Lady Vols overpower N.C. State 7-0 to win NCAA Knoxville Regional

Lady Vols jump out early to win regional

Matthew DeMaria/Tennessee Athletics
Tennessee’s  Madison Shipman hits a home run against North Carolina State on Sunday in an NCAA regional game at Lee Stadium.

Photo by Matthew DeMaria/Tennessee Athlet, University of Tennessee Athletics

Matthew DeMaria/Tennessee Athletics Tennessee’s Madison Shipman hits a home run against North Carolina State on Sunday in an NCAA regional game at Lee Stadium.

Tennessee's Ralph Weekly talks about Ivy and Ellen Renfroe's pitching

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Saturday, it took three hours and 23 minutes before the 41st Tennessee batter of the day finally scored off North Carolina State ace Emily Weiman.

Sunday, in a matter of minutes, the very first Lady Vol batter of the game touched home plate. And the second wasn’t far behind her.

What a difference a tournament day makes.

The Lady Vols struck hard and fast in overpowering N.C. State 7-0 to advance to the NCAA softball tournament Super Regional round for the second consecutive year and sixth time in program history.

UT (47-10) will be back at Lee Stadium to face defending national champion Alabama (44-13) in a best-of-three series next weekend. At stake is a berth at the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.

Dates and times will be announced Monday.

Less than 24 hours after outlasting the Wolfpack (35-20-1) and Weiman 1-0 in 11 innings, Tennessee came out the aggressor.

While the Lady Vols were recuperating, Weiman threw 111 more pitches in a 6-4 victory over James Madison that began Saturday night, was suspended by rain and finished Sunday morning.

“Our plan today,’’ said UT co-head coach Ralph Weekly, “was to make her throw as many pitches as she could in the first and second inning.

“We were also going to run more today and make things happen, instead of watching things happen.’’

Missions accomplished.

Batting first as the visiting team, Raven Chavanne led off with a single, advanced on Madison Shipman’s single and scored on Kat Dotson’s single.

Shipman then stole home on the back end of Dotson’s stealing second base.

The lead soon doubled to 4-0 in the second when Chavanne doubled and Shipman ripped her 10th home run over the fence in right-center.

It was clear Weiman (33-18) didn’t have her Saturday mastery. It was equally clear the Lady Vols were on the attack, particularly at the top of the batting order.

Chavanne had two hits and scored twice to become UT’s career leader with 241 runs.

Shipman went 3-for-4, lacking only a triple to hit for the cycle, and drove in three runs.

Lauren Gibson also had her first hit of the series. UT’s leading hitter had been walked four times and hit by a pitch in the previous two regional games.

“We knew the top of our lineup didn’t do the greatest that it could (Friday or Saturday),’’ said Shipman, “so we came out ready to attack today.

“As batters we were more patient. (Weiman) puts the ball in great spots all over the place and we got ourselves into holes by swinging at her pitches.

“Today, we were more patient.’’

After Saturday’s marathon, N.C. State coach Shawn Rychcik called the top of UT’s order Murderers’ Row.

“They did some murdering today,’’ he added Sunday.

“When Raven gets on ... a ground ball off a glove and she’s on second base, and then it just starts.’’

Cheyanne Tarango also added two hits and drove in a pair of runs.

Tennessee pounded 10 hits, which was nine more than Ivy Renfroe (19-4) allowed in yet another near-flawless performance.

Friday, Renfroe shut out Longwood. Saturday, Ellen Renfroe was brilliant in 11 shutout innings. Back to Ivy on Sunday for another tour de force.

“I think they felt they had a statement to make,’’ Weekly said, “and they came out and made it.’’

Now they have to do it again to maintain a trend. Tennessee has won all five Super Regionals in which it has appeared, including two of the past three seasons.

Last year, it was SEC rival Georgia in UT’s path. This time, another familiar face.

Gibson, a senior, has played 11 games against the Tide in her career.

“Everyone knows each other’s weaknesses, their strengths, and everyone knows each other’s hitting and pitching,” she said.

“It’s a challenge. That’s for sure.’’

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Comments » 23

manoffewwords writes:

These LVs are tremendous athletes. The speed of the game is mind blowing. I could not be more proud of this team.

voloffaith writes:

As said on another softball post....forget earlier series with elephanettes. Be respectful and menatlly tough as they ,in addition to revenge, want to move onto World Series.

jdhankins11#1417747 writes:

who won??

dvhill100 writes:

Great win. Looks like things are coming together at the right time. Good luck and hopefully see you in the NCAA championship.

SummittsCourt writes:

Great pitching all weekend won this series. As I said before a few times, the pitching would be there for the playoffs. I guess the playoffs brings out the best in the Renfro sisters!

Between the them, they gave up a total of 7 hits and zero runs! NC State especially was a home run hitting team and to shut them down twice says a lot about these sisters and what they are capable of doing.

Let's Go Lady Vols!

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to voloffaith:

As said on another softball post....forget earlier series with elephanettes. Be respectful and menatlly tough as they ,in addition to revenge, want to move onto World Series.

I agree, both teams will be motivated and will play hard. The winner will earn their trip to Oklahoma City.

volman2008 writes:

Tenn.goes as Shipman,and Trango go come on girls lets go and beat bama.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

I've been sitting here watching ESPN rambling on and on about Oklahoma, Michigan, Ariz St etc.
They have done so for over an hour and have mentioned every regional except the Knoxville regional. Did we not play a game there today??

They have repeated the same lacrosse, baseball reports, and every softball regional except ours.

It would be poetic justice if the Lady Vols should get to the final and even win it.

How red faced it would be for them to have to mention the Lady Vols at that point.

