Stanford shuts down No. 3 Lady Vols
Cardinal posts two early runs, Chinn shuts down UT offense
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – No. 3 Tennessee dropped to 8-2 on the season by suffering a tough 5-0 setback against No. 18 Stanford on Sunday afternoon at Stephanie Lynn Craig Park.
The Lady Vol offense never got untracked against Cardinal pitcher Ashley Chinn as the Stanford hurler limited UT to just one hit and retired the last 17 batters she faced during a six-strikeout, complete-game effort.
The lone Big Orange base knock came off the bat of freshman shortstop Madison Shipman (1 for 3) during the second inning as Tennessee managed to load the bags with one out but was unable to plate a tally. UT was also undone by an uncharacteristic three miscues in the field that eventually led to a trio of Cardinal (8-2) scores.
Tennessee freshman hurler Ellen Renfroe was dealt the first loss of her career (4-1) by surrendering two earned runs on four hits with a walk and a strikeout over 1.2 innings, combining two separate stints in the circle. Sophomore Ivy Renfroe permitted a single earned tally on four hits with three walks and a strikeout during 3.2 frames, while junior Cat Hosfield allowed two base knocks and struck out one in two-thirds of an inning.
After the Lady Vol offense went down in order in the top of the first, Stanford’s attack went to work immediately in the bottom half as center fielder Sarah Hassman singled back through the middle. Shortstop Ashley Hansen followed with a shot to third that ricocheted off Spigner’s outstretched glove for an error.
Ellen Renfroe bounced back to strikeout second baseman Jenna Rich looking before designated player Danielle Miller singled to left for an RBI as the Cardinal grabbed a quick 1-0 lead. With Stanford occupants at the corners, right fielder Teagan Gerhart grounded a ball to third that Spigner scooped and threw home to cut down the lead runner. First baseman Melisa Koutz fell behind in the count 0-2 before ripping a double down the left field line, improving Stanford’s advantage to 2-0.
The Big Orange managed their initial base runner with one down in the top of the second as Stanford’s Ashley Chinn hit sophomore second baseman Lauren Gibson with a pitch. Shipman stepped to the plate and ripped a sharp single through the left side of the infield, putting a pair of Lady Vols aboard and igniting a potential rally.
Junior first baseman Shelby Burchell battled hard to draw a free pass to load the bases with still just one out. Unfortunately for Tennessee, a strikeout and then a first-pitch foul out outside of first left the trio stranded as a big UT scoring opportunity went for naught.
A hit batter leading off the bottom of the second ended Ellen Renfroe’s day in the circle as her sister Ivy was summoned into the contest in relief. The 6-0 right hander immediately got two quick outs before walking back-to-back Cardinal hitters to pack the bases with two retired. She managed to induce a vital pop up by Miller that Shipman squeezed at short to keep Stanford from adding to its two-tally lead.
Stanford’s offense left a base runner stranded in both the third and fourth innings. Meanwhile, Chinn continued to keep the Lady Vol offense in check, retiring 11 consecutive Tennessee hitters through the top of the fifth.
The Cardinal threatened again in the bottom of the fifth as Gerhart walked with one out and then Koutz followed with a single through the right side of the infield. With runners at first and second a bouncer by catcher Maya Burns was thrown away on a potential fielder’s choice at second for an error, allowing a run to cross and make it 3-0.
Following a base hit to left by pinch hitter Jamie Millwood, Hosfield was brought on to relieve Ivy Renfroe. The Murfreesboro, Tenn., native was greeted by a double off the wall in left by Corey Hanewich as two more scored for a 5-0 Cardinal advantage. Hosfield struck out Hassman swinging to conclude the frame but not before three tallies worth of damage had been added to the scoreboard.
Stanford’s Chinn continued her dominance from the circle through the remainder of the contest, eventually wrapping up the victory by retiring 17 consecutive Lady Vol batters.