Home-field advantage played a major role for the No. 9 Tennessee softball team over the weekend. The Lady Vols (14-3) won all four games in the Tennessee Classic and outscored their opponents 29-3 in 25 innings of play.

The wins over Memphis (7-0), ETSU (8-0, six innings), Murray State (8-0, five innings) and Middle Tennessee State (6-3) extended the Lady Vols’ win-streak to nine games.

The Lady Vols remain undefeated all-time in the tournament.

“I’m proud of the team, and I’m proud of the effort this weekend,” co-head coach Ralph Weekly said.

Despite the Lady Vols’ regular-season home-opener on Friday night being rained out, the girls didn’t miss a beat at the plate or in the pitcher’s circle.

The Lady Vols compiled a .340 team batting average and posted a modest 0.56 team ERA over the tournament.

Junior All-American third basemen Raven Chavanne and senior right fielder Shelby Burchell led the offensive attack, combining for 12 hits in 23 at-bats while driving in eight RBIs and scoring five runs.

Chavanne leads the team with a .545 average this season.

Freshman catcher Hannah Akamine hit her first home run as a Lady Vol and drove in two runs in Tennessee’s victory over Memphis.

Pitching sisters Ivy and Ellen Renfroe took control, combining to pitch nearly every inning in the tournament, striking out 35 batters while holding opponents to a .116 batting average.

After tossing three straight shutouts, two by Ivy and one by Ellen, the Lady Vols’ consecutive scoreless innings streak ended at 28 in their final game on Sunday against the MTSU Blue Raiders.

Ellen Renfroe improved her record on the season to a team-best 10-0, and she also leads UT with a minuscule 1.32 ERA and has punched out 103 hitters in 79.2 innings of work.

Her seven-inning shutout over Memphis, in which she struck out 13 batters, marked her seventh complete-game shutout of the season.

Ivy Renfroe hurled 13.1 scoreless innings, including a five-inning no-hitter over Murray State in UT’s first of two games on Sunday, and now is at 4-3 on the season with a 3.19 ERA. The no-hitter was the fourth of her career.

“In the past, it’s Ellen, but today it was Ivy,” Weekly said. “What I always keep reminding everybody is Ivy pitched us into the (Women’s College) World Series two years ago. We don’t get there without her.

“It’s nice to have both of them and they both pitched really well this weekend.”

After dominating their first three games of the tournament, the Lady Vols were put to their biggest test of the tournament by the Blue Raiders.

Leading 4-0 early, thanks in part to Chavanne’s two-run triple in the second inning, the Lady Vols were tagged for three runs in the fourth inning after the Blue Raiders’ Nina Dever hit a three-run home run to cut the lead to one.

Despite out-hitting the Lady Vols eight to six, the Blue Raiders didn’t score another run, as Ivy Renfroe came in and pitched 2.1 scoreless innings in relief for her first save of the season.

“Everyone knows that Tennessee is the biggest school in the state so any time an in-state school has an opportunity to play us they really want to show they can hang with us and they did,” Chavanne said. “They hit the ball extremely well and you could definitely see passion from them.”

Tennessee’s next game will be on Friday at 6 p.m., when it begins SEC-play with a three-game home series against the No. 3 Florida Gators (13-1).

“You always want to go into SEC play, especially against a top team like Florida, feeling confident and having a rhythm going,” Chavanne said. “I think we’ve succeeded in doing that.”

Exhibition Win

The Lady Vols beat the Dutch National team on Thursday night 8-7 on a walk-off single by junior All-American outfielder Kat Dotson. Another All-American Lady Vol, junior second basemen Lauren Gibson, connected on a two-run home run and sophomore center fielder Tory Lewis hit the first home run of her college career.