After a slight bump in the road on Saturday, the No. 3 Tennessee softball team bounced back strong on Sunday to close out the Tennessee Tournament with a 4-1 record.
The Lady Vols played a doubleheader Sunday afternoon, beating Georgia Southern (16-7) 2-0 in the opener and taking out College of Charleston (15-8) 3-0 in the second game.
After scoring only two runs on five hits in Saturday's 3-2 loss to Western Kentucky, Tennessee (21-2) improved its hitting on Sunday, but co-head coach Ralph Weekly said he was not satisfied with his team's performance at the plate.
"I thought we hit the ball fairly well," co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. "I'm not pleased with the way we hit the ball. We played a doubleheader and got 11 hits, and we should have gotten several more.
"The big thing that concerned me today was we left a lot of runners on base."
Tennessee was able to defeat Georgia Southern despite being out-hit 5-2. Shortstop Madison Shipman was the only Lady Vol to record a hit in the first game, going 2-for-3 with a single and a double.
Eagle's pitcher Sarah Purvis pitched six innings of two-hit ball, allowing just two earned runs with seven strikeouts. Purvis did issue six walks, which eventually led to one of the two UT runs.
"(Purvis) is a very good pitcher," Weekly said. "She really wanted to beat us. When you have that number three on your back, everybody comes in and throws their best pitcher at you."
Senior outfielder Mellissa Davin drove in the first UT run, scoring Alley Perkins with a sacrifice fly in the third inning. Catcher Hannah Akamine then added some insurance in the fifth, driving in Shipman from third with another sacrifice fly.
Ellen Renfroe (12-0) continued her dominance in the circle, tossing seven scoreless innings for her seventh shutout of the year.
Tennessee got on the board early in the second game against the College of Charleston as Megan Geer broke out of her mini slump with a base hit to left field that scored Haley Tobler.
Shipman then made Lady Vol history when she put the first pitch of the third over the left field wall.
The homer tied the UT record for consecutive games with a hit as she hit safely in her 20th straight game.
"I'm seeing the ball really well," Shipman said. "I try not to think about that too much, I don't wanna jinx it. I'm just seeing the ball and hitting the ball."
Saturday was the one hiccup of the weekend as Western Kentucky (15-7-1) pitcher Emily Rousseau threw a complete game five hitter, striking out 10 Lady Vols en route to a 3-2 Hilltopper win.
The Hilltoppers jumped on UT early as Kelsey Maddox drove in two runs in the third with a bases loaded double, and Amanda Thomas drove in some much needed insurance with a single off the wall in the fifth.
Tennessee tried to mount a late rally behind a two-run homerun from junior first baseman Cheyanne Tarango in the bottom of the sixth, but that was as close as the Lady Vols would get.
"We just have to stay confident," Tarango said on Saturday. "Just because we lost doesn't mean we're not good. We all know that we're good, and we know that we have big bats so we just need to stay within ourselves."
Friday night, the Lady Vols opened the Tennessee Tournament by sweeping a doubleheader. They defeated Holy Cross (1-7) 5-0 in the first game and squeaked by Campbell 1-0 in the nightcap.
Tennessee took control of the first game when Overstreet hit a three-run bomb over the center field wall to score the first runs of the game. Aldrete then scored on a passed ball in the sixth, and freshman third baseman Taylor Koenig drove in Davin for the final run of the game.
Tennessee pitcher Erin Gabriel was dominant on the mound, throwing seven shutout innings and allowing only two hits.
"I'm happy to just be able to play finally for this university and for my teammates," Gabriel said. "I was just feeding off their energy, and they just played amazing behind me."
The second game of the night was a little more dramatic, with Tennessee winning on a walk off throwing error from Campbell (13-12) shortstop Ericka Nesbitt.
Renfroe was untouchable in the circle, allowing only two hits in seven shutout innings. She also struck out 12 Campbell batters on the game.
"Ellen was remarkable," co-head coach Karen Weekly said Friday. "I thought that was one the most masterful performances Ellen has had."