Snapshot writes:

in response to billythekid:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Let go stupid, just let it go.

volfan73120#211815 writes:

I wonder if oldster will say something nice about our Lady Vols now.

orangecountyvols writes:

Snapshot,

Hey friend, since I don't ever read anything this punk kid says.............let me guess. Either something about Dooley or Hart. Correct?

I saw you replied to something he said, so I guess it was no surprise if the little punk did follow that familiar script. What a little loser..............

oldster writes:

in response to volfan73120#211815:

I wonder if oldster will say something nice about our Lady Vols now.

Yep. It looks as if the LV hitters relaxed and let their talent show. Perhaps it was because they knew they had a game that they could lose. Perhaps it was because they figured the pitcher was tired. Perhaps, it is possible that the hitting was a result of the pitcher actually being tired. Probably, it was a some combintion of two or all three. Whatever it was, I just hope that the hitters can stay loose and just play. It really is, just a game.

volfan73120#211815 writes:

in response to oldster:

Yep. It looks as if the LV hitters relaxed and let their talent show. Perhaps it was because they knew they had a game that they could lose. Perhaps it was because they figured the pitcher was tired. Perhaps, it is possible that the hitting was a result of the pitcher actually being tired. Probably, it was a some combintion of two or all three. Whatever it was, I just hope that the hitters can stay loose and just play. It really is, just a game.

You still haven't said anything nice. How sad for someone to be that miserable.

oldster writes:

in response to volfan73120#211815:

You still haven't said anything nice. How sad for someone to be that miserable.

You have really bad reading comprehension. I guess you just prove the
that it is not what you say (or write) it is what people hear (or read) that is communicated and that is determined by their mind set, not yours.

vol98champ writes:

I'm afraid we have met the enemy and it is us again. Why can't we be happy with a great performance and praise the effort? I for one couldn't be more proud of these fantastic athletes.

overthetop writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Vols,

I've been sitting here watching ESPN rambling on and on about Oklahoma, Michigan, Ariz St etc.
They have done so for over an hour and have mentioned every regional except the Knoxville regional. Did we not play a game there today??

They have repeated the same lacrosse, baseball reports, and every softball regional except ours.

It would be poetic justice if the Lady Vols should get to the final and even win it.

How red faced it would be for them to have to mention the Lady Vols at that point.

I tried like crazy to find these games on TV or even live streaming video with no success. Very disapointing. You'd think with the Lady Vol's success over the years and their strong fan base that ESPN would be all over them.

manoffewwords writes:

in response to overthetop:

I tried like crazy to find these games on TV or even live streaming video with no success. Very disapointing. You'd think with the Lady Vol's success over the years and their strong fan base that ESPN would be all over them.

Very disapointed by lack of coverage of a great LVs softball team. Shame to have to follow on twitter. Better than nothing.

vol98champ writes:

in response to manoffewwords:

Very disapointed by lack of coverage of a great LVs softball team. Shame to have to follow on twitter. Better than nothing.

I think about the only comment I heard all weekend about the Lady Vols was on Sat aft when the lady said something like Tennessee finally scored and won. I did finally get the video on UT's athletic site Sunday.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to overthetop:

I tried like crazy to find these games on TV or even live streaming video with no success. Very disapointing. You'd think with the Lady Vol's success over the years and their strong fan base that ESPN would be all over them.

Sometimes you have to got www.utsports.com to get the tv stream which is what I did Sunday.

overthetop writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

Sometimes you have to got www.utsports.com to get the tv stream which is what I did Sunday.

I tried several times but it would never "lock" in. Hopefully the ladies will thump Bama and ESPN will have no choice but to cover them.

snowvol writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Vols,

I've been sitting here watching ESPN rambling on and on about Oklahoma, Michigan, Ariz St etc.
They have done so for over an hour and have mentioned every regional except the Knoxville regional. Did we not play a game there today??

They have repeated the same lacrosse, baseball reports, and every softball regional except ours.

It would be poetic justice if the Lady Vols should get to the final and even win it.

How red faced it would be for them to have to mention the Lady Vols at that point.

I noticed the same thing. I'm definitely not in the camp of being an ESPN-hater. But seriously - this was ridiculous. On and on and on they talked about anything and everything except the Knoxville Regional. At one point, they showed a graphic of seven teams that had made it into the Super Regional...... you can't make this up: They read off every team EXCEPT Tennessee. Unreal.

And the young lady in studio... I realize she's their resident softball expert. But can someone dial her voice down a bit? She forever seems like she's yelling at everyone.

Considering UT will get major coverage this weekend on ESPN and ESPN 2, one wonders if they'll actually say the word "Tennessee" on the broadcasts.

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

Sometimes you have to got www.utsports.com to get the tv stream which is what I did Sunday.

S C,

That's what I had to do also. It was really frustrating. Every 5 seconds, the telecast/audio kept freezing and you really didn't even know what happened until a minute later.

Ivy would be in the middle of her delivery and next thing you knew, there was a strikeout and I never even saw it. Even Brian Rice would say something like "2 and 1 count" on whomever, and then someone else was at bat. Never knew what happened.

At least from now on we can see it. ( Not sure what we'll get with the announcers, however. )

voloffaith writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

S C,

That's what I had to do also. It was really frustrating. Every 5 seconds, the telecast/audio kept freezing and you really didn't even know what happened until a minute later.

Ivy would be in the middle of her delivery and next thing you knew, there was a strikeout and I never even saw it. Even Brian Rice would say something like "2 and 1 count" on whomever, and then someone else was at bat. Never knew what happened.

At least from now on we can see it. ( Not sure what we'll get with the announcers, however. )

I kept on UTvol streaming(sporadically) and GOVOLSX and read the twitter box which was kept up fairly quickly.

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