Cold and windy weather Tuesday evening stifled the Lady Vols' bats for a time but couldn't keep them silent all night.
It took until the fifth inning for Tennessee's hitters to awaken, but they struck a swift, powerful blow to defeat in-state foe Lipscomb 6-0 in the Volunteers' home opener.
"It's always nice to come and get a good win here at home at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium," co-head coach Ralph Weekly said.
After the first inning when the Lady Vols (14-2) loaded the bases, neither team threatened again until the fifth inning.
"She (Lipscomb pitcher Heather Parker) was working us outside and we were taking that pitch and not taking it," junior Melissa Davin said.
That's when the Lady Vols — and Davin — came alive.Davin led off the bottom of the fifth by reaching on a Kelsey Cartwright error. Hannah Akamine followed Davin's example by sending a rocket to second that Cartwright once again couldn't handle and traveled to the right field wall, putting runners on second and third for the Lady Vols.
After a Tory Lewis ground out, lead-off hitter Raven Chevanne blooped a sac fly into shallow left field, plating the game's first run. Kat Dotson then hit a single to center, scoring Akamine.
"I just wanted to help get it done for my team and be able to capitalize on their mistakes," Davin said.
Ivy Renfroe — who replaced sister Ellen Renfroe in the fifth — retired the Libscomb (7-7) hitters quickly in the sixth. The Lady Vols didn't go down so easily in their half of the frame.
"I was able to go out there and attack," Ivy Renfroe said. "I threw a lot of fastballs and just really tried to change my speeds."
Cheyanne Tarango led the inning off with a single, and All-American Lauren Gibson followed it with a rope into left field that Heather Montgomery couldn't handle.
Melissa Brown then drew a walk, which brought Davin back to the plate. This time up, Davin — who has just two RBIs on the year — roped a triple into the right-center gap clearing the bases and putting the Lady Vols ahead at 5-0.
"I wanted to attack early in the count to stay away from the junk and I was able to do that," Davin said.
Akamine drove Davin just two pitches later, giving Tennessee pitching staff all the run support they would need.
The Lady Vols are coming off a trip to the West Coast where they squared off some of the nation's best. There, Tennessee dropped their first two games of the season in back-to-back contests against Northwestern and No. 16 UCLA. Bouncing back against a quality, early season, non-conference opponent was important for the co-head coach to see moving forward.
"It's a credit to us that we can come out in the midweek after traveling, play hard in this kind of weather," Weekly said.
Tennessee will travel once more to play College of Charleston on Thursday night, then will stay in South Carolina to participate in the Buccaneer Classic over the weekend.