UVa Drops 11-2 Decision to No. 15 Tennessee
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Virginia softball team (34-22) dropped an 11-2 decision to 15th-ranked Tennessee (44-13) Saturday as NCAA Regional play continued from Lee Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn.
The Cavaliers will face the winner of the Ball State-Louisville game tonight at approximately 6 p.m. in an elimination game. Tennessee, meanwhile, moves on to play in the Regional championship at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The Lady Vols outhit Virginia 15-7 in the contest. Freshman Alex Skinkis was 3-for-4 at the plate with three singles for the Orange and Blue while Giannina Cipolloni, Alison Pittman, Lauren McCaskey and Abby Snyder also singled.
Freshman pitcher Melanie Mitchell took the loss, throwing five complete innings and allowing eight runs on 10 hits. She also finished with seven strikeouts and three walks. Teammate Stephanie Coates came on to toss the final two innings; she gave up three runs on five hits with a walk.
Tennessee got on the board in the second inning, thanks to Tiffany Huff’s one-out solo home run to right. The Lady Vols then registered back-to-back extra base hits with two outs. Erinn Webb hit a triple to right center and scored on teammate Ashley Andrews’ RBI double to left center. Tennessee led 2-0 after two complete.
The Lady Vols added two more runs in the top of the fourth. With one out, Shelby Burchell singled up the middle. Pinch runner Leah Taylor came on for Burchell and stole second. Following an Erinn Webb walk, Ashley Andrews flied out to right, allowing Taylor to tag up and move to third. Webb then stole second to put runners on both second and third with two outs. Raven Chavanne came through for the Lady Vols with a two-RBI bloop single over shortstop Clara Kendall’s head to make it 4-0 Tennessee.
Virginia put up its two runs in the fourth inning. With two outs, Snyder walked and stole second. Taylor Williams grounded out to first to apparently end the inning, but an illegal pitch was called on Tennessee’s Cat Hosfield and the Lady Vols, already in their dugout, came back on the field.
With Snyder on third, Williams walked on the next pitch to put runners on the corners. Skinkis followed with her third single of the contest to score Snyder. After a McCaskey single loaded the bases, Williams scored from third on a wild pitch to cut the lead to 4-2, but Nicole Koren struck out looking on a full count to end the threat.
After Tennessee left the bases loaded in the top of the fifth, Virginia was unable to get the offense going and went 1-2-3 in the bottom half.
The Lady Vols then had a big sixth inning, batting around and putting up five runs on five consecutive hits to extend their lead, 9-2. Tennessee added two more in the top of the seventh for an 11-2 advantage.
UT’s Ivy Renfroe picked up the win. She pitched the first 2 2/3 innings before reentering in the fifth to throw the final three innings. Renfroe did not allow a run in 5 1/3 innings of work and finished with seven strikeouts.