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March 27, 2011

Box Score

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – A hard-fought game by South Carolina (17-15, 3-10 SEC) slipped away at the end, as No. 11 Tennessee (27-5, 5-3 SEC) captured its second walk-off win of the weekend, this a 5-4 final in seven in front of 910 fans at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Gamecocks took the initial 4-0 lead in the first thanks to sophomore rightfielder Hannah Milks’ grand slam. Sophomore shortstop Samie Garcia reached on a fielder’s choice, while freshman second baseman Dana Hathorn poked a single down the left-field line to put two runners aboard. Junior leftfielder Kaitlin Westfall drew a walk to load the bases and chase Tennessee starter Cat Hosfield. Milks greeted reliever Ellen Renfroe by swinging at the first pitch and depositing it over the wall in left field for her second homer of the year.

Tennessee cut the lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the first on Shelby Burchell’s RBI single, plating Kelly Grieve after her one-out double. Lauren Gibson made it 4-2 after her towering home run to left center in the third.

The Lady Vols threatened to tie it in the sixth. Ashley Andrews got a one-out single and moved to second on Raven Chavanne’s walk. Grieve’s double off Garcia’s glove allowed Andrews to score to make it 4-3. With runners at second and third, the Gamecocks went to the bullpen for redshirt sophomore Audrey Broyles. After intentionally walking Lauren Gibson, Broyles got a weak fly ball from Shelby Burchell, and Garcia raced back to make the catch to end the inning and the threat.

But Tennessee would not be denied in the seventh. Jessica Spigner started the frame with a double, and pinch runner Morgan Fowler moved to third on Melissa Brown’s foul out deep in the right-field corner. Broyles got Chelsea O’Connor to strike out for the second out of the inning. A four-pitch walk to Andrews preceded Melissa Davin’s pinch-hit single that tied the game. Chavanne followed with a hit to center, and Andrews raced home, making a throw irrelevant and close the contest.

Tennessee’s Ivy Renfroe (9-2) got the win, tossing three innings of scoreless relief, allowing one hit and one walk while fanning one. Broyles (4-4) took the loss, giving up two earned runs on three hits and two walks. She struck out one. Gamecock senior Ashley Chastain pitched well in the start, going 5.2 innings while scattering eight hits and two walks and giving up three earned runs. She sat down three.

Milks went 2-for-3 with the grand slam, while senior catcher P.J. Fulmer also had two hits. Chavanne, Spigner and Grieve all had two hits for Tennessee, and five different Lady Vols drove in a run.

The Gamecocks step out of SEC play on Wednesday when they host USC Upstate at 5 p.m. EDT at Beckham Field.