game between the Tennessee Lady Volunteers and the Longwood Lancers at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium in Knoxville, TN.  Photo By Donald Page/Tennessee Athletics$RETURN$$RETURN$

Photo by Donald Page/Tennessee Athletics, University of Tennessee Athletics

KNOXVILLE, TN - The team celebrates a home run at home plate during the NCAA softball tournament game between the Tennessee Lady Volunteers and the Longwood Lancers at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Donald Page/Tennessee Athletics$RETURN$$RETURN$

Coach Ralph Weekly discusses the win over Longwood

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Longwood’s team bus absorbed a few dents in a traffic accident Friday on the way to Lee Stadium.

There were worse dents to come once the Lancers got there.

Cheyanne Tarango and Rainey Gaffin clubbed home runs as the bottom half of the batting order stood tall in Tennessee’s 9-0, run-rule victory in the opening round of the NCAA Knoxville softball regional tournament.

“We needed a game like that,’’ said co-head coach Ralph Weekly, mindful that the Lady Vols lost the opening game of the 2012 regional and had to fight out of a hole to get back on track to Oklahoma City.

The next step is at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. The Lady Vols (45-9) face North Carolina State (34-18-1), a 2-0 winner over James Madison earlier Friday.

Longwood (41-19) plays James Madison (41-16) in an elimination game at 4. At 6:30, the winner of that game meets the UT-N.C. State loser in another elimination game.

If the Lady Vols get past the Wolfpack, they’re set until Sunday at 1:30 p.m., when they meet the survivor of Saturday’s late game. A second game would follow, if necessary.

While Tennessee’s offense was led by a sophomore, Tarango, and a freshman, Gaffin, the pitching chore was turned over to an old hand.

Senior Ivy Renfroe allowed two harmless hits in five innings to improve to 18-4 on the year and 14-4 in career NCAA tournament games.

“We knew how good Ivy was in playoffs,’’ Weekly said, explaining the decision to start Ivy instead of sister Ellen Renfroe. “The other thing, they hadn’t seen that kind of speed.’’ Renfroe struck out six, including the nation’s leading home-run hitter, Megan Baltzell, twice.

Saturday’s game will be a rematch. Tennessee beat N.C. State twice in a February tournament in Tampa, Fla.

Ivy pitched a complete game 7-0 win. Ellen went the distance in an 8-2 victory.

The Tennessee bats will have to solve Emily Weiman (32-16), who threw a three-hitter against James Madison.

“She’s a tough kid,’’ said Weekly. “She’s a competitor.’’

Tarango’s competitive juices were flowing for UT. She started at first base for injured Melissa Davin (broken hand).

In the bottom of the first inning, Tarango ended a threat by striking out with runners on second and third.

It was deja vú in the third. Tarrango came to bat in the same scenario.

This time she got the best of Libby Morris (21-9), driving a two-run single to right field.

It didn’t stay 2-0 for long. The next batter, Gaffin, playing her first NCAA tournament game, hit Morris’ first pitch over the center-field fence for a 4-0 lead.

In the fourth, Madison Shipman’s two-run single made it 6-0. Tarango then hit a ball off the light pole in left field, her 10th home run of the year, to make it 9-0.

Renfroe retired Longwood in the top of the fifth and that was that.

Weekly said both Tarango and Gaffin benefited from adjustments the coaching staff made from watching Morris work right-handed batters the first two innings.

“She’s a big-time player,’’ Weekly said of Tarango. “She just hasn’t got a lot of opportunities with Davin in the lineup.’’

There will be plenty of opportunities Saturday.

Knoxville regional

Friday’s Games

Game 1 — N.C State 2, James Madison 0

Game 2 — Tennessee 9, Longwood 0, 5 innings

Saturday’s Games

Game 3 — N.C. State (34-18-1) vs. Tennessee (45-10), 1:30 p.m.

Game 4 — James Madison (41-16) vs. Longwood (41-19),

4 p.m.

Game 5 — Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner, 6:30 p.m.

Sunday’s Games

Game 6 — Game 3 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 1:30 p.m.

x-Game 7 — Game 3 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 4 p.m.

x- if necessary

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Comments » 13

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

How do you spell relief... MOMENTUM. Keep it going Ladies.

vol98champ writes:

They looked like the real Lady Vols last night. I like the orange pants, but I hope we don't see them again until next year.

kazoo writes:

Why are the winners playing before the losers? Doesn't make much sense. If the losers play first, they will get a decent crowd that builds as the game goes along; fans get to see all four teams. This way, 80 percent of the fans will leave after the first game and Longwood and JMU will be playing in front of sparse group. Seems odd way to run a tournament. What's more, by playing the early game the team eliminated from tourney gets a head start on going home. This way, they will get a late start unless they plan to stay another night.

SummittsCourt writes:

Awesome bounce back, keep it going all the way to Oklahoma City! Go Lady Vols!

orangecountyvols writes:

Vol fans,

The article was pretty accurate except for one thing.........there are 10 losses, not 9.

It was good to see some power hitting from Gaffin and Tarango. Also, nice job by Ivy. The 85 homers by Longwood in previous games might have been against pitchers that didn't look a lot like Chelsea Thomas, Ivy and Ellen, Hannah Rogers, Fico, and Alabama's Jackie T.

Don't let up now L V's. Having beaten N C State twice already is nice, but it's a new game.

Go Big O.

voloffaith writes:

The stat man is correct 45-10 overrall record. I'd be ok with two more games this weekend and 2 of three or two staight next. Then if in the big hunt were looking at what? Having to win 4 or 6? Eight teams bracketed so four if you make through with no losses....We'll lotsa games to played b4 that has possibilty of reality. So hypothetically if Ladies go on a 9 game wiining streak they bring home the hardware.....somebody politely check my math/bracketing again based on Lady Vols going through every bracket placed in unscathed. Thanks! Go Lady Vols tame the wolfpackettes!!

voloffaith writes:

in response to 1Percenter:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just checked on Ladies website and it does say TBD. So I will lean with you if we win out this weekend,weather permitting, most likely we will host.

volman2008 writes:

Shipman,and Trango have to keep hitting for the lady vols to get to Okla.City.

WaltGoVoIs writes:

in response to 1Percenter:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That's good news.

Wouldn't it be nice if this site could update scores in a timely fashion.

Walt

UT '81

voloffaith writes:

in response to 1Percenter:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The dance teacher showed them the Tarango and the freshman said I'll triple that..............

vol98champ writes:

3 errors, 1 run in 11 innings. Where did the team that beat NCST in the 2 earlier games go? I missed the game due church duties.

vol98champ writes:

in response to 1Percenter:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just saw the picture as we celebrated the win. Does anyone know what our runs per game is when wearing the orange pants? I remember a shut out, a no hitter and this 11 inning 1 run game

WaltGoVoIs writes:

Based on what I see, I hope John Adams doesn't manage the content of the site. If he does, his management is as lame as his writing.

Right? These guys are claiming to be the flagship site for covering the Volunteers and it takes them -many- hours to post an important score.

Useless.

Walt

UT '81

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