SAN DIEGO -- Madison Shipman had a two-run home run and Cheyanne Tarango pitched well in relief but No. 2 Tennessee dropped its first game of the season on Thursday, falling to BYU 6-3 in the opening game of the San Diego Classic.
Rain and poor field conditions in certain areas delayed the start of the by an hour. Sections of the field down the left field line and the right field line had to be gated off in two squares due to unplayable surfaces in foul territory.
BYU scored three in the first but Tennessee (14-1) answered with two runs of its own in the bottom of the inning. Tennessee added another run in the bottom of the third to knot the game at 3-3. BYU pulled ahead for the win in the top of the seventh inning, plating three more runs. Shipman went 1-for-4 in the game with the two-run blast in the bottom of the first. She has now hit four home runs in the last three games. Lexi Overstreet added two hits in four at bats including two doubles.
Tarango came in for Erin Gabriel early in the game and pitched 5.1 innings of spotless relief until allowing two solo home runs in the seventh inning. She finished the evening allowing three earned runs and struck out four batters.
BYU started off hot as Lauren Bell reached base on a fielders' choice and Thompson followed with a walk putting runners on first and second with two outs. Katie Manuma immediately followed up with a 3-run home run to give the Cougars an early lead 3-0.
The Lady Vols answered back quickly. Freshman Megan Geer had a leadoff walk before Shipman rocketed a home run of her own to pull the Tennessee within 3-2. Shipman extended her career-best hitting streak to 12 games.
Tennessee tried to even the game up in the bottom of the second. Shipman almost had her second home run of the game, but flied out to deep center. Lady Vols loaded the bases but were unable to push any runs across the plate.
The Lady Vols were able to tie it up in the bottom of the third. Overstreet doubled to lead off the inning and a fly out by Taylor Koenig advanced Overstreet to third with only one out. A sacrifice fly by Tarango on the next at bat allowed Overstreet to tag from her spot at third, tying the game 3-3.
BYU made an effort to pull away in the fourth. The Cougars twice had runners in scoring position, once with the bases loaded but were unable to score as Tarango pitched out of a tough jam.
Tennessee put runners on first and second in the fifth with one out but the Lady Vols were unable to produce any runs.
Both teams swapped scoreless innings until McKenzie St. Clair gave BYU the 4-3 advantage off of a solo home run in the top of the seventh. One batter later, Manuma again went yard to extend the Cougars lead 5-3. The Cougars added another run on a wild pitch by Rainey Gaffin who came in to replace Tarango.