Lady Vols hold off Auburn in opener

Ellen Renfroe

The Lady Vols took the series opener against Auburn after overcoming some late inning adversity. Go inside for a free ready about the softball team and video coverage.

Tennessee (36-6, 10-3) held on to win 5-3 on Friday against Auburn (27-16, 6-10) and claim the Lady Vols' 13th win in a row.

After scoring in the first three innings to take a 5-0 lead, Tennessee allowed three runs in the sixth inning, a scenario that left co-head coach Ralph Weekly none too pleased after the game.

Ellen Renfroe is now 12-1 on the season and struck out eight before running into trouble in the sixth inning when a run scored on a throwing error and Brooke Lathan hit a two-out, two-run homer over the center field wall.

After giving up a line drive to open the seventh inning, Renfroe was lifted for her sister, Ivy Renfroe. The Tigers, who had seen six innings of Ellen Renfroe's darting pitches, suddenly had fastballs zipping past them.

A second throwing error put Ivy Renfroe in a precarious position – she allowed no hits but had bases loaded after an intentional walk – but she struck out two batters to secure her first save of the season.

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The Lady Vols tallied nine hits with nine left on base and RBIs by Raven Chavanne, Lauren Gibson, Melissa Brown and Rainey Gaffin. Chavanne was 2-3 and is now hitting .474 on the season.

Key offensive inning for Tennessee: The third when a 2-0 game stretched to 5-0. Dotson, Brown and Madison Shipman all scored from second base on base hits.

Key defensive inning for Tennessee: The fifth when Ellen Renfroe struck out the side swinging – Caitlin Schultze on seven pitches after she fouled off four of them after getting ahead 2-0; Jade Rhodes on four pitches after starting with a ball; and Baylee Stephens on six pitches on a 2-2 count.

Ivy Renfroe, who will be honored Saturday as part of a two-part senior day along with Brown, Gibson and Dotson, is expected to be in the circle for game two. First pitch is set for 11:35 a.m. with CSS having the TV broadcast.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM UTSPORTSTV

INSIDE TENNESSEE VIDEO COVERAGE

Raven Chavanne

Ellen Renfroe

Ralph Weekly

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