By Corbin Hosler
CNHI News Service
OKLAHOMA CITY – It took Tennessee the entire game, but the Volunteers finally brought a runner home.
After stranding 13 runners through six innings without finding a way to bring one around, Tory Lewis finally broke through in the game’s final at-bat. She looped a line drive into center field to score Whitney Hammond, and the Volunteers walked off with the 1-0 victory.
By the numbers, Tennessee dominated the game, but Washington’s Kaitlin Inglesby worked out of trouble all day to give the Huskies a chance. But on the other side was the Volunteers’ Ellen Renfroe, who struck out 10 and allowed just two hits in the complete-game victory.
“We told them is we’re going to get it, we’re going to get it,” coach Ralph Weekly said. “We had some great hitters out there. We had some great hitters up there with the bases loaded and runners in scoring position. And you know something, this game is a game of failure. If you’re successful three out of 10 times, you’re a star in this game. And a lot of people forget that. This is a tough game to play.”
Slappers continue success against Texas
When the Sooners took two of three of games against Texas in April, it was largely the bottom of the lineup that did the damage.
Those three – Destinee Martinez, Callie Parsons and Brianna Turang – continued that trend on Saturday. The trio combined to bat .500 on Saturday and provided several game-changing plays.
The first came in the third inning, when Parsons stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs and laced a single into centerfield to score two runs and put Oklahoma on top 3-2. Next was Turang, whose pinpoint bunt and speed forced Texas’ Kim Bruins to rush the throw. It went wide, and the ball bounced all around the outfield, allowing Turang and both runners on base to score.
I was just trying to put the ball in play and get Lauren Chamberlain up to bat,” Turang said. “I tried to use my speed to put pressure on the defense.”
Luna pulled early
Texas ace Blaire Luna has been the steady hand for the Longhorns all season, but after some early struggles on Saturday Texas coach Connie Clark made the decision to pull her in favor of Kim Bruins in the third inning after allowing just three hits but walking five.
“Blaire is so good, but I thought we were taking the gameplan and being a little too fine with it,” Clark said. “I thought KB would bring something a little different to the table, and I thought she did a good job. We were very close to getting out of that inning, and then the momentum could have gone either way.”
Chamberlain breaks out of slump
Lauren Chamberlain was hitless in her previous three games against Texas this season. And, with some help from the sun, she broke that streak in the fifth inning of Saturday’s game.
Chamberlain was hitless in her first three at-bats on Saturday, but she hit a deep fly ball to right field in her fourth. It looked like it would be an easy put-out, but Texas’ Erin Shireman lost the ball in the sun and it fell in front of her, awarding Chamberlain a hit.
Attendance record set
The single-session attendance record for the Women’s College World Series hit a new high mark on Saturday with 9,587 fans attending the early session.