Another Walk-off Homer Victimizes Gamecocks in 4-2 Loss at No. 11 Tennessee
March 25, 2011
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Another strong effort by South Carolina (17-13, 3-8 SEC) came up short, as No. 11 Tennessee (25-5, 3-3 SEC) came through with a 4-2 win in eight innings on Friday night at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium.
Lady Vol pinch hitter Chelsea O'Conner ended the contest in the eighth with one down, fouling off three pitches before launching a two-run homer out to left. Ashley Andrews preceded O'Conner's heroics with a single during an eight-pitch at bat.
Tennessee took the initial lead in the second on back-to-back home runs by Jessica Spigner and Madison Shipman. Spigner's homer came precariously close to going foul in left, sailing high over the fair pole.
The Gamecocks tied things in the fourth when senior first baseman Laura Mendes lined the first pitch of her at bat over the wall in left. She drove home Dana Hathorn, who reached on an infield single.
South Carolina thought it scored a run in the third. Senior catcher P.J. Fulmer laced a double to right center to start the inning. Junior Jackie Slawson ran for Fulmer and moved to third when sophomore shortstop Samie Garcia reached first on an error. The Gamecocks tried the double steal, and Tennessee cut off the throw to second. A close play at the plate went against the Gamecocks, as Andrews' high tag on Slawson kept her from scoring.
Ellen Renfroe (15-2) got the win for the Lady Vols, allowing two earned runs on three hits and two walks while fanning eight in the complete game. Gamecocks senior Ashley Chastain (3-2) took the loss, giving up two earned runs on two hits and three walks in 2.2 innings of relief work. She struck out one.
Spigner was the only hitter on either team to post two hits, adding a double to her homer. Gamecock pitchers did a good job against the top three hitters in the Tennessee order, holding Raven Chavanne, Kelly Grieve and Kat Dotson to a combined 1-for-11.
These two teams face off again at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, with SportSouth broadcasting the contest.