Lady Vols lose to Missouri, SEC title slips away

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Lauren Gibson hit two home runs to set the new single-season school record at 18, but No. 2 Tennessee came up short in a slugfest, falling to No. 11 Missouri, 12-8, in a six-inning shortened game.

Sunday's game was scheduled for a 2 p.m. CT/3 p.m. ET "drop dead" time due to travel.

The Lady Vols (43-9, 16-6 SEC) scored one in the first, six in the second and one in the third. Missouri (33-10, 15-8 SEC) scored two in the first, six in the second and four in the third.

Every single Lady Vol hitter notched a hit with Gibson leading the way, going 2-for-3 with two homers, four RBIs and two runs scored. Madison Shipman, Cheyanne Tarango, Melissa Brown and Tory Lewis each had a hit and an RBI. Brown and Hannah Akamine each went 2-for-3.

Ellen Renfroe (15-4) took the loss after giving up eight runs (seven earned) over 1.2 innings of relief work. Ivy Renfroe started the game and re-entered later and allowed four earned runs over 3.1 innings while striking out four.

Nicole Hudson (10-5) earned the win for Missouri after tossing six innings with eight earned runs allowed.
The first three innings of the game featured a lot of back-and-forth scoring with a home-run duel between Gibson and Hudson.

Tennessee jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Lauren Gibson hit a one-out solo home run to left center. That homer made Gibson UT's new single-season home run record holder as she was previously tied at 16 with Tonya Callahan (2008) and Jessica Spigner (2011).

Missouri quickly responded in the bottom of the first as Hudon clubbed a two-run blast to right field with one out to give the Tigers a 2-1 edge.

In the top of the second, Rainey Gaffin hit a one-out double to left center and Hannah Akamine followed with a single to right field. Lewis came up big with an RBI single through the right side in the next at-bat. Two batters later, with runners on second and third, Gibson drilled a pitch from Hudson for a three-RBI home run to left field. Tarango and Brown each had RBI singles to give UT six runs scored in the inning and push UT's lead to 7-2.

The Tigers responded with six runs in the bottom of the second inning. Ellen Renfroe entered to pitch after Mackenzie Sykes hit a leadoff single to right field. Three batters later, with one out and the bases loaded, Emily Crane drew a walk to bring in Corrin Genovese. Rachel Hay then scored on a fielder's choice when Akamine dropped a throw home for an easy force out. With the bases still loaded in the next at-bat, Hudson hit a grand slam to left field to push Mizzou ahead, 8-7.

Tennessee tied the game at 8-8 in the top of the third when Shipman hit a one-out sac fly to right field to plate Lewis from third base.

Missouri took command of the game for good in the bottom of the third when the Tigers scored four runs. Sykes drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. With one out, Hay hit a two-run homer to right center to push the Tigers ahead, 10-8. After a flyout and a double by Crane to left center, Ivy Renfroe re-entered the circle. Marston hit an RBI double to left center and two batters later, Angela Randazzo hit an RBI single through the right side.

Tennessee is now the No. 2 seed in this week's SEC Tournament in Lexington, Ky.

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