Over the last 10 years, the Lady Vols softball team has accomplished numerous feats including six trips to the Women's College World Series, but one thing they have been unable to do: sweep Florida.
That changed this weekend when No. 2 Tennessee (30-3) swept No. 4 Florida (31-6) in a three game series at Lee Stadium to complete their first sweep of the Gators since 2004 extending their win streak to eight games.
"It's amazing to get a sweep from a club like Florida," co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. "They are a definite top five team, period. They are strong. They've got everybody back from the World Series. We just played good ball."
Senior Ellen Renfroe was awarded the win for all three games to retain a perfect 21-0 on the season.
However, the wins did not come easy for the Lady Vols.
The first game on Friday night was the most definitive of the three with a 9-2 victory.
Freshman Annie Aldrete hit two home runs and junior Cheyanne Tarango added a third in a rout of the Gators.
The teams were forced to play a doubleheader starting Sunday morning after rain cancelled Saturday's matchup.
The first game of the doubleheader was back and forth between the two teams until UT sealed it after suspending the game through five innings for television purposes.
Florida sophomore Kirsti Merritt opened the scoring in the first inning with a two run homer off of sophomore Erin Gabriel, her second long ball of the series.
Tennessee came out of the inning with a 3-2 lead after a solo home run from senior Melissa Davin and two runs scored from bases loaded walks.
Davin scored again from third base in the second inning on a wild pitch by Delanie Gourley.
Merritt hammered another home run in the third inning, causing the Tennessee coaching staff to replace Gourley with junior Cheyanne Tarango.
Tarango surrendered two more runs allowing Florida to take a 6-4 lead, which they held until the fifth inning when the game was suspended.
In both games, Florida took a lead off of an error by freshman third baseman Taylor Koenig.
In the third game of the series, Renfroe started in the circle for the Lady Vols and earned a complete game win with eleven strikeouts and no earned runs.
The Lady Vols struggled at the plate up until the third inning when Davin got them going with her second home run of the series to get the lead down to one.
"As a senior, it's my job to step up and lead the way," Davin said. "Doing my job is going to help the people underneath me step up and do it. It's easier when you get up there when you have a rally going already so you feed off of everyone else's energy."
Junior Hannah Akamine blasted a pitch deep in the next at bat over the left fielder's glove, just off the top of the wall, to allow another run to score.
UT took a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning after a run scored from third on a fielder's choice grounder from Koenig.
Tennessee added two more in the sixth to give them a three-run advantage going into the seventh inning.
Davin a running catch on the warning track in left field and Renfroe closed the game with a strikeout to give the Lady Vols a 5-2 victory.
The teams returned to the field 20 minutes later to finish the second game of the doubleheader. During the break, Weekly gave his team inspiration following their win.
"We said, 'Hey, we're going to win this. We've got six outs, and we've got momentum and we're going to win it.'"
As it turns out, they only needed three outs.
Renfroe came in at the start of the sixth inning and shut out the Gators to give UT a chance to come back.
Freshman Megan Geer wasted no time in taking that chance. The leadoff hitter crushed the first pitch of the inning over the center field wall, cutting the lead to one.
After Tarango was hit with the bases loaded, Akamine's sacrifice fly gave UT a 7-6 lead.
Renfroe closed the game with a strikeout after a double play to give Tennessee the sweep.
"We had a couple rough innings," Davin said. "To know that we can come back as a team and rally back and end up winning, it really helps us and gives us energy to move on knowing that. We're good enough to do it."