KNOXVILLE — Tennessee opened NCAA softball tournament play Friday with a five-inning, 9-0 win over Longwood in the Knoxville Regional.
The No. 7 national seed Lady Vols advanced to the winner’s bracket where they'll face North Carolina State on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Lee Stadium. Earlier in the day, the Wolfpack shut out James Madison 2-0.
The Lady Vols (45-9) did all of their damage in the third and fourth innings Friday.
Cheyenne Tarango’s two-RBI single and Rainey Gaffin’s two-run home run helped stake UT to a 4-0 lead in the third. Gaffin came around again in the fourth and added a three-run home run, part of a five-run inning.
Gaffin finished the day 2-for-3 with five RBIs.
UT's Ivy Renfroe allowed just two hits while striking out five in her five innings of work.
James Madison will face Longwood at 4 p.m. Saturday in the double-elimination bracket. The loser between UT and N.C. State will go against the JMU-Longwood winner at 6:30 p.m.