Shipman and Renfroe lead Tennessee
LSU's 11-game winning streak stopped; Renfroe ERA now 1.19
BATON ROUGE, La. – No. 21 LSU saw its 11-game winning streak come to an end as SEC frontrunner and No. 6 Tennessee claimed a 6-0 victory in the first game of a three game series on Friday.
The game was closer than the final score would indicate as both starting pitchers threw complete games.
In the circle, Ellen Renfroe allowed only a trio of singles and notched 12 strikeouts against two walks to improve to 20-2 for the season. Renfroe lowered her ERA to 1.19. Brittany Mack went the distance, recording 12 strikeouts for her third double-digit strikeout performance in her last four outings. She allowed six runs, two earned, on six hits and dropped to 10-4 on the season.
After a scoreless first three innings, the Lady Vols (36-6, 13-4 SEC) made the most of a one-out error by LSU first baseman Heidi Pizer along with a walk and a hit batter. On an 0-1 pitch, Madison Shipman cleared the bases with a grand slam deposited on the left field berm, her third home run of the season, to hand Tennessee a 4-0 edge.
"This was a great pitcher's duel between a pair of outstanding young pitchers in Ellen Renfroe and Brittany Mack," Lady Vol Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly said. "We got some clutch hits from Madison Shipman and Shelby Burchell, and that proved to be the difference in the game. This is going to be a really tough series."
LSU head coach Yvette Girouard and Mack agreed that one pitch turned out to decide the game.
“We just made a mistake,” LSU head coach Yvette Girouard said. “We got ourselves in a jam, and we always say with (Brittany) Mack, she’s got to work ahead. Good lord that girl [Shipman] crushed it. The glaring thing about Tennessee is that their SEC stats are comparable to their non-conference stats, unlike a lot of other teams.”
“It was a little high, but it goes to show what mistakes can do to you,” Mack said. “That would have helped us get out of the inning, but it was my fault because I loaded the bases up. I take full responsibility for that. We have to make sure we take care of everything else.”
Tennessee tacked on two insurance runs in the fifth inning for the final margin of 6-0. Shelby Burchell plated both runs on a single through the right side. Raven Chavanne chipped in with a 3-for-4 performance from the top of the Lady Vols lineup.
Lauren Houston, Ashley Langoni and Tiffany Shaw tallied the hits for the Tigers (26-13, 8-7 SEC).
“They had us completely baffled, I don’t want to take any credit away from (Ellen) Renfroe,” Girouard said. “She had us completely off balance. Her change-up was great. We swung at pitches that weren’t even close to being strikes.”
Tennessee has won eight games in a row.
The start of the game was delayed approximately one hour and 23 minutes after a severe storm moved through the local area during the scheduled team warm-up period.